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Wildlife in our midst

While Park City isn’t quite Yellowstone, there’s plenty of wildlife watching to be done here. You might catch sight of a deer, moose, elk, coyote, eagle, and many more on the mountain. It can be a trip bonus, but remember that these are still wild animals, and you need to respect them and give them some room. In fact it’s not at all unusual to see a moose wandering down Park City’s Main Street, or munching on some pricey landscaping as the temperatures drop. They’re beautiful, majestic, but not all that friendly. There are others out there it’s best to avoid as well, including skunks, badgers, porcupines, cougars, and foxes. Grab your binoculars or spotting scope and watch the bald eagles fishing for their breakfasts along the Weber and Provo rivers, or catch a sight of herds of elk grazing along the barren ridges.

Here are a few pointers from Wild Aware Utah, a local educational program that will let you go back home with photographs, not bruises.

  • Be alert at dawn and dusk when wildlife is most active.
  • Never approach, feed, or try to touch wildlife.
  • Always jog, hike or bike with a companion.
  • Stay on designated trails. Wildlife usually stays clear of areas where humans frequent.
  • Make noise to alert wildlife of your presence.
  • Refrain from wearing headphones, which can block out the sounds of nearby wildlife.
  • Keep kids in the center of the group.
  • Do not leave litter on the trail.
  • Carry bear spray and know how to use it properly.
  • Keep dogs leashed and do not let dogs “play” with wildlife. It is against Utah law to allow dogs to harass wildlife.
  • Stay clear of animal carcasses near trails. They could be kills that are being guarded.
  • Avoid placing yourself between a mother and her offspring. Give wildlife a lot of space.

Humans are great sources of food for wild critters, and can even mistake your pet for prey. Dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits and goats can be at risk from larger predators like coyotes, foxes, or cougars. To keep them safe:

  • Keep pet vaccinations current.
  • Supervise pets when outdoors, particularly at dawn and dusk.
  • Keep housecats indoors, especially at night.
  • Keep outdoor pets and small livestock in fully enclosed pens, coops or barns at night.
  • Install heavy duty latches or locks on barn or pen doors.
  • Use motions sensor lights to deter wildlife from entering your yard.
  • Install fences around your property.

Live Music Venues

Along with concert series, festivals, and shows, there’s plenty of live music in Park City for visitors and locals alike. While many restaurants, hotels, and lodges offer music in their lounges, here’s a quick peek at some of the more notable venues.

DeJoria Center, Kamas
Just 16 miles out of town, this concert hall hosts musicians in a country setting.

Downstairs, 625 Main Street
An urban lounge in the mountains, with great DJs and an electric atmosphere. For more information visit DownstairsPC.com.

Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main Street
Since 1920, this iconic theater has hosted local and national acts.

O.P. Rockwell Cocktail Lounge, 268 Main Street
O.P. calls itself a “cocktail lounge & music hall with outlaw roots.” Join them for award-winning drinks and incredible music acts. For more information visit OPRockwell.com.

Park City Live, 427 Main Street
The rockingest spot in town, with national and international acts energizing town. Built as the War Veterans Memorial Building in 1940, this large venue is the hub of nightlife, with exceptional audio, visuals, and well-stocked bars.. Where else will you see acts like Stevie Nicks, Snoop Dogg, Shawn Colvin, and Macklemore? There’s even a VIP section along the mezzanine, and they host a number of events during the Sundance Film Festival. For more information visit ParkCityLive.net.

Park City Mountain Resort
There are dozens of bands performing winter afternoons at Legends, the Payday Deck, The Corner Store, and the Canyons Village Stage. For more information and a schedule visit ParkCityLiveMusic.com.

The Silver Star Cafe, 1825 Three Kings Drive
An intimate cafe for food and live music in a historic location at the base of the mountains. Think of it
as Park City’s version of Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, where blues, folk, and jazz performers from near and far take the stage. For more information visit TheSilverStarCafe.com.

The Spur, 352 Main Street
A Western saloon with live music nightly. It’s a locals’ favorite, and rightly so. It’s intimate and chill, with a small dance floor. For more information visit TheSpurBarAndGrills.com.

Affordable Skiing

You may think you’re priced out of a ski trip, but being savvy to special deals will get you on the mountain without draining the bank. That’s assuming that you haven’t fled your job, moved here and gotten a night job so you can hit those perfect powder days. You’ll get ski privileges, have ski buddies and network with your friends for good gear at a bargain. Here are a couple of tips to help you at least have a great, affordable week on the mountain.

AIRFARE: if you don’t mind changing planes, and if you live near a major city, you can get some deals getting here. Southwest and JetBlue have some great deals, and if you start early on the East Coast you can usually ski that afternoon; Park City is only 35 minutes from the airport.

TRANSPORTATION: You should be able to rent a compact car for a little over $200 a week. But wait, maybe you don’t need one after all. In Park City the free bus system is awesome, plus you don’t have to worry about parking, driving in the snow, traffic, or taking a roadside sobriety test. There are taxis and shuttles from the airport, to other resorts and in town. If you have to have your own wheels, then rent a 4WD rig (and know how to drive it in snow). Many rental companies offer roof racks at an additional cost.

LIFT TICKETS: There are lots of discount ticket options, and packages. Check with your lodge, hotel or ski rental shop for deals. REI in Salt Lake City, for example, and other ski shops, have tickets at up to a quarter off of the retail price. There are a number of ticket discount sites online, like Liftopia. com, Ski.com, and GetSki- Tickets.com. You’ll need to plan out your trip get these deals. Check with your airline too; they might have discount options.

Both local resorts give discounts for early purchases and multi-day ticket packages. Deer Valley Resort has discounted lift tickets for both military and seniors, with Park City offering seniors a better price. But the best deal in town has to be the Epic and Ikon ski passes, offered by Vail Resort’s Park City Mountain and Alterra’s Deer Valley Resort.

The Epic Pass give you unlimited ski privileges at nearly two dozen resorts, worldwide, for under $1000. The Ikon Pass gives you 38 mountains for around the same price. The bad news is that they have to be purchased pre-season, so remind yourself next fall.

LODGING: Make sure you book early if you’re coming during the Christmas week or the President’s Day holiday; the town is packed. Lodging here covers the entire spectrum, from basic rooms to multi-star hotels complete with an on-call butler. Renting a condominium or home has some advantages. You can split the cost with a number of people, eat breakfast in and save some dining dollars by cooking your own dinner. (Remember, you might be too tired to go out). Many lodges, hotels and homes have complimentary van service around town to make it even easier.

EQUIPMENT: Many airlines let you check your equipment without an extra charge, but check first. It’s usually less expensive to rent in town than at the resorts. Deer Valley Resort, by the way, has complimentary nightly ski storage.

DINING: There are two major grocery stores in town: The Market at Park City and Fresh Market. A brand new Whole Foods is north of town at Kimball Junction. As for eating out, again, there’s pretty much anything you could imagine from fast-food burgers to seafood buffets to ultra-fine dining. Lunch on the mountain can vary, so if your budget is tight, make some sandwiches and buy a hot cocoa. Since you’ve saved so much money on these discounts, make sure you head out to at least one of the top restaurants for one night.

Liquor Laws

Times have changed in Utah, so rest assured you can find a drink here in Park City. In fact, we have a long history of saloons, given the thousands of miners who once worked here. You’ll even find a burgeoning craft beer and spirits industry. The rules might be a bit different than they are at home, so here are a few things you might keep in mind:

Drinking Age
You must be at least 21 years of age, period. You may not consume liquor in a park, bus or public building. That includes walking down Main Street in Park City. The legal limit to drive a vehicle is .08%, but, as of December 30, that limit drops to .05% following a legislative alcohol reform that took place the year before. Call a rideshare or have a friend drive you home if that’s your case.

Beer
Utah beer will differ in strength depending on whether it’s purchased in a Utah state liquor store, or commercial outlet. Grocery and convenience stores are all less than 4% ABV (or 3.2 percent alcohol by weight). Anything stronger must be purchased from an establishment with a full liquor license or one of the three state-run stores in the Park City area.

Restaurants
In restaurants with limited service liquor licenses, wine and heavy beer (over 3.2%) may be served from 11:30 a.m. to midnight. They require customers to order a meal or appetizer along with their drinks.

Clubs and bars
Bars in Utah are for adult social drinking. You aren’t required to order food, but it must be available. They serve all types of alcohol, and beer may be served from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. A beer-only establishment, called a tavern, can serve 3.2% beer from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Private parties
Individuals and organizations hosting private social, business, or recreational events or functions are not required to obtain a permit from the state if the event is not open to the general public, and alcohol is provided to invited guests without cost.

Liquor stores
Aside from a restaurant, bar, or other facility with a liquor license, the only place to purchase wine, liquor or full-strength liquor is from a state-operated liquor store. The state stores are not open Sundays and holidays.

Manufacturers
High West Distillery 703 Park Avenue

Utah state liquor stores
1550 Snow Creek Drive, (435) 649-7254
460 Swede Alley, (435) 649-3293
1612 Ute Boulevard (Kimball Junction), (435) 658-0860

Winter Sports

Events

Silver to Slopes historic mining tour
Discover Park City’s rich mining and skiing heritage. This is a free, guided ski tour, and you’ll see hidden relics, historic mining buildings and hear stories from the past. You should be at least an intermediate level skier or rider. Tours depart daily, and meet at the Trail Map near the top of Bonanza Lift at Park City Mountain every day at 10 a.m. You’ll even get a free pin afterwards.

Snowfest celebration
For 16 days Park City Mountain celebrates the holidays with their annual Snowfest Celebration. It’s a festival of live music, entertainers, fireworks, a torchlight parade, and, of course, a visit from Santa as he descends the Town Lift. December 22-January 6

Spring Grüv celebration
Spring Break just wouldn’t be the same without the Spring Grüv Celebration at Canyons Village. There are concerts and the exhilarating Pond Skimming Contest. It’s a party. March 23-April 7

Weekly Weekend live music
Take a break after your day on the hill with après ski music at Park City Mountain on Friday through Sunday, at either Legends until the end of February, and on the PayDay Deck in March. At Canyons Village head to the Umbrella Bar Deck Friday through Sunday from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. for tunes, food, and fun.

Saturday S’mores at the Umbrella Bar and Park City Mountain
Show up for free s’mores at the Umbrella Bar Deck at Canyons Village fire pits every Saturday, starting at 3 p.m. Sundays, head over to the Eagle Statue at Park City Mountain at the same time.

Avalanche dog meet & greet at the Canyons Village Forum
Take a minute to get acquainted with these highly-trained rescue dogs, and ask them, or their handlers, what it’s like to keep skiers safe. Fridays at the Canyons Village Forum, and Saturdays at the Park City Summit House.

Snowmobiling

If you’re looking for another way to enjoy Utah’s deep powder, a snowmobile ride just might be the most exhilarating thing you do all winter. There are groomed trails and untracked fields, river bottoms and high ridges. It’s one of the easiest ways to access the backcountry once the snow falls. These high-powered snow machines will get you there and back again.

Wear warm clothes, gloves, and a helmet, and drive safely, of course. Be careful going around blind corners, don’t park on a trail, and be courteous when you pass others. As with any mountain travel, be educated about the risks of avalanches, and always travel in pairs. If you want some guided help, then take a tour with one of these outfitters:

Backcountry snowmobiling
Head out on a new sled with experienced guides on this 40,000-acre private ranch. They offer two and three- hour snowmobile tours, plus private and group options, as well as transportation from Park City. For more information, visit BackCountrySnow. com or call (435) 336-7669.

Lofty Peaks Adventures
Rocket your way across the flats, carve some turns in the powder or try to climb a steep bowl. Lofty Peak Adventures has some of the most spectacular snowmobile trails in Utah. From their Midway base, rent a machine for an unguided tour, or have a guide show you his secret stashes. For more information visit LoftyPeaks.com or call (435) 654-5810.

Red Pine Adventures
On a private mountain next to Canyons Village, Red Pine Adventures is right in town. Hold on as your guides take you up groomed trails, through heavy forests and into deep powder terrain. You’ll be breathless. For more information visit RedPineTours.com or call (435) 649-9445.

Rocky Mountain Outfitters
High in the gorgeous Strawberry Valley, you can snowmobile away from the crowds in this white world. A 3-hour guided trip will run $209 per machine. For more information visit RockyMtnOutfitters.com, or call (435) 654-1655.

Park City Snowmobile Adventures
With 9,000 acres of private land in Weber Canyon, you’ll head out from an authentic log cabin for a fun-packed tour. For more information, visit RockyMtnRec.com.

Snowmobile Adventures at Thousand Peaks
Snowmobile up to 11,000 feet in altitude on 60,000 acres of private terrain in the Upper Weber Canyon. It’s an ideal spot for a tour. A half-day tour will run around $279, but for more information, visit PowderUtah.com or call (888) 304-7669.

Summit Meadows Adventures
Just a few minutes east of Park City at the Garff Ranches, Summit Meadows Adventures, operated by Deer Valley Resort, has room to roam with over 7,000 acres of private land. Take off for an hour or three, or take a private tour. Kids under 9 ride free with an adult. If they’re over 16, they can drive themselves. They provide all of the equipment, just bring a smile. For more information visit DeerValley.com or call (888) 896-7996.

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing can be an aerobic workout, a way to enjoy the quiet of the winter landscape, or both. Whether you’re on skate skis or classic, there are miles of local groomed trails just waiting for your skinny skis. You can work up a sweat even on the coldest days, so dress in layers to peel them away
as you heat up. It’s a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of
the busy resorts, plus it’s inexpensive and a great way to reconnect with nature.

Basin Recreation trails
Basin Recreation maintains more than 25 kilometers of groomed winter trails, with 4 kilometers of classic lanes. The Willow Creek Park and Utah Olympic

Park areas are great places to start. There are trailheads at the Basin Rec 5K, Ecker Hill Middle School, Willow Creek Park and the Woods at Parley’s Lane. You can also start at Kimball Junction and the Basin Recreation Fieldhouse, and ski all the way into Park City along the McLeod Creek Trail and 224 Connector Trail. You’ll catch your breath at the aspen woods, beaver ponds and frozen creek. You can ski with your dog too, as long as you clean up after them and they are under control. For more information, maps, and a daily winter grooming report, visit BasinRecreation.org.

Beaver Creek ski trail
Just fifteen miles east of Park City in the Uinta Mountains, this six-mile long, cross-country ski trail runs through an aspen and pine forest from Yellow Pine to the North Fork trailhead, with other access points in between. It’s a great place for families and beginners, with a number of side can- yons. Dogs are welcome on odd-numbered days only, and, of course, you need to clean up after them. While the trail itself is free to use, you’ll need to purchase a $6 3-day pass to allow parking along the Mirror Lake Highway at the access points. Annual passes are also for sale. For more information call the Kamas Ranger District at (435) 783-4338, or visit The Utah Nordic Alliance at UtahNordic.com.

North Fork Provo River Trail
At the eastern end of the Beaver Creek trail along the Mirror Lake Highway (UT 150), a large U. S. Forest Service parking lot serves snowmobilers and skiers. The North Fork trail is for non-motorized travel, and is generally flat and easy. Ski up one side of the river, cross, and ski back down the other for a great loop. You will need a forest pass, described in the Beaver Creek Ski Trail above.

Mountain Dell
The Utah Nordic Alliance operates the 10 kilometers of ski trails at Mountain Dell Golf Course in Parley’s Canyon. Located between Salt Lake City and Park City next to Interstate 80, there are five loops, and trails which range from challenging to easy. Day use fees are $10, and season passes are available. Since this is a watershed, no dogs are allowed. For more information and maps visit UtahNordic.com

Mountain Trails Foundation
The nonprofit Mountain Trails Foundation frequently grooms about 25 kilometers of trails in Round Valley
(on the northeast border of Park City), and between 10 and 20 kilometers of the iconic Rail Trail, beginning off of Bonanza Drive and eventually connecting to the Round Valley trails. Online maps, and more information can be found at MountainTrails.org.

Soldier Hollow
Ski on the venue that hosted the 2002 Winter Olympic Games Nordic skiing events in the beautiful Heber Valley. There are rentals and demos, and the center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information visit UtahOlympicLegacy.org

White Pine Touring Nordic Center
These ski trails at White Pine Touring, in the heart of Park City, are strictly for Nordic skiers, both classic and skaters. You can start on the easy 3K loop, before heading to the more challenging

5K and 10K loops that wind through the historic McPolin Farm. There’s heated underground parking, with passes, equipment and lessons available at the Nordic Center at the corner of Park Avenue and Thaynes Canyon Drive. The hours are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information visit WhitePineTouring.com
or call (435) 649-6249.

Tubing

These are not your dad’s sledding hills.

Soldier Hollow
The Soldier Hollow Nordic Center now has a conveyor lift, with night lighting and a rocking sound system. Soldier Hollow boasts the longest tubing lanes in Utah. With 1,200-foot sliding lanes and the new lift, tubing is the perfect way to take advantage of Utah’s beautiful winters. Tubing is available in 2-hour sessions, on their 1,200-foot tubing lanes, the longest in Utah.

They’re open weekdays 12:00 to 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 2:00 p.m. Prices are $25 for adults, $23 for youth (6-12) and $13 for children from 3 to 5 years old. They’re located at the 2002 Olympic venue in the Heber Valley. For more information visit UtahOlympicLegacy.org.

Helicopter and Cat Skiing

Flying around in a helicopter is a thrill all in itself, but when they drop you at the top of a pristine mountain, it’s even better. Spend a day with your own personal ski lift and yo-yo up and down until you’re worn out and the smile will be frozen on your faces for days. If you’d rather take a heated snowcat you can do that too.

Park City Powder Cats
The Uinta Mountains are the only east to west mountain range in the U.S, trapping lots of powder from the winter storms. Park City Powder Cats has 43,000 acres of private land on the Thousand Peaks Ranch near Oakley, just a half-hour from town.

You’ll need to be at least an advanced-intermediate skier or snowboarder. If you can handle most terrain on the resorts, you’ll do fine. It’s a full day in the mountains, with a hearty breakfast and lunch included, for $599 per day. For more information visit PCCats.com, or call (435) 649-6596.

Powderbird
The Powderbirds have been flying skiers around the Wasatch for 45 years now, and they’ve gotten quite good at it. They’ll find 80,000 acres of backcountry powder, wide open bowls, and snowy glades. Your heart will race you to the bottom of a white mountain, and then get a magic carpet back to the top.

It’s pricey, but you’ll remember it forever. Rates run from $1,260 to $1,540 per person, or take a private tour for $6,900 for 1 to 3 skiers. They operate from the Canyons Village base area of Park City Mountain and Snowbird. For more information visit PowderBird.com, or call (801) 742-2800.

Ski Utah Interconnect Adventure Tour
Ski six resorts in one day with these expert guides. Depart from Deer Valley and end up at Snowbird
on the other side of the mountains. You’ll need to be a good skier, but this is unique to the Wasatch. Cost is $395 per person, with lunch, two guides, lift passes, and transportation back to town. For more information visit SkiUtah.com.

Backcountry Yurts

Spend a night in the high nowhere in a Mongolian-style yurt. These circular tents will keep
you warm on the coldest nights, with wood burning stoves, kitchen facilities and bunks. Whether you arrived by ski, snowshoe, split board, foot, or snowmobile, many local yurts are in the Uinta Mountains, about 30 miles east of Park City. Step outside at night for the most magnificent star show in the world.

Castle Peak Yurt
At an elevation of 9,600 feet, it’s 6.5 miles along an old logging road, just a few miles east of Kamas along Highway 150. There’s good skiing and epic views of the Wasatch Range as well. The yurt sleeps eight, and is managed by White Pine Touring. It will cost you from $175 to $200 per night. For information, call (435) 649-8710.

Mill Hollow Yurt
From the Nobletts trailhead on S.R. 35, the yurt is at 8,950 feet, and it’s 6 miles one-way, but with all of the amenities. You can even take a couple of dogs along with you. Fee is $100 per night. For more information visit YMCAUtah.org.

Lilly Lake Yurt System
Located on the North Slope of the Uinta Mountains, about an hour from Park City, these 6 yurts
are accessed via Evanston, Wyoming, along Highway 150. They are managed by the Wasatch National Forest in partnership with the Bear River Outdoor Recreation Alliance (BRORA), and
the Evanston Recreation Center. All six yurts use the same trailhead, with four of them connected by groomed ski trails. They’re equipped with a propane stove, woodstove, firewood, and kitchen utensils.

The East Fork Yurt is at 8,500 feet, the Bear Claw Yurt is at 8,700 feet, and the Lily Lake Yurt is at 8,300 feet; lower elevations with good trails, and great for families. The Ridge Yurt (9,350 feet) and the Boundary Creek Yurt (9,550 feet) are off the main trail, without amenities. The Warming Hut is next to the trailhead. Nightly rentals range from $750 to $125. For more information visit Brorayurts.org.

Avalanche Safety

Just because you love the mountains doesn’t mean they love you back. A day backcountry skiing or snowmobiling in Utah’s sparkling powder is as thrilling as it gets, but there is danger lurking both above and below. Not so much at the resorts, however, as snow safety patrollers are up early to stabilize any suspicious snowfields. You can hear the booming echoes as their explosive charges shake it up and bring the snow down early before the skiers head up.

But away from a controlled area, you’re often on your own, and you need to know what to avoid, and what’s safe. When conditions are right (or wrong) the snow can thunder down a mountain, snapping trees, rolling over cliffs, and knocking you off of your skis. If you’re lucky, you’re on top of the avalanche when it stops. If not, hope that one of your pals has a snow shovel and radio beacon to find you ASAP or sooner.

The best thing to pack with you is knowledge: what do you look for, what are the risks and dangers, how can you “read” a snowpack, and how can you rescue yourself, or others, if you didn’t make the right decisions. Releasing a slide might not endanger you, but it certainly can put the people below you in harm’s way, not to mention the rescue personnel who risk their lives. So, before you launch yourself off of that cornice into that deep powder pillow, think about what may lay beneath.

Education

First off, stay informed about the snowpack. There are professionals on the job to help. The forecasters at Utah Avalanche Center (utahavalanchecenter.org), a nonprofit that makes forecasts and educates backcountry users, keep track of the snow, how it’s changed by temperature and wind, and what the chances that a certain exposure might slide. If it’s been sunny for a long time, and it just dumped, chances are that the bottom layers of snow are unable to support the new weight. This usually sorts itself out within a day or so after a storm cycle, but sometimes not. Lots of skiers have their number on speed dial: (888) 999-4019.

Since your fate is in your hands, take an avalanche class and learn to read the snowpack, which involves digging pits in the snow and actually looking at the layers, the bonding, and even the structure of the snow crystals. Avalanches can happen any time of the year.

Equipment

There are a couple of basic tools you should have with you if you’re in the backcountry. These include a metal snow shovel, a radio beacon that can help locate you underneath the white chunks, and avalanche probes or convertible ski poles to find buried skiers. A cell phone is a must, but you don’t have a lot of time, and you need to learn how to self-rescue.

Rescue dogs

When things go wrong, rescue teams can arrive quickly by helicopters, snowmobiles and skis. Your best friend will have four legs, not two, and a nose so sensitive they can detect buried skiers. Wasatch Backcountry Rescue trains local rescue dog teams (a handler and their dog). Members include Park City, Deer Valley, Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, Brighton, Snowbasin, the Wasatch Powderbird Guides, Sundance, the U.S. Forest Service, AirMed, Life Flight, and the Utah Department of Transportation. They are all there for you if you mess up and take a chance that didn’t work out as planned. You can meet the avalanche dogs every Saturday at the Summit House at Park City Mountain at 1:00 p.m.

Dining in Park City

While you may not be here strictly for the great cuisine, it’s certainly going to be part of your experience. You’ll have a good appetite after an exhilarating day on the mountain, and Park City’s restaurants will satisfy your cravings, with offerings from Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Italy, China, and beyond. One thing is certain: you aren’t going to go away hungry.

These are some of the best restaurants in the world, with innovative chefs, great service, unique pairings and unparalleled ambiance. Watch the fat flakes fall outside as you linger over a chocolate decadence and a cup made of the finest beans, while your kids go nuts over the chocolate fountains.

“This is an exciting time for dining options in Park City,” says Katie Eldridge of Panic Button Media. “The market has grown substantially in the past few years, with so many options in Old Town to Prospector to Kimball Junction.” As the town has grown these options have spilled north, east and south into Kimball Junction, Wasatch County, and even the Kamas Valley. Park City is more than a town, it’s a region.

Take a sleigh ride up to a feast at the high-mountain Viking Yurt, or grab a pepperoni slice in a historic home with hundreds of beer cans lining the walls at Davanza’s. If you want wine with dinner you can choose from the best vintages, keg wine or from a cellar with 13,000 bottles. Order a brew just steps away from its source, or try some of the other locally crafted spirits. They’re award-winning, and you’ll want more.

But you’ll run out of time before you run out of places to dine here. You can get anything you want at Park City’s restaurants.

Out of Town

Farther Afield
There’s so much to do in Park City, it’s almost more than you can do in one ski vacation. But there are some other options close by that are different, unique, and a bit less hectic. The Heber Valley is a picturesque day trip, with a historic railroad, Olympic ski venue, and hot spring resort. To the east, 15 miles away, the Kamas Valley is another rising star worth exploring. And, of course, the Salt Lake Valley is a hub of culture, sports and religion.

Midway
Nestled in the southwest corner of the Heber Valley, Midway is a gem with a number of unusual attractions. Settled by Swiss immigrants, the stately old homes still reflect this Alpine heritage. In town, there’s an outdoor ice rink. Or head over to Soldier Hollow, an official venue of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games where cross-country skiers competed. You can ski and tube underneath the massive stone battlements of Mt. Timpanogos under the lights.

Head to The Homestead, a quaint hot spring resort where you can swim in the pools or snorkel in the Crater, a 55-foot limestone mound with a deep geothermal spring inside. Better yet, stay and dine there as well.

Nearby, take a ride on the historic Heber Valley Railroad. The huffing and puffing of the old steam engine will set the scene for the After Christmas North Pole Express (December 26-29). Book a trip along the shores of Deer Creek Reservoir on the Monday Night Train, or the Lakeside Limited (Thursday through Saturdays at 11 a.m.).

Sundance Resort
In 1969, Robert Redford bought this land and created a special community of art and nature. Twelve years later he founded the Sundance Institute, attracting filmmakers from around the world to its annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City.

Just thirty-five miles away from town, the Sundance Resort is tucked under the massive bulk of Mt. Timpanogos. It’s an alpine wonderland of waterfalls, deep forests, wildflowers and snowfields. This winter ride a zipline, take a lift ride, ski the vast snow bowls, cross country ski or just unwind. Come for the day, or stay in the rustic but refined lodging, eat a fine meal at the Foundry Grill, or tip a few in an authentic log cowboy bar. It’s a world away. For more information visit kpcw.org SundanceResort.com, or call (801) 225-4107

Salt Lake City
One of the main attractions of Park City is its proximity to the Salt Lake International Airport, just a 35-minute drive away. But that also means that you can spend an evening at events like a Jazz game, the Utah Symphony and Opera, or even a small movie house, before visiting any number of great restaurants.

If you want to sightsee, then head to historic Temple Square, the heart of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On Sunday mornings you can attend a performance by the Tabernacle Choir, with the doors opening at 8:30 a.m.

Come early because seats fill up fast. You can then stroll through the visitor center and learn the distinctly American origins of the faith, and of the hardships and triumphs of creating a society in the desert.

Near the University of Utah, be prepared to be amazed at the Utah Museum of Natural History. This is truly a world-class facility, with exhibits including Native American artifacts and Utah dinosaur skeletons. The building itself will leave you in awe. Afterwards, if you’re looking for a vibrant and funky neighborhood, head to the 9th & 9th or Sugar House areas, though many neighborhoods are good options as Salt Lake is truly on the rise.

Kamas Valley and Uinta Mountains
A dozen miles east of Park City, the Kamas Valley and Uinta Mountains beckon. The Kamas Valley is a ranching community that is slowly changing, and the mountains are becoming a center for cross-country skiing, backcountry skiing and snowmobiling.

Just east of Kamas, along the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway, the Beaver Creek ski trail is groomed by the U.S. Forest Service, and runs six miles between the Yellow Pine and North Fork trailheads, with other parking areas in between. Dogs are allowed only on odd- numbered days. Further up S.R. 150 the road is gated for the winter at the

Soapstone parking area, which is the base camp for snowmobile explorations of the high mountains.

Afterwards, stop in for lunch at the Road Island Diner in Oakley, an authentic railroad car diner with homemade ice cream, fresh cut french fries and great specials. Or try smoked meats at the State Road Tavern at the DeJoria Center, a luxury ranch and performing center that has hosted performing artists such as Sam Bush. On the way home keep your eyes out along the cottonwood-lined Provo and Weber rivers; you may be able to spot bald eagles as they fish for their dinner. It’s a great getaway from the bustle of a resort town.

Real Estate and the Land Rush

Are you dreaming about your dream home? Are you looking for a vacation pad where your family can gather during holidays? Or maybe you’re looking for a home in the West, with its clean air, starry skies and public lands. Maybe it’s time to look around while you’re here.

The Park City area has certainly become a very desirable place to visit, live, and invest. Taxes are low, schools are great, and the lifestyle is enviable. And while you think you may be out of your price range, it’s worth checking it out, isn’t it? Sure, the real estate market is hot, but not overheated; there are deals to be had out there. You may be surprised with what you can find.

Park City’s Main Street and Historic District is an authentic gem with roots in its mining past. Visitors dine and shop, while residents check their mail and socialize. And, a place in Old Town is just steps away from all of the action.

Deer Valley homes and condos rise above it all with views, amenities, and higher price tags. But there are a number of homes for sale tucked away in the forest that could be yours. There are fixer-upper homes in the Park Meadows and Prospector areas, and older condos ripe for renovation in Old Town and at Park City Mountain.

To the north, Kimball Junction is booming with condos down low, and homes on the heights in neighborhoods such as Jeremy Ranch, Pinebrook, and Summit Park. There are arts, restaurants, and shopping, and it’s only a 15 minute drive into Park City and 25 to Salt Lake. It’s the best of both worlds. In neighboring Wasatch County, to the south, the Jordanelle
area is seeing exponential growth with new developments like Deer Mountain, Black Rock Ridge and Victory Ranch. There’s anything from one-bedroom condos to luxury homes on acreage next to a golf course. Ski in the winter, then golf and boat in the summer.

The equestrian set has found their greener pastures further afield in the Kamas Valley. At the base of the Uinta Mountains there’s room to breathe with large lots and plenty of land. The towns of Kamas, Oakley, and Francis are also seeing new single-family developments, as are the Woodland and Marion areas. It’s more laid back there, but with anytime access to Park City and Salt Lake.

So, dream a little, and look around. There are hundreds of realtors ready to give you the straight scoop, and help you find that vacation home you’ve been aching for. Dreams do come true, you know.

Gettin’ Around Town

Getting around Park City couldn’t be easier if you don’t rent a car, that is. As the ski resorts close for the day and workers head home, the roads get busy. Really busy. Add in a snowstorm, and you’ll be stuck in traffic. But there’s a solution with our free, public transportation. You won’t have to drive in snow, find a place to park, or find your way around. Many people who rent cars realize that they left it parked their whole time here.

The free bus
The Old Town Transit Center behind Main Street is your ticket to ride. You can find a bus to Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Village, Deer Valley, and Kimball Junction. There’s also a free trolley up and down Main Street. You can even download the myStop Mobile application and receive real-time information about your bus. The new Kimball Junction Circulator will even get you around so you can get your shopping done. You can catch the PC Connect bus for a ride into Salt Lake City, or into Park City from the new Kimball Junction Transit center too.

Parking
If you do drive or rent a car, here are a couple of parking tips. The covered China Bridge parking structure (in Swede Alley behind Main Street) is pay parking. The upper level of the Gateway Center garage is free with 4-hour limits. The Sandridge and North Marsac lots are also free, with 24-hour limits. Most of the Old Town residential areas though are restricted for, well, residents, and a special pass is required. Of course, during the Sundance Film Festival, things are much more restrictive. You don’t want to drive then, anyway.

Parking on and around Main Street is paid for either through the Go Park City app or a pay-and-display system, from 11 a.m. to midnight. It’s simple, though maybe a bit unusual. With the app, enter the code displayed at your chosen parking place and pay with your card information. Outside of your phone, find a spot, locate a nearby electronic kiosk, and purchase parking time with a card or cash. Rates range from $2 to $4 per hour depending upon location, and time of day. Flag down the Main Street Trolley anywhere along the street and take a load off your feet, and get a lift up the hill too.

Pedestrians
If you’re on foot, there are lots and lots of trails and sidewalks that are kept plowed during the winter. It’s a pedestrian-friendly town, so get out and stretch your legs. There are underpasses and special crossings, and people here still stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.

Swaner Eco Center

In partnership with Utah State University, the Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter will help you get back to nature. They host weekly nature tours, classes, and lectures, with exhibits, meeting spaces and a unique gift shop as well. There’s a climbing wall and an observation tower, so you can watch for critters in their 1,200 acres of lush meadow. You might spot a fox, coyote, elk, beaver, and lots of other things if you are patient.

Just north of Park City in Kimball Junction, their mission is to preserve the land and human connection, educate the community about nature, and nurture the ecosystem. It’s a great outdoor laboratory and attracts photographers, birdwatchers, and families. There are 10 miles of trails if you feel like stretching your legs. They’ve restored parts of East Canyon Creek, planted 40 acres with native seeds, and removed 75 acres of invasive species.

Every Sunday, try out the climbing wall, or take a guided snowshoe tour out into the preserve. Learn about the hidden natural world within, or let a naturalist explain how every life form depends on each other. It’s Craft Sunday for kids too throughout the winter, and Little Naturalist classes on every other Monday. It’s a wonderful outdoor laboratory.