Park City, Utah

Words by Teresa Edgar

Mountain Bike for Her - - Contents - Words by Teresa Edgar

When peo­ple think of moun­tain bik­ing in Utah, the first place that comes to mind is usu­ally Moab. How­ever, 3-hours north is an­other gem called Park City.

Park City is a 40-minute drive from Salt Lake City, which makes it an easy flight from al­most any­where in North Amer­ica and I was there within 3-hours of my plane leav­ing Vic­to­ria, Bri­tish Columbia. I had plenty of time to catch the air­port shut­tle to my ac­com­mo­da­tion and re­lax be­fore din­ner.

My ac­com­mo­da­tions were pro­vided by Park City Lodg­ing for this trip and I was ex­cited to dis­cover I had a onebed­room suite in a build­ing close to His­toric Down­town Park City. It meant that I didn’t need to rely on the free shut­tle to ex­plore and I had a com­fort­able place to call home for the four nights I would be there.

The next morn­ing I picked up my rental bike from White Pine Tour­ing and met the other four mem­bers of the tour, along with our guides Scott House, Shaun Raskin-Deutsch­lander, and Tim Moore aka T-Mo. We were buzzing with ex­cite­ment as we set off to­wards Deer Val­ley Re­sort, although I’ll ad­mit that I was a bit ner­vous about the el­e­va­tion. Park City sits at 2,134 me­ters (7,000 feet) above sea level, which meant I was go­ing to feel like a fish out of wa­ter, flop­ping around and gasp­ing for air.

Scott knew the el­e­va­tion would be hard on our group - most of us came from sea-level - and to make things eas­ier on us, he chose to shut­tle us to our dropin point, which sat at the 2,674m (8,773 feet) mark. You could see for miles and with the leaves on the as­pens start­ing to change colour in the au­tumn sun, it made

for an ab­so­lutely stunning back­drop.

It was time to get our wheels rolling. The ride started with a down­hill sec­tion, which was fol­lowed by a 300m (984 feet) climb, and then it was all down­hill for the rest of the ride! The cross-coun­try sec­tions were smooth and flowy and ev­ery­thing on the down­hill sec­tions was rol­lable, per­fect for the Ju­liana Jo­plin I was rid­ing, and a nice break from the rooty and rocky trails I typ­i­cally ride.

Our af­ter­noon was spent play­ing in the Trail­side Bike Park. With dirt jumps and North Shore-style ramps and wall rides, we were able to hone our skills in prepa­ra­tion for the Canyons Bike Park, our planned ride for the next day.

Canyons Bike Park isn’t a large bike park but it’s worth check­ing out if you’re look­ing for a fun way to break your­self in gen­tly to the el­e­va­tion. Most of the trails could eas­ily be rid­den on an all-moun­tain bike if you wanted to save your­self the ex­pense of a rental.

How­ever, the best rid­ing was saved for last. It was the day with the most el­e­va­tion gained, as well as the long­est day in the sad­dle. We shut­tled up to Em­pire Pass, el­e­va­tion 3,051 me­ters (10,010 feet). This is also the en­trance to the leg­endary Wasatch Crest Trail, but we had some­thing else in mind. Our goal for the day was to ride from Em­pire Pass, over to Park City Re­sort - where we would take the chair to the top - and end up at White Pine Tour­ing. The plan didn’t dis­ap­point. Gor­geous vis­tas greeted us at ev­ery turn and the colour­ful au­tumn leaves just made the views that much more spec­tac­u­lar.

I left leav­ing Park City wish­ing I had a few more days to ride. We had barely scratched the sur­face of the ap­prox­i­mately 650 kilo­me­tres (400 miles) of trails Park City has to of­fer.

THINGS TO DO OFF THE BIKE

While the moun­tain bik­ing is phe­nom­e­nal, all good things must come to an end, so what do you do with your time when you’re not in the sad­dle?

Park City Mu­seum is worth a peek if you’re a his­tory or min­ing buff. Give your­self a cou­ple of hours to en­joy the in­ter­ac­tive dis­plays and don’t for­get to pick up a copy of the trea­sure hunt map from the front desk. While it’s meant for kids, adults en­joy it, too.

An­other stop that I en­joyed was the tour of the High West Dis­tillery. We learned about the whiskey dis­till­ing process along with the his­tory of the Utah liquor laws. Even the ar­chi­tec­ture of the build­ing is fas­ci­nat­ing, plus they have a fab­u­lous menu! And I have to ad­mit that a bot­tle of whiskey did find it­self in my suit­case af­ter in­dulging in their whiskey sam­pler.

If shop­ping is more your thing, there are sev­eral shops lining the streets of His­toric Park City and ev­ery Sun­day from June to Septem­ber, Main Street hosts a farm­ers mar­ket. While it rained the day I checked it out, it didn’t de­ter the ven­dors or the crowds.

PLACES TO EAT

It’s a good thing we spent sev­eral hours on the bike each day be­cause the food was amaz­ing! From large, hearty break­fasts at Squat­ters Road­house Grill to South­west­ern din­ners at Chi­mayo, I was in food heaven. While the dining can be a bit pricey, there are great 2-for-1 coupons in the Park City Restau­rant Guide (also avail­able on­line).

Break­fast: If you have a large ap­petite, the Squat­ters Road­house Grill is your best bet, and the prices are rea­son­able. I also rec­om­mend the Deer Val­ley Re­sort Cafe if

you’re look­ing for some­thing a bit lighter.

Lunch: Sammy’s Bistro had the best se­lec­tion of burg­ers, sal­ads, and wraps plus the ser­vice was quick if you’re itch­ing to get back on the trails as soon as pos­si­ble. If you’re look­ing to re­lax for a bit, the deck at the Red Tail Grill at Canyons Re­sort was well worth the stop for more tra­di­tional pub fare.

Din­ner: Park City def­i­nitely has a fan­tas­tic ar­ray of places to go for fine dining. While my favourite was Chi­mayo (the fish and shrimp ce­viche was to die for!), Cafe Terigo, Talisker, and High West Dis­tillery are also high on my list for great meals.

PLACES TO STAY

I stayed at Park Sta­tion, which was walk­ing dis­tance to His­toric Main Street and my bal­cony over­looked the bike path be­low. It was a one-bed­room suite with a fully stocked kitchen, per­fect if you don’t want to eat out all of the time. You can book a suite through Park City Lodg­ing, who have a wide se­lec­tion of ac­com­mo­da­tion avail­able through­out Park City.

There are lots of camp­grounds near Park City, as well, and Jor­danelle State Park Camp­ground came highly rec­om­mended.

NIGHT LIFE

Park City def­i­nitely isn’t lack­ing in the night life depart­ment! Af­ter the shops close, you’ll find Main Street teem­ing with life on Fri­day and Satur­day night. One of my favourite pubs was the 501 on Main. It had the most eclec­tic decor which was en­ter­tain­ing in it­self, from elk horn chan­de­liers to old out­board en­gines. Other pubs worth check­ing out in­clude the No Name Sa­loon and the Wasatch Brew Pub. For live mu­sic and danc­ing, Flana­gan’s was our pick.

Photo: Teresa Edgar Photo: Teresa Edgar

THE “CHURCH OF DIRT”. BUILT AS A TEM­PO­RARY AL­TAR FOR A WED­DING, IT STILL STANDS AND HAS BEEN USED FOR A FEW MORE WED­DINGS SINCE. GUIDE SHAUN RASKIN-DEUTSCH­LANDER RIP­PING IT UP ON LOWER FIRE SWAMP IN DEER VAL­LEY.

Photo: Teresa Edgar Photo: Teresa Edgar Photo: Moun­tain Bik­ing Park City/Jans.com

AN OLD RAIL CAR ON DIS­PLAY IN THE PARK CITY MU­SEUM. IT ALSO SERVED AS AN UN­DER­GROUND LIFT TO THE TOP OF PARK CITY MOUN­TAIN RE­SORT BE­FORE BE­ING RE­TIRED IN 1969. RAIN DIDN’T DE­TER THE CROWDS FROM THE PARK SILLY SUN­DAY MAR­KET. IT RUNS FROM JUNE TO SEPTEM­BER.

A RIDER AT THE TRAIL­SIDE BIKE PARK.

PARK STA­TION WAS A NICE PLACE TO CALL HOME.

Photo: Moun­tain Bik­ing Park City/Jans.com

PARK CITY SHOULD BE ON EV­ERY­ONE’S “BIKE-IT” LIST!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.