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Your guide to Park City
All About Park City
Tucked within the Wasatch Mountains in western Utah, Park City is a small town known for its stunning mountain backdrop, dozens of scenic highways, and activities both on and off the slopes. The town is a year-round destination, with visitors coming here to soak up the arts during the international film festival and outdoor concert series, and to embrace the outdoors by skiing, mountain biking, fishing, and hiking.
The town is surrounded by spruce-, pine-, and aspen-lined forests and miles of panoramic drives. Bordering Park City to the north and the west are the Wasatch Mountains, where you’ll find two world-class ski resorts in close proximity to the city. The mountains join the Uinta wilderness for two million acres at the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, just 35 minutes from Park City and home to hundreds of miles of trails that wind their way around peaks, canyons, and lakes. Rare animal sightings in the forest can include black bears, mountain lions, elk, moose, and mountain goats, among many others.
Less than 30 minutes east of Park City, the Mirror Lake Byway twists through the Uinta Mountains, offering stops at waterfalls along the Provo River and massive freshwater lakes set within the forest valleys.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Park City
Autumn is cool in Park City and it gets cold at night, with snow usually starting in November. This is also the season when the trees turn shades of yellow, orange, and red — best witnessed by a scenic drive or hike through the Wasatch Mountains. Cold and snowy winters are ideal for outdoor sports ranging from tubing to cross-country skiing. A world-famous film festival also visits Park City this time of year, with many up-and-coming actors and directors making debuts in venues spread across town.
Spring stays cold until May, when the snow begins to melt. The month-long Spring Gruv festival occurs from March to April, when you’ll find outdoor concerts, ice sculpting competitions, and the annual pond skimming competition, where competitors ski over a 100-foot, frozen pond. Summers are pleasant, warm, and dry, and in August, the Kimball Arts Festival fills Park City’s Main Street with 200 tents populated by artists from around the country.
Top things to do in Park City
Wasatch Mountain State Park
The Wasatch Mountain State Park covers nearly 22,000 acres, offering dozens of hike and bike trails. You’ll have opportunities to spot local wildlife along the one-mile Cascade Springs Trail, where you might find large mammals, including moose and elk, or birds like the wild turkey and red-tailed hawk. As you wander the paved trail, you’ll eventually reach the waterfall and freshwater streams at Cascade Springs, surrounded by towering mountains.
Guardsman Pass Scenic Byway
The Guardsman Pass Scenic Byway winds through 15 miles of forested mountains, connecting Park City with the Big Cottonwood Canyon. Depending on the season, the landscape ranges from fall's yellow-hued foliage to snow-capped scenes in winter, to fields of Indian paintbrush and orchid wildflowers in spring and summer. You can stop at the Guardsman Pass Overlook summit for sweeping views of the Uinta Mountains, one of the US’s highest mountain ranges.
Park City Museum
The Park City Museum, located in the downtown area, offers an interactive walkthrough of the region’s history, starting with its early inhabitants before moving on to its mining years and finally to its more recent days as a sought-after ski destination. Permanent and rotating exhibits feature historic photographs, oral histories, and life-size replicas and artifacts of objects important to the town’s past. After a few hours of exploring, grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants or cafes also on Main Street.