Zip lines to sheepdogs: Park City’s list of summer activities |

Zip lines to sheepdogs: Park City’s list of summer activities

This story is found in the summer 2019 edition of Park City Adventure Guide.

Soldier Hollow Sheepdog Classic

You won’t believe these highly trained dogs as they herd groups of wily range ewes. It’s a dog beat dog world at the Soldier Hollow Sheepdog Classic, which over 25,000 fans attend at the site of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games cross country skiing venue. These are working dogs at their highest level, and this is the world’s largest sheepdog trial. There’s also entertainment, music, food and activities for all ages, plus splash dogs, acrobatic and agility dogs, and demonstrations. It’s not to be missed.

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Autumn Aloft

It’s a wondrous sight as dozens of colorful balloons rise from the frosty meadows over Park City. The 2019 Autumn Aloft hot air balloon festival is free to spectators, and don’t forget your camera. You might even be able to take flight for a unique vantage point. Tethered rides may be available on a first come, first served basis but are not guaranteed. During the evening of September 14, you can watch the Candlestick on Main Street event as eight balloon baskets light up the sky with their engines. Hot air balloons are subject to weather and winds, or course, so schedules can change.

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Summit County Fair

It’s not just fair; it’s great! Here, the modern world meets an old-time celebration, filled with cowboys and broncs, clowns and beauty queens, home canning and 4H animals, food and music. Take in the carnival midway, check out the animals, then stay for the pulse-pounding rodeo. The demolition derby is always popular, as drivers smash and crash their clunkers around the arena in a haze of steam with a side of mayhem. You’ve probably – hopefully – never seen anything like it. The last driver moving collects the prize money, plus bragging rights of course, but get your tickets early. And, don’t miss the parade, fireworks, and a great homage to our agricultural heritage and local history.

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Oakley Rodeo and Celebration

These four days of rodeo are the real deal, and have been for the past 89 years. They didn’t just buy the hat and boots for eight seconds; they’re work clothes. Just 15 miles east of Park City in the verdant Kamas Valley, you will experience an authentic Western mountain town Fourth of July, as Oakley pulls out all of the stop to celebrate Independence Day. You’ll be laughing one minute at the clown’s antics and gasping the next as a bull twirls a cowboy around its head like a toy doll.

Independence Day starts with a dynamite salute (way too early in the morning), followed by races, parades, food, and a kid’s rodeo for those young ones hoping to take home a chicken or just trying to hold on to a calf for dear life. It’s a grand celebration, which concludes with fire in the sky reflecting off the west face of the Uinta Mountains. But get your tickets early – they sell out quickly.

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Utah Olympic Park

The Utah Olympic Park was a major venue at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games for ski jumping, bobsled, luge and skeleton events. Now, it’s a major training center for athletes, summer and winter. It’s also a lot of fun for visitors.

Take a tour of their zip lines, or sign up for an exhilarating bobsled ride. Tour the museums or take a guided tour. Plan to spend some time at the Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center, where the Alf Engen Ski Museum tells the fascinating story of skiing and ski jumping, and the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum has the medals, artifacts, photographs, and costumes from the games themselves. Parking and admission is free too.

But absolutely do not miss the Flying Ace All-Stars show. This half-hour exhibition features multiple Olympians soaring 60 feet in the air from freestyle jumps with water landings after flipping, twisting and turning in mid-air. It’s held Saturdays and Sundays through September 1. It’s a must-see, and it’ll make you proud of these kids.

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Male participants of the Red Bull 400 run towards the K90 nordic jump during the annual event at the Utah Olympic Park.
Tanzi Propst/Park Record

Zip lines and coasters

If speed’s your need, then these thrill rides are for you. There are plenty to choose from in Park City, fortunately. Whether you’re rocketing above the water at Deer Creek Lake, shooting down the mountain at Park City Mountain, flying over some Olympic jumps or screaming high above the forests at Sundance, it’s a hoot. Your smile will be frozen on your face for the rest of your trip. Here’s a brief rundown on local thrills.

Park City Fourth of July

It’s a hot time in a cool mountain town when Park City celebrates Independence Day. Start early with a pancake breakfast in the park and a 5K fun run. Then, head to Main Street for the parade. Watch over 70 floats, bands and diverse groups go by as they celebrate our independence. Afterwards, catch the traditional rugby matches at City Park and connect with friends and family before finishing with fireworks at Park City Mountain. You’ll be worn out, but with a big smile, at the end. It’s always a day to remember.

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Park City Miner’s Day

In Park City, Labor Day is one of the biggest celebrations of the year as the city commemorates the workers’ unions of our mining past. A century ago, miners worked hard underground and found strength in the labor movements of the era. For evidence of that, head to the Park City Museum dungeon and see where the Workers of the World emblem was written on the wall in candle smoke.

Miner’s Day starts with breakfast, fun runs and music. Watch the Running of the Balls on Main Street, and then the parade with its quirky floats, music, sirens, racing engines, and marching bands. Then it’s more food, more music, more fun, and mining demonstrations in City Park. To get an idea of what it took to take silver out of the ground, watch modern miners as they drill holes into solid rock, muck (think cleaning up a rock pile) the rock with a mucking machine, and, in general, get smoky, noisy, and dirty. Afterwards the whole town ends up in City Park, where’s it’s food, music, and games for the whole town.

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For more stories from this edition, visit the Adventure Guide special section.

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