Deer Valley lifts open for bikers, hikers
June 16, 2007
Temperatures are supposed to hover near 100 degrees on the Wasatch Front today and forecasters are telling people to head to the hills in search of cooler weather.
The hottest days of the year is a happy coincidence for Deer Valley’s opening weekend. The lifts opened for the summer Thursday, which started off Deer Valley’s jam-packed summer schedule.
"People can come up and access the trails for mountain biking and hiking," said Erin Grady, communications manager for Deer Valley Resorts.
Conditions permitting, the resort offers lift-served mountain biking, bike rentals and a mountain bike school that’s open daily.
"The mountain bike school, if you are a beginning mountain biker, it’s a great way to start out," Grady said. "You can get a hiking guide handbook if you want to go out on the trails yourself. We have over 55 miles of biking trails and over 25 miles of hiking trails."
The guidebook is like a travel map that lays out the mountain similar to a ski map. There are green, blue and black colors to identify trails for various skill levels.
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"The trail map is really helpful," Grady said.
Hikers and bikers can experience the plethora of panoramic trails accessed through the Silver Lake Express chairlift from Snow Park Lodge.
Once at the top, one can walk down one of many trails or hike the Scenic Overlook trail that offers views of the Jordanelle Reservoir. Those not choosing to hike one of the trails can simply re-board the lift and descend.
"You can ride the chair lift, and if you are not fit enough, you can ride the lift back down or hike and bike down," Grady said. "The views are always spectacular when you get to the peaks. Being able to hike through quaking aspens and ride through the wildflowers, it’s beautiful and relaxing."
Grady said there are "tons" of opportunities to see or photograph wildlife such as deer, elk and moose on the mountain. Most of those chances will take place early or late in the day. But she cautions not to approach them as a wild animal’s behavior is unpredictable.
"Any time you’re outside, be aware of your surroundings," she said.
The summer recreation is escalating through all of Park City’s resorts. Now it’s an everyday operation.
"It definitely has been growing," Grady said. "We went to seven days a week two or three years ago. I think summer, to the resorts overall, is growing and it’s something we look forward to with all the concerts and mountain biking and dining and different races and runs."
As a seven-day-a-week operation, safety has become a concern and priority.
"We have a full mountain bike patrol staff onsite," Grady said. "We are making sure that you are safe."
But, the resort can’t guarantee safety. Visitors have to help themselves as well.
"If you are biking, we require you have a helmet on," Grady said. "Everything is pretty safe, it’s all patrolled."
More traffic on the mountain also requires each person to be responsible. Cyclists are encouraged to bike with caution and be respectable to others, which includes leaving wildflowers in the ground, refraining from littering and preserving the overall mountain’s pristine condition.
"We are completely leaving everything there for the next person," Grady said.
The National Mountain Bike Association Championship Series will be part of this weekend’s events. Deer Valley is the fifth stop on the national circuit, one of seven chosen mountain biking venues. This off-road racing series offers opportunities to amateur and professional riders of all ages and is expected to draw more than 1,500 riders Events will include cross country, downhill, super d, slalom, short track, kid races and more.
Those who might want to dine in the cooler air of the mountains without breaking a sweat, can get to the Royal Street Café via a lift from Snow Park.
"The Royal Street Café is a great way to come out and relax," Grady said.
The menu features appetizers such as shrimp and lobster layered with papaya salsa and guacamole or chilled tuna tartare with an arugula truffle oil salad. Also available are salads, paninis, Deer Valley Turkey Chili and specialty entrées as well as the Royal Street Café Chipotle BBQ Burger. Children’s and take-out menus are also available. The café’s Bluberry Mojito cocktail was awarded the 2007 Park City Cocktail contest winner, according to Grady.
Wednesday, June 27, the free Frontier Bank/Mountain Town Stages Local Summer Concert Series will begin with the band Downright Blue at the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater. Each concert will go from 6 to 8 p.m. In July, the Big Sky Bright Nights and other concerts requiring tickets will begin.
"Concerts are a huge component of what the summer has to offer," Grady said.
Some of the stars performing this season include Lyle Lovett and K.D. Lang, Jewel, Smokey Robinson, Joss Stone and Tony Bennet.
"The Jazz Festival, the Utah Symphony and Opera’s Festival the free Wednesday night concerts and Big Sky Bright Nights will be huge," Grady said.
For more information, log onto http://www.deervalley.com.
Chairlift rides on Silver Lake Express operate daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with the last chair downloading at 5 p.m. Chairlift rides on the Sterling Express lift operate daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with last chair downloading at 4:30 p.m. An adult scenic ride pass is $13, seniors 65 and over and children 6 to 12 years old are $10. A single ride on Silver Lake Express lift only is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and children. Children 5 years and under ride free. For further information, call 649-1000 or 800-424-3337.
For the Kids
An adventure camp awaits through August 17. The Deer Valley Summer Adventure Camp for children ages one to 12 years takes place Monday through Friday (except for Wednesday, July 4th and Monday and Tuesday, July 23rd and 24th) from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with check in/out hours at the Children’s Center, located in Snow Park Lodge, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Activities such as hiking, field trips, arts and crafts, environmental awareness and nature discovery are included. Daily, weekly and seasonal rates are available. For pricing information and reservations, call 645-6648 or 888-754-8477. Advanced reservations are strongly recommended.