Destination: Park City, Utah

The best thing about mountain biking in Park City is the accessibility of both beginner and expert trails in the area - 350 miles of 'em. Go forth and conquer.

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There are more than 350 miles of mountain bike trails around Park City.
There are more than 350 miles of mountain bike trails around Park City.

Park City, Utah, offers 350 miles of mountain bike friendly trails. The core of mountain biking is close to town at Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort. Away from downtown there are dozens of great trails near Prospector Square, Round Valley, the Canyons Resort and Kimball Junction.

Basin Recreation, Park City Municipal, and the Mountain Trails Foundation all work together to acquire, create and maintain Park City’s trail system. Their combined efforts also go to produce the donation-based Annual Park City Trails Map, which is available at any of the local bike shops.

The best thing about mountain biking in Park City is the accessibility of both beginner and expert trails in the area. Prospector Square and Round Valley offer plenty of fast, smooth singletrack with minimal elevation gain. North of town, near Kimball Junction, you can find a relatively new trail system including the Glenwild Loop and the new local-favorite Flying Dog trail.

For more advanced trails head to Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resort. Most of the singletrack is fairly smooth with occasional root and rock gardens.

For those looking for downhill-only trails, take the chairlift from Deer Valley’s Silver Lake Lodge and discover some of the beginner downhill courses and some of the more challenging advanced trails.

The Mid Mountain trail is a Basin Recreation project that begins at Park City Mountain and makes its way through the Canyons all the way to the Pinebrook neighborhood. The most common route is to ride up the Spiro trail out of town then onto the Mid Mountain trail, finishing the ride with a descent down Ambush trail at the Canyons.

However, the Mid Mountain trail can be used as an integral section of an all day epic. Riders often begin at Deer Valley then tack on the common route. Some even go as far as to begin in Deer Valley, then do the Wasatch Crest Trail, and loop back to town on the Mid Mountain trail, making for a day no less than 50 miles.

For other must-do rides, check out Spin Cycle near lower Deer Valley. This winding singletrack is guaranteed to leave you dizzy. Cool off at Shadow Lake at the top of Spiro. If you’re feeling good continue up to the Wasatch Crest Trail (aka Ridge Ride) and take another break at Desolation Lake.

One of the best ways to discover new trails is to attend one of Jans Mountaineering’s Tuesday night mountain bike group rides. White Pine Touring hosts a group ride on the last Thursday of every month during the mountain bike season that is followed by burgers and beer. Both of these rides are free and open to anyone.

Getting to Park City is easier than most mountain bike destinations. Unlike many of the Colorado destinations, Park City is under 45 minutes from the Salt Lake City International Airport. If you’re driving, Interstate 80, which stretches from New York City to San Francisco, goes right through Park City. If you’re coming from southern California, Interstate 15 will take you right to Salt Lake City which is just a 30 minute drive from Park City.

If you go: Park City, Utah

Must-do trail: Mid Mountain trail, this IMBA epic is a challenging 20 to 25 mile singletrack trail that more or less follows the 8,000-foot contour line from Park City Mountain Resort to the Canyons Resort.

Best bike shop: Jans Mountaineering, White Pine Touring and Cole Sport are all equally helpful

Best map: The Mountain Trails Foundation map is available at all of the bike shops

Best Grub: Alpine Internet Café on lower Main Street has the best coffee. For a burger and beer the Wasatch Brew Pub at the top of Main Street is a local favorite. Davanza’s has great pizza and is located at the base of the Sweeny Switchbacks trailhead.

Riding season: The lower trails are usually free of snow by April and the upper trails are typically clear by Memorial Day weekend in May.

Getting there: Interstate 80 and U.S. Route 40 intersect at Park City and Interstate 15 intersects with I-80 just a half hour away from Park City. If you are flying, Park City is just a 40-minute drive from the Salt Lake City International Airport.

Lodging: Camping is available at the KOA Kampground and Hidden Haven Campground, both of which are out of town at Kimball Junction, which also happens to be very close to the Glenwild trailhead, a short, fun loop that serves as a nexus to some good singletrack north of town, including the Flying Dog, a quickly growing local favorite. There is an abundance of hotels and condos in Park City in the summer time so if you’re looking to have a solid roof over your head the best thing to do is to make a few phone calls to find out who is offering the best deal.

Other: Join up with one of the group mountain bike rides hosted by Jans Mountaineering and White Pine Touring.

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