When Vail Resorts linked the Park City and Canyons mountains via the Quicksilver Gondola in 2015, the all-encompassing Park City Mountain Resort became the largest ski resort in the US. Now boasting 7,300 acres of alpine terrain, the mega resort has a lot of vertical real estate for on-mountain exploration and good times. Whether touring the backcountry, cruising the corduroy or sipping IPAs at Miners Camp, here are some recent improvements and not-to-miss experiences for making the most out of your time on the fall line.
NEW LIFT LINE FORECASTS
Congestion has been a hot topic this year since Vail Resorts lowered its pass prices for the 2021-2022 season. Even though Park City Mountain Resort is so big, there are usually “less popular” lifts with shorter lines. That said, longer lift times are a given in March, when extra visitors are taking advantage of the mild temperatures, longer days and spring break. (We’re looking at you, Silverlode Lift).
To make the most of your PCM ski days, check out EpicMix Time, on the EpicMix app. EpicMix Time displays a full-day forecast of lift line times, allowing you to plan ahead and maximize your mountain experience. Powered by machine learning and a wealth of current and historical data, EpicMix Time lets you pick the best windows for your favorite PCM lifts all day long. If you are really concerned about lift lines, book a day with a ski instructor as they have their own special lines.
EXPERIENTIAL SKIING WITH A SIDE OF HISTORY
Not everyone has the legs for several days on the mountain, which is why we like the ease and family-friendly accessibility of the Silver to Slopes Historic Mining Tour. On this free, guided, intermediate-level ski tour, you and your loved ones will explore the mountain with an expert guide and uncover the historic mining buildings and hidden relics scattered across the resort.
Learn how Park City Mountain evolved from a silver mining camp to an internationally recognized winter sports destination while a PC history buff regales you with the stories behind the authentic mining structures on the mountain. Tours depart daily from the Park City Mountain Village at 10:00 am near the Eagle Statue. After the tour, you’ll receive a signature pin to commemorate your visit.
STANDOUT SKI-IN, SKI-OUT DINING & SIPS
On the mountain, we suggest heading to the newly renovated Mid-Mountain Lodge, a former miner’s boarding house, to grab a toddy at the resort’s only full-service on-mountain bar, and a tasty porchetta sandwich right off the in-house rotisserie. On a warm, sunny day, the expansive deck with sheepskin-covered benches and roaring fire pits is the best place to enjoy a beer before you ski back to town.
Speaking of skiing right into town, if you haven’t yet shushed all the way down to High West Distillery & Saloon, we highly recommend it. Occupying an old livery stable and the historic Ellsworth J. Beggs House (a two-story box house that was built in 1907 that’s on the National Register of Historic Places), High West is the first legally licensed distillery in Utah since the end of the American Prohibition—and they have the cocktails to prove it.
Try the Prospector’s Elixir, a potent mix of American Prairie Bourbon, Avua Amburana, Amaro CioCiaro, fennel syrup, lemon juice and club soda served in a Collins glass over swizzle ice. Or, one of my go-to’s, the whiskey flight, which allows you to sample several flavors. For the record, my favorite is Rendezvous Rye.
ZERO-ING IN ON SUSTAINABILITY
While this one isn’t necessarily ski-specific, it’s definitely newsworthy—and a proud moment for Park City locals and those who make Park City Mountain Resort an annual destination. With an eye to the future and sustainability, PCM broke ground on its partnership with the Elektron Solar Project last year.
According to Ski Utah, the project’s 80 MW of solar power will provide 100 percent of the resort’s electricity usage by the year 2023. This bold initiative is part of Vail Resorts’ Commitment to Zero initiative, and in line with Vail Resorts’ recent commitment to the Climate Collaborative Charter, a unified group of resorts and entities committing to sustainability in the ski industry. Protecting the planet is a big part of Park City’s collective consciousness, and we’re excited to see this project come to fruition.
FINAL LOCAL’S TIP
Some of the very best skiing is in April after the spring breakers have returned home. In my 19 Park City winters, I have experienced some of the very best skiing in April. It’s not unusual for big storms to hit late in the season. This year, the resort is open until April 17th, so there is still plenty of time to “pray for snow” and hit the slopes.