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Kyle Jenkins | 05.20.2018

Park City is a town that needs little introduction. Nestled just east of Salt Lake City within the Wasatch Mountain range, this charming town has a big reputation for outdoor adventure. Most know Park City as a must-visit winter destination, boasting two world-class resorts and legendary snows, but the summers here are nothing short of epic. 

Here are five reasons why you need to make a summer visit to Park City:

1. The ease of access

One often overlooked aspect of visiting a small mountain town is how long it takes to get in and out of your vacation. Park City offers unparalleled access to its trails not only on a local level but on a domestic and international level as well. Salt Lake City International Airport is only 35 minutes from Park City, a rare treat that you won't find anywhere else in the West.

Once you make it into town you'll find that you might not even need to get back in your car to enjoy the hiking and biking this place offers. Ride the free city bus to either Deer Valley Resort or Park City Mountain and take the lifts up the mountain with your bike attached to the chair. Many neighborhoods have trails that begin just on the edges of each small suburb and are often connected by paved paths. Major highways take you quickly to the nearby reservoirs and deeper into the Uinta Mountains. Vacation time is precious, and when you're visiting Park City, there is no need to waste it with long commutes to your next adventure!

2. The hiking and biking

When the snow melts and the wildflowers begin to pop out around Park City, it’s time to dust off the bikes and break in a new pair of hiking shoes on the same trails you may have been skiing and snowboarding over just a few months ago. The valleys, hills and mountains around Park City are absolutely covered with dirt trails and paved paths that crisscross just about every inch of this outdoor recreation paradise. 

Many bike trails, such as the Mid Mountain Trail, are considered some of the finest in the West and draw visitors from all over the U.S. If you didn’t know that Park City is the first ever International Mountain Biking Association’s Gold Level Ride Center with over 400 miles of trails, then let us welcome you to this two-wheeling haven. Choose from lift-service access to both Park City Mountain  and Deer Valley Resort, endless single-track through the mountains, multiple skills parks and jump tracks, and various mellow rides to round it all out. 

For those that prefer to keep their feet on the ground, there’s no shortage of great hiking here. Whether within town or down the road in the beloved Uinta Mountains, hikers can take on everything from kid-friendly trails to rugged multi-day treks. Dogs are also welcome on most trails in and around Park City so the entire family can join in!

Learn more about our favorite trails and start planning your adventure:

3. The lakes and rivers

Not everyone thinks of water when they think about Utah, but summertime in Park City means getting on the lakes and the rivers to stay cool after a day of hard work on the trails. Several large reservoirs just minutes from town allow boaters, stand-up paddle boarders, anglers and beachgoers to round out their alpine vacation with some liquid enjoyment. The Ponds at Deer Valley are located just below the ski lifts and allow you to SUP or kayak before a concert. Soak up the sun in Rockport State Park along the adjoining reservoir and even spend the night at one of the many campgrounds along its shore.

If you are looking to do some fishing near town but don’t want to compete with speedboats at the reservoirs, make sure to bring your fly fishing setup along and head to the local rivers and streams. Park City is a premier trout fishing destination, and you can find great guiding services within town if you are looking for a little direction on where to go. Whether going it alone or going on a guided trip, we highly recommend taking to the local Provo or Weber rivers for some unforgettable days on the water.

4. The sheer number of different adventures

Variety is the spice of life, and that is what makes Park City such a great town to visit or make your home. There aren't many places in America where you can start your morning catching the sunrise from a hot air balloon a thousand feet in the air, then jump on two wheels on a world-class mountain bike trail, have lunch on a beach between rounds of lake kayaking, and finish the evening watching a concert under the stars.

Locals here struggle to purchase and store all the recreational equipment it takes to fully embrace all the nearby options this town offers. Along with the traditional activities you’d expect to find in a mountain town there are many more exotic choices to be had such as zip lining, rafting, horseback riding, or summer bobsledding at the Utah Olympic Park. Believe it or not, you can even try stand up paddle board yoga in a geothermal crater in nearby Midway. This town truly has it all.

5. The festivals and events

There is plenty to do in Park City when you are done hiking and biking for the day. This town is loaded with outdoor concerts, many of them free, and events during the weekends as well as during the week. Some of the most popular events start off in early summer with Savor the Summit, a food and wine tasting event that has a massive dining table that runs the length of Main Street.

Everyone loves it when the Utah Symphony and Opera performs at the base of Deer Valley Resort, and performances run until September. Two of the best parades in town are on July 4 and also on Miner's Day in early September. And fans of road cycling should definitely catch the Tour of Utah in August; known as "America's Toughest Stage Race," the tour includes over six grueling stages with the final stage starting and ending at the top of Main Street.

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