It’s like Yogi Berra said, “Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.” This is the paradox of Park City Mountain, the largest ski resort in the United States. People indeed love it; no place is easier to get to and has everything you want for skiing and off-mountain activities, they say. And so they come, even during last year’s marginal snow year, with Park City drawing nearly one-third of all the skier visits in Utah.
Why? Well, because it’s big, because it’s easy to get to, and because the resort surrounds the name-brand ski town of Park City proper, where they enjoy rockin’ nightlife, copious delicious dining options, and plentiful off-slope endeavors. And, with 7,000 acres to spread out on, you can ditch the masses. But there are pinch points, notably the Silverlode Lift, which serves much of Park City’s best intermediate terrain, where skiers gripe about the line-management system that can make a pile-up seem like survival of the pushiest. And, of course, the Payday lift at Park City Village.
But locals know to dodge that bullet by using the Town and Crescent lifts. That’ll get you a head start on your way to the fun stuff on Jupiter Peak. You’re welcome. - Jeremy Pugh
The beginner terrain on the Canyons side was sorely lacking. This year, the resort is making big improvements to the High Meadow Family Fun Zone with a speedier, higher capacity lift and additional snowmaking. Also, there’s a new Candy Cabin.
COME FOR THE...
DOWN-DAY ACTIVITIES Rent a fat bike through White Pine Touring and tool around the miles of trails that wend around town.
ON-MOUNTAIN FOOD Cloud Dine pairs stellar views of the resort and surrounding Wasatch Range with a delectable menu. Try the house-made doughnuts.
DINING Firewood, a rustic New American option in town, opened to rave review last year.
DON'T MISS The history beneath the hill is as interesting as the snow on it. The guided Silver to Slopes Historic Mining Tour doubles as an introduction to the resort’s 7,000 acres as well as a fascinating history lesson.
MUST DO Skiing rope-to-rope at the largest resort in the U.S., from the western boundary to McConkey’s, is a survey course in resort skiing. It will take most of the day but you can cap the journey with a whiskey at High West.