Park City may be known as a mountain biking hub, but there are plenty of great hikes to bag, too. Here are five classic Park City hikes that you should add to your bucket list.
1. Early & Late Season: Round Valley
Park City has a long history of passing land bonds. One of the most notable such efforts protected a beloved space we all know and love for everything from dog walks to nordic skiing. According to ParkCity.org, “Round Valley was once destined to be a huge development with multiple golf courses, hundreds of houses, and condos. Round Valley is now nearly 2,000 acres of cherished open space.” The great thing about the aspect, elevation and terrain here is that the snow melts sooner than other places. There are many different loops and out-and-back trails you can piece together, so be sure to grab the latest map from Mountain Trails Foundation.
2. Short & Steep: Iron Canyon
If you’re looking for a classic Park City hike that brings the sweat, look no further than this short but steep hiking-only trail. Parking can be a little tricky in this neighborhood and ticketing is enforced, so please be respectful and adhere to the signs. Parking is located on Iron Canyon Court and the trail heads straight up from the cul-de-sac for a 2.35 mile out and back with a 935-foot elevation gain. As a bonus, sled bobbing down this trail on an American Missile sled in the winter months is a total blast. Be aware, however, that this trail could cross under avalanche terrain.
3. Hiker-Friendly From Town: Dawn’s Trail
Years ago, Mountain Trails created one of its first uphill-only trails for bikes: Armstrong Trail. Having bikes limited to uphill traffic makes things a lot nicer for hikers (no fear of a speeding full-suspension rig bombing down on you!). In 2014, a new hiking-only trail was created in honor of trail advocate Dawn Bowling. Dawn’s Trail branches off from Armstrong just over one mile up, creating a nice hiking-only option that’s much shorter than the previous ones. When you start from Silver Star Cafe, it’s a 3.3 mile hiking loop.
4. A Classic With Views: PC Hill
How many times have you driven past the big “PC” letters on the hill on your way out of town? If you haven’t checked this one out, this is your year! Whether you are looking for real estate or just wanting to gain some perspective, this trail offers wonderful panoramic views of the northeastern side of Park City and Park City Mountain. It’s a 1.3 mile out-and-back climb that can be difficult to follow at times due to many trail offshoots. Generally speaking, follow the signs and the trail most traveled and you will zig-zag your way up to those large white letters and amazing views.
5. Lift Ride Optional: Silver Lake Trail
Once the resorts close and the snow melts, additional hiking-only trail opportunities open up. A classic resort hiking trail is Silver Lake to Bald Mountain at Deer Valley. The trail is a little over two miles and gains 1,300 feet. You have three options with this trail: 1) hike up and ride the lift down, 2) ride the lift up and hike down, or 3) hike up and down with no lift service. It’s steep, but can be done and the views of the Jordanelle Reservoir and High Uinta Mountains in the distance are worthwhile.
What’s your favorite Park City hike? Robs Trail is also a favorite of mine but it is closed until May 1st, 2021 due to safety concerns as it crosses over property owned by Vail Resorts, so I did not include it.