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Destination: Park City, Utah


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Vital Stats:

Top Elevation: 9,570 feet
Vertical Drop: 3,000 feet
Annual Snowfall: 300 inches
Skiable Acreage: 1,750 acres
Terrain: 15% beginner, 50% intermediate, 35% expert
Lifts: 1 gondola, 4 high-speed quads, 2 fixed-grip quads, 9 triples, 2 doubles
Information: 800-424-DEER
Reservations: 800-558-DEER

Top Elevation: 10,000 feet
Vertical Drop: 3,100 feet
Annual Snowfall: 350 inches
Skiable Acreage: 2,800 acres (lift served); 3,000 (includes hike-to)
Terrain: 17% beginner, 45% intermediate, 38% expert
Lifts: 4 high-speed six-packs; 2 fixed-grip quads, 5 triples, 4 doubles
Information And Reservations: 800-222-PARK

Top Elevation: 9,900 feet
Vertical Drop: 3,100 feet
Annual Snowfall: 325 inches
Skiable Acreage: 2,860 acres (lift served); 3,000 (includes hike-to)
Terrain: 20% beginner, 40% intermediate, 40% expert
Lifts: 1 gondola, 5 high-speed quads, 3 fixed-grip quads, 1 triple, 1 double, 2 surface lifts
Information And Reservations: 888-CANYONS

Getting There: Park City is just 37 miles east of Salt Lake City International Airport via I-80. You can rent a car at the airport or take a shuttle to Park City (Canyon Transportation, 800-255-1841; Lewis Bros. Stages, 800-826-5844) and then take the free bus to get around town.

Prices: Beat Park City’s $53 one-day lift price with a six-day pass before December 18 ($31 a day) and after April 6 ($32). Deer Valley’s $57 one-day ticket drops to $49 when you buy a six-of-seven-day ticket. Ski The Canyons prior to December 18 and after March 29 for $36 a day when you buy a seven-day pass. (The one-day ticket costs $52.)

Lodging: Park City has 15,000 pillows, ranging from $27 to $2,400 a night. Take your pick. The Old Miner’s Lodge (800-648-8068), an 1800s bunkhouse for miners, is a charming bed-and-breakfast two blocks off Main Street. A sign out front reads: On this site, in 1897, nothing happened. Prices range from $100 to $250, including a home-cooked breakfast. For groups of up to eight, one option is to rent a renovated historic house in town from Thistle Springs (800-803-9589). We stayed in an 1892 house at the top of Main Street ($850 nightly) with full kitchen, hot tub, satellite TV, and late-19th-century Utah furnishings. The cheapest digs in town: a $27 dorm room with continental breakfast at Chateau Apres (800-357-3556), across from Park City Mountain Resort.

Food & Drink: Main Street is chock-a-block with places for grub and grog, with cuisine from Vietnamese to Italian to cowboy to Cajun. Make a rezzy for Chimayo, the hot place for Southwestern fare. For carbo loading in a cozy atmosphere, there’s Cisero’s. Après-dinner, head downstairs for beer, pool, and music. With the new Town Lift Brew Pub at one end, the venerable Wasatch Brew Pub at the other, and countless watering holes in between, Main Street is perfect for a pub crawl. Treat your taste buds to gastronomic nirvana at Deer Valley’s Mariposa, in Silver Lake Lodge, with the sumptuous seven-course $65 tasting menu. It’s worth every penny.

Inside Tracks: Take a walk through history: This 1880s silver-boom town has 112 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. à‚•à‚• When sitting on a barstool at the Poison Creek Bar under Cisero’s, you’re at 7,000 feet. With such a low elevation (for a ski town), Park City is an ideal destination for altitude-sickness sufferers. à‚•à‚• For the 2002 Olympics, Deer Valley will host the slalom and freestyle events; Park City will host GS races and snowboarding. à‚•à‚• Feel five g’s of centrifugal force as you rocket 80 miles per hour in a bobsled down the Utah Winter Sports Park’s Olympic track, five miles from town. (You don’t get to drive, though; a professional driver and brakeeman control the sled.) Call 435-658-4200.

Go to Part 1 of Underground Utah.

Go to Part 2 of Underground Utah.