Park City is more than just great skiing and winter activities, it is a year round hotspot for all things outdoor related and shows no signs of slowing down. No matter what time of year you plan to visit there will be plenty of things to do, but in order to guarantee your experience is what you are looking for, it is best to come during the time of year when you can get the most out of it.
Being a ski town traditionally, the winter season begins late November as the snow begins falling steadily and the resorts open their first trails . This is not the time to come experience “the greatest snow on earth” just yet. It takes about a month for the mountains to build a steady base of snow and if you want to ski the majority of the mountain it is best to wait until the end of December to visit. If you do find yourself in Park City early in December, don’t worry, you can still check out the celebrity ski-fest that occurs the first week of December every year at Deer Valley Resort.
Christmas time is when things really begin to pickup in Park City and the snow starts falling heavily. This is a great time to bring kids, and a majority of the visitors to town will be families out on school holiday. Park City, Deer Valley, and the Canyons all have Christmas themed days on the slopes and Santa makes a personal appearance at each one. Park City and Deer Valley also have a torchlight parade down the slopes, perfect for entertaining kids, just remember to bundle up!
After a great New Year’s celebration the town slows down for a couple weeks in preparation for the busiest 10 days of the Park City calendar year. Sundance, which occurs every year at the end of January, is huge. This is not the time to come to Park City for the great restaurants and nightlife. The majority of popular bars and restaurants will be booked for private events during the festival, and when they are open you had better hope you made reservations 4 months ago if you want a seat. Sundance is the time for skiing though. With everyone rushing around town to see the next great movie the slopes are wide open and ready to be had by those who are not in town for the festival. Of course if you are going to be in town for Sundance, you have to go to at least one screening for the experience.
Once Sundance has passed the town returns to normal for a couple weeks before February vacation for the school districts. By
February the snowfall is at full force and the entire mountain has a deep base, allowing you to go anywhere on the mountain and find the terrain you came for. If you have kids that are experienced skiers and they are looking for their first real powder day, February vacation is a good time to come. Since you have the kids, and need them to stay entertained, now is also a great time for some winter activities like snowmobiling, sleigh rides, or an early morning hot air balloon ride to start your day on a high note. Still need one more thing to do? Bring the kids to Gorgoza Park and go tubing for a few hours, that will be sure to make them smile.
During March and April the ski season is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean the best storms of the year have left until next year. If you are visiting in these months there is a good chance you could be here for the storm of the season. This is also the time of year when the mountains have their end of season events and competitions. Check out the slopestyle and halfpipe competitions at Park City and the Canyons to see the best locals compete. Canyons also hosts their “Spring Gruv”, which is 10 days of concerts and events like pond skimming and the Canis Lupus Challenge (a race down an extremely narrow trail that is uneven, ungroomed, surrounded by trees, and has plenty of exposed rocks).
The ski season shuts down around mid-April and the town begins preparing for “mud season.” If you visit Park City in May you will notice that it is unusually quiet. Many of the restaurants and businesses close up shop for the down time, locals head out of town to get their own vacation time, and everyone is just waiting for the snow to melt and summer to arrive.
You know its summertime when you wake up every day and there is not a cloud in the sky, and it stays like that all day. Temperatures in Park City are cooler than Salt Lake, making it an ideal place to mountain bike, hike, and enjoy all things outdoors. Mountain biking is huge in Park City, and the town was just awarded a gold medal by the IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association) for its overall performance as a mountain biking town. There are hundreds of miles of trails for you to explore and the variety of terrain is top notch.
If fly fishing is more of your thing you can head to the Provo river and try your luck in one of the best rivers in the country to fish in. There are companies in town that offer guided tours so even if it is your first time with a fly rod, you will be in good hands and having fun. After a morning of fishing you can head up to the Uinta mountains to hike in the beautiful national forest. Bald Mountain is an easy hike if you want to get to the top of a peak. If your family prefers boating instead of hiking, take them out on the Jordanelle reservoir for an afternoon of wakeboarding, waterskiing, or tubing.
It wouldn’t be summer in Park City without free concerts almost every night. The Mountain Town Music organization is a
non-profit that brings music to Park City stages. Their events are consistent throughout the week, but every Wednesday seems to be bigger as hundreds of people come to Deer Valley for the concert series. Besides free music, Park City hosts art festivals, road cycling and mountain biking events, and car shows during the summer. The best restaurants in town also feature specials in the summer they wouldn’t have had during the peak times in the winter. Just another reason why people who live here say they come for the winter and stay for the summer.
Whenever you come to Park City you will be welcomed by locals who enjoy the outdoors and live for what Park City has to offer. Ask around for advice, take part in all the activities you can handle, and you will be guaranteed to leave satisfied, with a smile on your face.