Bring your bucket list, and your other bucket list, and a bucket, and your gratitude journal, because there’s more to do in Park City than Oprah could tell you to do during “Living your best life” week. Sure, there’s skiing and snowboarding, but that’s just the beginning. There’s gold under the snow in them there hills — pure, 24-karat activity gold. (And silver — Park City started as a mining town.) Remember to thank the mountain for its bounty.
We're breaking down this list into four seasonal sections plus a "cream-of-the-crop" top 10.
Deer Valley / Eric Schramm
Deer Valley / Corey Kopischke
The slopes at this iconic resort are just as epic in the summer as they are in winter—and just as steep. Ski a black diamond in December, then hike it, bike it or horseback ride it in August. Take a dip in the pool or try to stay dry on a paddleboard, then towel off, grab a picnic basket, and watch one of Deer Valley’s summer concerts as the sun smolders low.
You were this close to making the real Olympics, but this is not the end of your story. Live out your wintry shoulda-coulda-wouldas summer-style at the Utah Olympic Park, home to the Salt Lake City games in 2002 and now home to your meteoric athletic rise. Unleash your inner Evil Knievel on the park’s ropes course and ziplines, test our your stuntman skills on the airbag jump or extreme tubing hill, or go for the gold on the summer bobsled run. Don’t forget to bring a brass band to play the national anthem for you.
Head to the hills and let some inhibitions down at High West’s Park City distillery. Visit the tasting room for a sip of spirits, then pick up some in-house knowledge on one of the site’s educational tours. When you’re good an educated, sample from the tasting room again, then try to explain the finer points of what you’ve just learned.
Feel like hurdling pell-mell down a mountain on a narrow track? We thought so! Take a sled ride down the Alpine Slide’s hundreds of yards of concrete track, or try the elevated Alpine Coaster and let your hair fly. (What is it with this town and finding new ways to fling people down mountains?)
Main Street might be dying, but nobody told Park City. Its bustling central corridor is home to 100 clothing boutiques, 50 eateries, two ski resorts, and one celebrity every five minutes. Okay, we made that last one up, but still, where else can you get ice cream, a drink and a chairlift ride on the same block?
Main Street in Park City / Carla Boecklin
The Egyptian Theater isn’t one to brag, but Why yes, it was designed with the assistance of a trained Egyptologist after the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, and You’re absolutely right, it was the host of the first ever Sundance Film Festival. But you don’t have to be Indiana Jones to enjoy the many musical events, theatrical debuts and films hosted by the theater — and in fact, please leave everything right where you found it.
Park City wasn’t always the chic ski town it is today. Learn the whole sordid and spectacular history of the town at the Park City Museum, where you can explore a mine replica, learn how silver is made, delve into the history of radical labor unions, and ride an antique ski subway. You know, like you’ve always meant to do?
Want to sled down the hill but not walk up it? Look no further than Woodward Park City (formerly Gorgoza Park), where chairlifts take you to the mountaintop and your only job is to get down in one piece. The 125-acre campus, which is set to open in November 2019, will offer much more than just tubing though. Additions include snowboarding and skiing, biking trails, skateparks, plus a 52,000-square-foot indoor training facility with a concrete skatepark, trampolines, foam pits, and more.
Forget extreme sports! Let’s talk extreme shopping. After you’ve knocked yourself (and your budget) out at the Main Street boutiques, rack up some savings at the Outlets Park City, where the style is high but the prices are low.
Park City Mountain Resort is the Swiss Alps of Utah without all the hassle of customs. This high-alpine hotspot is always bumping with farmers markets, outdoor concerts and extreme rides in the summer, and snowboarding, skiing and hot-cocoa-sipping in winter. Because fun knows no season.
Park City Mountain Resort / Douglas Barnes
Have a bad case of the Januaries? Shake off those wintertime blues with a romp straight into the white stuff. From skiing to snowboarding and everything in between, this winter wonderland is sure to have an extreme sport with your name on it. Plus, it sure beats scraping ice off your windshield.
Catch an artsy flick or bag a celebrity pic at this annual late-January explosion of indy talent, where Hollywood bigwigs and outsider littlewigs rub shoulders at after-parties and you can get a double-take just by wearing dark glasses and looking covert. For extra credit, check out one of the many panels, lectures and parties that come with the festival each year.
Sundance Film Festival
Looking to mix up your winter transit routine? Go over the river and through the woods in one of Park City’s family-size horse-drawn sleighs. But you’re not going to Grandmother’s house. Uh uh. The Snowed Inn Sleigh Company takes you straight up the mountain to a icicle-studded lodge, where you can feast on a warm meal and live music. RSVP regrets to Grandma.
Or maybe you prefer to take your snow sports sitting down, in which case, pull up a tube, take a seat, and sail down the hills at Gorgoza Park. Best news of all? Lifts take you up the mountain (more sitting!) so you don’t harsh your downhill vibe going back up.
Tubing at Gorgoza Park
Swap your skis for some snowmobile skids and head out into the wintry blue yonder with Red Pine Snowmobile Tours, where you can plow through deep pow or fly along groomed trails with the assistance of a local expert. Plus, they pick you up at your place, so you can flip your hair and casually say, “Well, this is my ride,” just like in the snowmobile movies.
But hey, it’s not all about speed. Sometimes winter is best appreciated when you slow down and smell the icicles. Get your meditation on with a friendly snowshoe guide from All Seasons Adventures, where you can tromp up and down hills by day or by moonlight. Be sure to alert your group if you suddenly achieve enlightenment.
Ice is thawing, flowers are peepin’ and you’re coming out of a self-imposed hibernation. You know what this means: Time to re-up on your vitamin D and head to the hills, where you’ll find April showers, May flowers and an endless array of warm-weather adventures.
The snow is melting but you don’t have to have a meltdown. Take the winter–spring transition at an easy pace with Spring Gruv, where from the end of March to the beginning of April you can late-season ski, skim over icy water and catch some après tunes slopeside.
What’s better than spring on the ground? Spring from the sky, of course! Next time the temps push upward, take in earth’s rebirth from your perch in one of Park City’s many commercial hot air balloons. You’ll feel like a giant floating Easter egg with the world as your basket. Now fly, my pretties. FLY!
Hot air ballooning
Just because it’s March doesn’t mean you have to hang up your skis. In fact, spring’s a perfect time to get some last runs in. The valley’s warm, the crowds are gone, and the mountain sky's still dropping its bounty. So shed that coat, grab a t-shirt and hit the slopes.
Beat the heat this summer with some high-mountain aerobic feats. In Park City, adrenaline flows all year long with a grab-bag of warm-weather activities so fun you’ll forget what the winter hype’s all about. Whether you’re flying through the sky on a zipline or flying down chutes on your bike, it’s always sunny with a chance of awesome.
Yes Maria, these hills really are alive with the sound of music. From June to September, Deer Valley hosts a mash-up of musical acts ranging from the Utah Symphony to indie artists, from Beethoven to alt-country. So grab a blanket, snag a picnic bag and sprawl on the outdoor amphitheater grass while the most universal of art forms (there we said it!) wafts over you.
Who says farmer’s markets have to be serious? At the Park Silly Market, every Sunday is Fun Day as foodies, craftsters and activists descend on Main Street for merriment, cavorting and community. Come for the food and stay to save the world. From June to September.
Forget water fights, one trip down the local rivers in a raft, tube or kayak and there will be nothing but water love. Paddleboard on the nearby reservoirs, tube down the Provo, head to the floating AquaX waterpark or raft down family-friendly rapids on the Weber. With a multitude of aquatic adventure companies, you’ll be sure to find something that floats your… uhh, you’ll find something you like.
Paddleboarding at Jordanelle State Park
Ride hundreds of miles of cross-country trails or swap your two skis for two fat wheels at the resorts, where ski runs turn into lift-served downhill bike trails in the summer. That ought to keep your adrenal glands primed till winter.
Feeling fishy? The nearby Weber and Provo Rivers are packed to the gills with trout and Park City is full of fly fishing outfitters who can imagine nothing better than waking up at dawn and wading with you into the water. Take them up on the offer, or rent some gear and find your own angle.
Looking to put some giddyup in your summer plans? Head to Deer Valley’s Boulder Mountain Ranch, where you can saddle up and wander through mountain wildflowers, clamber to the top of sweeping overlooks, or — for the cowpokes among us — rent a horse and light out on your own.
The air is crisp, the sweaters are scratchy and the trees are dressed in warm colors. It’s the perfect time to take one last hike, roast one last ’mallow and sport your short shorts one last time. And luckily for you, Park City’s the perfect place for all of the above.
The only thing better than hiking in tree paradise is hiking in tree paradise during autumn, and the only thing better than hiking in autumn is hiking in autumn in Park City. With over 400 miles of trails — many of them right in town — there’s a leg-stretcher just for you. Try the Silver Lake trail for aspens and pines, or Iron Mountain for the scenic views.
Summon your chauffeur (or, you know, get your Kia from the parking garage) and take to the mountains for some Nature TV. Watch the drama unfold on your screen — er, windshield — as you ogle the aspens near Guardsman Pass or take a two-lane highway up to bucolic Mirror Lake, where the leaves will be in full effect and the evergreens will be ever-green.
Mirror Lake Highway / Ray Boren
Started in an art enthusiast’s garage, this pillar of the Park City community dishes up daily doses of contemporary art — for free! Check out an exhibit then stay for an art talk. Here in August? Don’t miss the Kimball Arts Festival. Visiting for a while? Enroll in one of the center’s many art classes. You go, Van Gogh.
Eek out some final warm-weather fun with a trip to Park City’s Mountain Village. Coast on the Alpine Coaster — a raised sled track — sled down the Alpine Slide, zip down the ziplines, and don’t forget to pan for gems. For real.
Birdie with the birdies on Park City’s newest golf course. Even a double-bogey doesn’t hurt so bad surrounded by serene rolling hills and blue mountain skies. Now that’s above par! (Wait, why does above par mean good? Aren’t you trying to hit below par?)
Canyons Golf Course