With the ideal combo of soaring peaks and wending rivers, Utah is a summer outdoor paradise. What’s more, its mountain resorts are incredibly accessible, making them the perfect adventure to embark on before autumn comes around. The resorts transform into mountain playgrounds with coasters, zip lines, mountain biking, lift-served hiking and more, and are great family destinations for easy adventures and turnkey vacations. These five resorts offer it all, and a little bit more.
Off-season at the second-largest ski resort in the U.S. is far from slow. Park City Mountain offers entertainment for the whole family, all accessible from both the PCMR and Canyons bases of the immense resort. Bonus: Downtown Park City is arguably even more fun in the milder summer months.
Hot Ticket: The Park City Wine Festival, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, elevates over 100 artisans, food purveyors, breweries, vineyards, and distilleries for a weekend of tastings, how-tos, and luncheons, and more.
Park City Summer Checklist
• Board the Red Pine Gondola for scenic views of the Wasatch Mountains and a lift up to hiking and biking trails. Over 20 miles of cross-country mountain biking is open for riders of all levels.
• Check out getting an Adventure Pass that’ll give you access to the outdoor obstacle course, alpine slides and more.
• Settle in for weekly live music at the Canyons base.
• Putt-putt away at the resort’s 18-hole mini-golf course.
• Utah’s longest mountain coaster is open for those who dare—riders can travel up to 30 mph through loops and chutes on the mountainside.
• Park City’s alpine slides are among the largest in the world, with four different 3,000-foot tracks to experience something new each time.
• Higher up, the mountain’s zip lines allow for a thrilling birds-eye view of the resort at 110 feet off the ground.
Only a half-hour drive from Salt Lake City, Snowbird has just the summer mountain respite city-dwellers crave. Its valleys come alive with wildflowers and green mountain trails during the summertime, and there are all manner of activities on tap here.
Hot Ticket: Snowbird’s two-month-long Oktoberfest celebrations are legendary. Taking place every weekend from from Aug. 14 to Oct. 17, Oktoberfest features a massive biergarten with over 50 varieties of brews complemented by all of the popular specialty foods, music, and family friendly activities.
Snowbird Summer Checklist
• Ride the Aerial Tram, which goes for a 1.6-mile ride to and from the summit.
• For open-air travel to the peaks, the Peruvian chairlift ascends 2,400 vertical feet for a 16-minute ride, transporting sightseers and hikers to the mountain’s trails.
• The resort boasts miles of singletrack mountain biking trails, including its famous 7.5-mile Big Mountain Trail, which takes bikers from the top of the Tram all the way to the base.
• The Snowbird Mountain Coaster features 3,120 feet of twists and turns down the mountainside.
• Or ride the alpine slide for 1,300 downhill feet of fun through tunnels and turns.
• At the base, check out the ropes course, bungee trampoline, climbing wall, and a 50-foot bungee drop.
• Kids can try their hands at gemstone panning, assisted tree climbing, a mini ropes course, inflatable bouncy houses, and slides.
Sundance is a special place. Rustic-chic and intimate, this is not like any ski resort you’ve been to. Summer visitors to Sundance should expect a unique experience amid stunning landscape with just about everything there is to do at bigger resorts—except the crowds.
Sundance Summer Checklist
• Pedal to your heart’s content along 25 miles of lift-served singletrack with ample intermediate to advanced terrain
• Expend less energy and ride the lift to the peak, where over 10 miles of alpine trails are accessible to the beginner through expert hiker.
• Fly though the air on a zip tour, which sends adventurers soaring over 2,100 feet across the valley at speeds over 65 mph.
• The Provo River is five minutes from the resort. Fish for plentiful trout or just go wading to cool off. Sundance simplifies the booking process so that guests can plan a guided fly-fishing trip right out of the resort.
• Book a guided horseback ride along Sundance’s extensive trail network.
A hub for outdoor concerts, picnics, great dining, mountain biking, and more, Deer Valley’s summer vibe is laidback and welcoming. Grab a pre-packed gourmet picnic and settle in for an afternoon of great music or rent a bike and explore the ample trail system.
Hot Ticket: The Park City Song Summit takes place at Deer Valley’s Snow Park Amphitheater and focuses on the power of song as shared by some of the most authentic songwriters in the business. Mark your calendars for Sept.9-12.
Deer Valley Summer Checklist
• Ride the lift to the summit and meander along the miles of trails that snake down the grassy slopes.
• Six peaks and 70 miles of trails are available to adventurous mountain bikers of all levels. Many of these lift-serviced trails connect with Park City’s extensive single-track mountain biking network, offering over 400 miles of terrain to explore.
• On Tuesdays, riders have the opportunity to ride throughout the twilight hours, as lift-served trails stay open from 4 to 8 p.m.
• Deer Valley also offers horseback riding, standup paddle boarding, and fly fishing on-site at the resort.
• For the kids, check out the weekly Summer Adventure Camps, packed with outdoor activities and fun educational experiences.
The same high-end amenities and lovely views that attract people in the winter do the same in the summer. Come for the hiking and biking, of course, but also know that Snowbasin has invested significantly in its family-friendly offerings at the base. So bring the littles this summer!
Hot Ticket: SnowWiesn, Sundays from Sept. 12 to Oct. 3, is Snowbasin’s version of Oktoberfest, with family activities, music, food, and plenty of beer. There’s also a weekly German costume contest with prizes.
Snowbasin Summer Checklist
• Over 26 miles of singletrack trails are available to hikers and mountain bikers, connecting to additional Forest Service trails for an extra 25 miles to explore. Mountain bikers have access to all level of trails from the base and by gondola.
• Three hiker-only trails lead through the mountain’s aspen and pine groves to its peaks, where stunning valley views await.
• The 18-hole Wildflower Mini Golf course is Snowbasin’s newest family-friendly summer activity. Rounds can be purchased for $10 at the Grizzly Center.
• Enjoy weekly events all summer long, including Blues, Brews & BBQ summer concerts and Mountain Top Brunch every Sunday.