All About Trails: Biking and Hiking
There’s an outdoor activity for everyone in Park City. Whether you’re a seasoned downhill mountain biker or just enjoy a nice morning walk, we have the ultimate guide for you. Pick up a map at any bike shop and/or visit the Mountain Trails Foundation website for details on the routes below.
Park City might not be the only IMBA Gold Level Ride Center, but it is still the first “Gold Level Ride Center” and the only “Gold Level Ride Center in Utah.” Park City is a world leader in mountain biking trails, so much so it was named the first Gold Level Ride Center by the International Mountain Biking Association.
For those who want to get outside, but haven’t spent much time mountain biking, consider a cruise. We have miles of paved and gravel trail throughout town. See our Rental Section for more info on bike rentals.
The most central paved and gravel trail is the “Rail Trail.” This abandoned railroad corridor is now a non-motorized path and travels 28 miles out of town. For a pleasant scenic ride, travel from Main Street through City Park (be sure to admire the old Miner’s Hospital along the way). From City Park, you can continue out toward Highway 40 and beyond for as long as your heart and legs can carry you, which has sections of very lovely watershed.
The McCleod Trail/Willow Creek/Hwy 224 Connector parallels Highway 224—the main thoroughfare in and out of town—on the east side of the highway. Paved or well-grated, you can ride this trail all the way from Kimball Junction’s Redstone/Newpark area to Downtown Park City. Much of the trail follows a stream bed and has park benches along the way, in case you like to take your time. You’ll see the picturesque “White Barn,” also known as the “McPolin Farm,” which is located on the opposite side of the highway. It’s a fun spot to admire. Over 100 years old, it’s received national status as an Historic Landmark. Amazingly, it was built with old mining timbers—no nails!
Round Valley is a perfect place to go if you’re relatively new to mountain biking, or if you need to brush up on your skills. Located off Highway 248 and Highway 40, there’s a network of trails surrounded by sage brush. If you’re staying in the Downtown area of Park City, it’s easy to ride the Rail Trail out to Round Valley. From the Park Meadows neighborhood, you can connect to the trail system at Silver Cloud Drive.
Round Valley trails are growing all the time, with a wide range of double track fire road—perfect for riding next to your friend and chit chatting—and fun, twisty single track. Some of the well-groomed stuff connects to more advanced moderate trails. Look for Hat Trick to Fast Pitch to Matt’s Flat.
A Park City Classic! Mid-Mountain Trail is one of the most intimate and spectacular trails, sitting at about 8,000 feet it spans 28 miles. There are many options for places to start, one of the most popular being Silver Lake Lodge at Deer Valley. There isn’t much parking available at Silver Lake, so we recommend the free Park City bus. It’ll shuttle you and your bike right down to the trailhead—look for the Orange #4 bus to Silver Lake. There’s also lift access from the base of Deer Valley, Park City Mountain, and Main Street. Plan your descent carefully. Crescent Mine Grade (CMG) is a good option because it’s not super tight and crowded. Or, for the easiest way down, look for Jenni’s, which will take you down to the base of Park City Mountain Resort.
For a major aerobic workout, try Armstrong to Mid-Mountain. The trailhead begins at the Silver Star Condo complex which is equipped with a bike shop and cafe. This is another location where there isn’t much parking, so try to bus or ride from Park City Mountain base area. The beauty of this one is unmatched anywhere in town. Initially, you get views of Park City as you begin to climb. Then trail becomes enveloped in a canopy of trees. Because it’s covered, it’s less likely to be dusty during periods of drought.
About a mile up, you’ll pass a Park City Mountain ski lift. Then the trail turns more switchbacky. For a fun loop, cut south on H.A.M., which will take you to Spiro Trail, and back to where you started. For a longer journey, go Armstrong to Mid-Mountains, and travel toward Canyons Village on the Wasatch Crest.
If you’re a complete die-hard, try climbing to the Crest.
Ride with a Guide
There’s a lot to explore via road and trail in Park City, and a great way to do so is with a local. Ride with our friends at Max Testa Training and fine tune your skill set while having a blast. Whether you’re an experienced cyclist looking for a challenging ride, or a novice eager to improve your foundation, their guides are well versed in all levels.
Local Tip: Consider becoming a member of the Mountain Trails Foundation, the local organization building, maintaining and protecting over half of the 400+ miles of trails in the Park City area. If you use a trail map, be sure to offer the suggested donation of $5 (or more).
As with all outdoor activities, take a map or really solid directions, water, food, sunscreen and extra layers. Make sure to grab a map and visit the Mountain Trail Foundation website.
If you’re staying near Kimball Junction, there’s a paved path on the periphery of the Redstone and Newpark area, looking out into the Swaner Nature Preserve. Stop by the Swaner Eco-Center to find out more about the birds, wildlife, and watershed.
The Rail Trail in Park City offers a perfect stroll from Main Street to City Park, and then east toward the Prospector neighborhood. Watch for the “shoe tree,” a large tree where locals and visitors have tied their shoes together and thrown them into the branches of the tree. Kids love this.
Round Valley, at Highway 40 and Highway 248, has dozens of potential easy hikes. The area is shared with bikers, but you’ll find many options where the road is wide and comfortable. I don’t want to say that it’s impossible to get lost, but it sure is unlikely. The network of trails all funnel down toward the parking lot.
Park City Mountain, as local call it, is recognizable across town by the large white letters “PC.” There’s a fire pit atop the hill, and while I’ve never personally witnessed it, I suspect that local high-schoolers sneak up there in the late hours of the night. This is an up and back hike, less than a mile each way with some steep sections, offering views of the neighborhoods. You won’t see bikers on this trail, which makes it ideal and safe for families. At the base, there’s a stream and watershed area where you may see a little wildlife, or, at a minimum, some guppies.
Rob’s Trail begins at the base of the Sun Peak neighborhood near Canyons Resort area. This perfectly forested trail gains elevation, but is comfortable as a moderate hike. There’s plenty of parking at this trailhead, which makes it a great choice.
Relatively new to the Park City Mountain area, the Armstrong Trail begins at the Silver Star chair lift. The beauty of this one is unparalleled. Initially, you’ll get views of Park City as you being the climb. The trail flattens out a bit after that and is enveloped in a canopy of trees. Because it’s covered, it’s less likely to be dusty or hot during the peak of summer. About a mile up, you’ll pass a Park City Mountain ski lift. The trail is limited to uphill bike traffic only, which makes it a safe bet for hikers. This is a moderate trail; expect to gain some elevation.
A more challenging hike begins near Silver Lake Lodge at the Ontario Trailhead. This trail is a good choice because bikers aren’t allowed at all. You’re starting at a higher elevation, and you’ll climb from there. Expect to end up winded.
With a Dog
Sometimes referred to as Bark City, there are plenty of places to zig-zag through trees, run up mountains, and chase your tail if you’re a dog. Some of the best pet-friendly hikes include Rob’s Trail, Armstrong Loop, and Iron Mountain. If you’re visiting with your dog, be sure to check out the 10 Best Pet Friendly Hotels in Park City.
Being aware and courteous while on the trails is the most important thing to remember. Generally speaking, uphill traffic almost always has the right of way. That said, foot traffic and horses have the right away over bike traffic.