Park City’s nature remains open: ‘When all else fails, you’ve still got trails.’
The mountain resorts are closed, but there are trails that are still open.
Park City’s extensive trail network, something that has long been a point of pride for the community, has become a popular alternative with Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort closed out of concern about the spread of the novel coronavirus. PCMR is closed for the season while Deer Valley’s operations were suspended until further notice.
Charlie Sturgis, the executive director of the not-for-profit Mountain Trails Foundation, said in an interview there have been crowds on the trails in recent days as people head outside without the possibility of skiing and snowboarding at the resorts.
“We’re seeing a ton of people. Round Valley and those types of areas are excellent areas to be out and about,” Sturgis said. “Getting outside, you basically get a chance to relieve yourself from the self-quarantine.”
He said Round Valley, featuring some of Park City’s low-elevation trails, has been popular. He also said places like Empire Canyon, Bonanza Flat and the Treasure hillside would be attractive.
The snow has been melting at the lower elevations, opening up some of the trails to hiking. Other places, such as Empire Canyon south of Old Town, continue to hold snow, providing opportunities to cross-country ski and snowshoe.
The weather in coming days, though, may not be conducive as the National Weather Service on Tuesday forecasted at least a chance of snow through the weekend.
Sturgis said he recommends cross-country skiing in the morning, before the snow softens in the sunlight. Sturgis described the trail system as a “natural remedy.”
“You don’t have to touch anything anyone else touched,” Sturgis said about using the trail system, adding, “When all else fails, you’ve still got trails.”
More information about the trails, including maps and conditions, is available on the Mountain Trails Foundation website, mountaintrails.org.
The Summit County Wildland Fire Unit is a county-founded, volunteer-run resource created to assist with an extended wildfire.
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