Lose the Lift
Park City Can Still Be Your Winter Wonderland, Even If You Don't Ski
Salt Lake City is justifiably proud of the majestic mountains that surround it. The quality of skiing and snowboarding sitting just minutes away from the city can't be beat ... unless that's just not your thing.
Well, you don't have to hide any longer. Come out of the ski-equipment closet and be loud and proud that you're a nonskier, because there is plenty to do in the mountain resort town of Park City during the winter that doesn't involve hurtling down a mountain with planks of fiberglass strapped to your feet.
Here are 20 activities to pursue in Park City that don't require a lift ticket. Getting there is easier than ever, as this season marks the first time that the Utah Transit Authority is offering bus service from Salt Lake City to Park City on its Route 902.
Just because you're not on skis or a board doesn't mean you don't love the great outdoors when it's chilly.
Riding at the Ranch
Garff Ranch sits just 10 minutes from downtown Park City and offers 7,000 acres for snowmobiling. Deer Valley operates Summit Meadows Adventures on the property. Rides of one, two or three hours are available throughout the day. Brown's Canyon Road, off Highway 248, 435-645-7669, DeerValley.com
Drive the Big Cat
Admit it, you've always wanted to drive a huge piece of machinery, be it a bulldozer, Zamboni or tank. Now you can not only drive something gigantic, but also drive it through the snow! Canyons Resort offers a two-hour snowcat ride-along program as the machines groom the slopes. Or, sign up for an eight-hour shift, and they'll actually train you on how to drive one of these behemoths and send you out with the rest of the crew, lunch included. 4000 Canyons Resort Drive, Park City, 435-615-3456, CanyonsResort.com
The new Flying Eagle Zip Line at Park City Mountain Resort seats two and comes with all of the speed and adrenaline of going down the mountain, with none of the snow in your face. PCMR's famous Alpine Coaster is also open during the winter. 1345 Lowell Ave., Park City, 435-649-8111, ParkCityMountain.com
Slide down the same bobsled track used for the 2002 Olympics with a professional pilot at the controls at Utah Olympic Park. Feel 5 g's of force as the sled reaches speeds of 80 mph. 3419 Olympic Parkway, Park City, 435-658-4200, OlyParks.com
Experience the enjoyment of moving through snow without the worry of falling down the mountain on 3K, 5K and 10K loops operated by White Pine Touring at the Nordic Center. The center offers lessons and equipment rentals for beginners. Park Avenue and Thaynes Canyon Drive, 435-649-6249, WhitePineTouring.com
Tubing at Gorgoza Park
Be a kid again as you head down the hills at Gorgoza Park. There's a conveyer lift and tow rope to get to the top of the hill, and it's also lighted if you choose to do a night run. Enjoy a post-ride cup of hot chocolate in the warming yurt. 3863 W. Kilby Road, Park City, 435-658-2648, ParkCityMountain.com
It's two hours at the Park City Ice Arena that could change your life. Spend a half-hour learning to slide a 42-pound granite stone down the ice, another half-hour practicing and you're ready to play a real game in the next hour. 600 Gillmor Way, Park City, 435-901-2595, ParkCityCurlingClub.com
Snapshots from a perfect winter wonderland that will warm you up from the inside out.
The Roaring Fire
The masterpiece moment at a winter resort is sitting by a roaring fire eating food that was roasted or melted on that fire as you watched. That's exactly what guests experience with Deer Valley's Fireside Dining at Empire Canyon Lodge. Diners can add to this European Alps-style evening by starting with a moonlit snowshoe tour that ends at the dining lodge, or go for a sleigh ride mid-meal and return to the fireplace for dessert. 9200 Marsac Ave., Park City, 435-645-6632, DeerValley.com
Starry, Starry Night
Park City Mountain Resort's Viking Yurt is the place to find a five-course dinner along with music played live on a baby grand. What's unique is that it all occurs 1,000 vertical feet up the mountain. Half the fun is getting there during a 25-minute snowcat ride, where guests can choose between a heated cab or riding in the fresh mountain air under the stars. 2065 Mahre Drive, Park City, 435-615-9878, TheVikingYurt.com
Fun on the Funicular
One of the best views looking down on Park City day or night comes when riding the funicular at the St. Regis Deer Valley. The Swiss cable cars, the first of their kind in America, rise 500 feet during a 90-second ride. At the top, enjoy dinner at J&G Grill while sipping a 7452 Mary. This special Park City version of the Bloody Mary refers to the resort's altitude while using local vodka made at High West Distillery. 2300 Deer Valley Drive East, Park City, 435-940-5700, StRegis.com/ParkCity
LEARNING YOUR LIBATIONS
Find out how whiskey gets made at 7,000 feet, get educated on the fine art of appreciating fine wine or simply hit the beach—the ski beach.
That's the Spirit!
Take a tour at High West Distillery & Saloon, located in a pair of historic buildings on Park Avenue. Take a look at the 250-gallon copper pot and find out how they make Vodka 7,000. Best of all: The tour includes free samples. Stick around to try the Western-themed small plates in the accompanying restaurant. 703 Park Ave., Park City, 435-649-8300, HighWest.com
Back to School
The Fox School of Wine holds class on Fridays, when the "headmistress" encourages "student participation" as the class tastes five wines, each under $30 per bottle, while picking up info on wine labels and vocabulary. "Advanced Placement" classes are also held on Saturdays. Silver Baron Lodge, 2880 Deer Valley Drive East, Park City, 435-655-9463, FoxSchoolOfWine.com
Chilling on the Beach
A great new option for simply hanging out and enjoying a drink is Canyons Resort Ski Beach. The "beach" part is more important than the "ski" portion, since many people who don't ski will be found simply sitting in beach chairs and enjoying the social scene amid the winter lifeguard stations. 4000 Canyons Resort Drive, Park City, 435-649-5400, CanyonsResort.com
RELAX & REJUVENATE
The mountains are the perfect place to pamper yourself with a spa treatment. Here are two to consider.
Need Some Oxygen?
Everybody requires more oxygen at high altitudes, and now it comes in the form of the Oxygen Facial in Remede Spa at the St. Regis Hotel, the only place in Utah that uses Intraceuticals in its treatments. The pressurized oxygen treatment is used by celebrities to get their red-carpet glow. You can use it as a way to unwind from the day or prep for your own red-carpet night. Allow extra time to enjoy the steam and sauna rooms, as well as the relaxation room, which features chocolate truffles hand-made right at the hotel. 2300 Deer Valley Drive East, Park City, 435-940-5700, StRegis.com/ParkCity
Those short on cash or time but in need of a little relaxation can simply walk down Main Street to Mountain Body Herbal Cosmetic Deli & Spa for a free hand-exfoliation treatment. While there, you'll want to check out the body- and skin-care products, produced by a local mother/daughter team looking to fight off Utah's dry winter weather. 825 Main, 435-655-9342, MountainBody.com
MEALS IN THE MOUNTAINS
Park City is known for an abundance of great eateries that by themselves are worth the drive up the canyon. Here are some fairly recent entries to the PC dining scene.
Is That Kosher?
Leave it to the state known for its Mormon roots to have America's first kosher restaurant located at a ski resort. Bistro at Canyons features "New American" kosher foods along with Sabbath-appropriate meals on Fridays and Saturdays. Mazel tov! Silverado Lodge, 2669 Canyons Resort Drive, Park City, 435-615-3400, CanyonsResort.com
Be as Cool as a Snowboarder
Cobra Dogs has a cult-like following in the boarding community, but can be enjoyed by anybody who appreciates good hot dogs, brats and veggie dogs, since this food cart will be at the base of the 3 Kings Lift at Park City Mountain Resort for its second season. 1345 Lowell Ave., Park City, 435-649-8111, ParkCityMountain.com
Adventures on Main Street
Talisker on Main is open for a second season, but is always "new" because the menu is constantly changing to accommodate what local farmers and producers have in-season. Some seasonal offerings include a salad featuring huckleberry, pear, bacon and Brussels sprouts, short ribs topped with a crust of butternut squash and Parmesan cheese and housemade popcorn ice cream. Turn your taste buds over to Talisker and let the adventure begin. 515 Main, 435-658-5479, TaliskerOnMain.com
The Farm, a new restaurant at Canyons, features foods sourced from farms and artisans within 200 miles of Park City that are turned into tasty New American cuisine. 4000 Canyons Resort Drive, Park City, 435-615-8080, CanyonsResort.com/dining.html
Silver opened on Main Street during Sundance 2011 and is still a big draw with its three different levels of dining and entertainment, which includes a DJ and dance area near the bar on the top floor. The hip-yet-elegant environs are the perfect place to try coriander-seared ahi served with chipotle crepes, housemade ricotta gnocchi with braised pork ragu or warm pear fritters paired with blue-cheese ice cream. 508 Main, Park City, 435-940-1000, SilverRestaurant.com