12 Perfect Hours in Park City, Utah
Big changes have swept Park City, the Utah ski town best known for powdery peaks and its history as a Western mining town. Since 2013, Vail Resorts has been acquiring Park City ski resorts, including the recently renovated Canyons and, in 2014, Park City Mountain Resort.
In November, Park City Mountain Resort was officially connected with Canyons (now Canyons Village) by way of the swift Quicksilver gondola, which swoops back and forth between the two properties in only nine minutes.
Now, Park City is home to the country’s largest ski resort, with more than 7,000 acres of Olympic-worthy ski slopes that can see as many as 355 inches of fresh snowfall a year. To make the most of this enormous destination, which can be enjoyed with a season-long Epic Pass to all Vail properties and has seen $50 million in upgrades and additions, we spoke to Paul Marshall of Ski Utah.
Part quintessential ski town, part new-and-improved resort, Park City has a lot to offer visitors. “On-mountain dining has improved,” said Marshall, “as well as guest services and the over-all flow of the resort. It’s a world-class vacation and an awesome day on the hill for locals. With the new gondola,” he added, “I can enjoy the secret powder stashes through the entire resort and still ski into town for an après drink with friends.”
With his insider know-how (like those little-known corners of the mountains with the best snow in Park City), Marshall shared an action-packed 12-hour itinerary for the perfect day in the new Park City. Ready to hit the slopes? Here’s your guide.
8:00 a.m. Rise and Shine
Wake up at Main & Sky, on Park City Main Street. Oversized windows offer sweeping views of the city and surrounding mountains, as well as fireplaces in the master bedroom, and Bose sound systems. Some even boast pool tables and balconies with hot tubs.
8:30 a.m. Get Caffeinated
Stop at Atticus Coffee shop for a breakfast bagel sandwich (black forest ham with eggs, cheddar cheese and bacon) and Salt Lake City coffee from Millcreek.
8:51 a.m. Hit the Slopes
Catch the first chair on the historic (and somewhat rickety) Town Lift—only two blocks from Main & Sky.
Get warmed up on the Homerun trail—an easy 3.5-mile cruise from the top of Town Lift back to downtown Park City.
9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. History Lesson
Meet the Historic Mining Tour group at the info desk at Legacy Lodge—they offer free, daily tours of the mountain. You’ll learn about Park City’s rich history (did you know there are still mining grounds on mountain?) and how some of the runs got their names.
12:00 p.m. Lunch Break
Fuel up at one of Park City’s newest on-mountain dining experiences, Miners Camp, located at the base of Silverlode Express. Stop in for a beer and their meatloaf sandwich.
12:45 p.m. Quick Connection
Head outside and hop on the new Quicksilver Gondola, the symbolic and literal connection between the two major resorts. After an eight-and-a-half minute ride over the ridge, you’ll arrive at Canyons.
12:53 p.m. Ski the Secret Snow
Ski over to Tombstone Express, with chairs wide enough for six, and get lifted up to the Ninety-Nine 90 Express. Locals swear this is where the best snow on the mountain can be found, so spend the afternoon skiing or boarding the hidden powder.
Catch the last Gondola ride back over to the Park City side of the resort. Here, make your way to the run called Quit’N Time, which leads straight back to the High West Distillery on Main Street.
4:15 p.m. Après Ski Whiskey
Order an après ski whiskey flight at High West (the only ski-in, ski-out distillery in the country) with traditional Western mountain fare. Think: onion and bourbon soup, pretzel with whipped beer cheese, pot pies with wild mushrooms, boar stew, and pan-fried trout.
5:30 p.m. Après Ski Spa
Make it back to your hotel in time for a relaxing spa treatment at the Sugati Spa & Wellness center. Marshall recommends a soak in the Japanese Ofuro tub or Oxygen Therapy.
8:00 p.m. Dinner Time
Head to Tupelo, Park City’s newest restaurant (doors opened in December 2015) for Chef Matt Harris’ pan-roasted elk with celery root puree and a warm apple pie with a smoked cheddar crust. Best of all? It’s just walking distance from the hotel.
Melanie Lieberman is the Assistant Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure . Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.