Top 10 Park City Hiking Trails
Park City’s hiking trail system includes nearly 400 miles of continuous, non-motorized recreational hiking, biking and running trails throughout Park City. Spanning two world class ski resorts and an additional 8,000 acres of preserved open space, Park City trails are open to hiking and trail running, mountain biking and equestrian trail users. Ranging in altitude from 6,500’ to nearly 10,000’, the trail system spans the whole environmental scale and every ability. Best of all, you’ll find hundreds of miles of trails are very well organized by the Mountain Trails Foundation. The Park City area offers hiking trails of all types, giving you the opportunity to experience the high country’s breathtaking beauty during a casual stroll or a tough uphill climb. Catch the wildflowers in full bloom from mid-July to mid-August.
Looking for a family friendly hike or an all day hiking adventure, here’s a few suggestions for your Park City hiking adventure.
Since I just returned from Bloods Lake in Guardsman Pass, I just had to add it to the list of our favorite hikes. Bloods Lake Trail is a 2.8 mile heavily trafficked, on the weekend, out and back trail located near Park City, Utah that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Bloods Lake Trail is a short hike that's great for the whole family at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon in Wasatch County. The trailhead can easily be reached from Midway, Salt Lake, and Park City at the top of Old State Route 152, just below Guardsman Pass. There are breathtaking views right from the parking area!
Park City Hiking Trails
- McPolin Farm Trail. This is a family favorite Park City hiking trail! It offers easy parking just across the street from the historic McPolin Barn, about 1 mile outside Park City on Hwy 224. The path stretches for several miles, so you can go as far as you would like, while enjoying the mountain aspens, McLeod Creek, and meadows of grazing horse. You can also bring the pet, but be sure to bring your leash. This trail leads you to the Willow Creek and McLeod Creek Trails. This is also the perfect trail to experience by cruiser bike, mountain bike or an ebike.
- Willow Creek Trail & McLeod Creek Trail
The Willow Creek Trail is the gateway to a variety of other hiking trails that parallel State Road 224. This is a great trail for hiking with dogs in Park City. Since this hiking trail offers little shade for dogs, consider connecting into the McLeod Creek Trail during the heat of the summer. This dog friendly Park City hiking trail meanders along a natural mountain stream and ends at a fenced area for dogs that give your pet a chance to spash in a pond and cool off.
- Jenni’s Trail. A moderate hike, this 5.1 mile one-way trail starts from the Park City Resort and ascends 1,300 feet to panoramic views from the top of Payday Lift. The trail is wide and smooth and it is easy to create a shorter, family-friendly hike that is about five miles by turning around at the Payday mid-station. If you’re looking for an easy, relaxed ride, ride the Payday Lift ($$) up to the top of the mountain and cruise down Jenni’s Trail to the bottom.
- Park City Mountain’s Spiro Trail. This is a challenging three-mile uphill hike on your way up to the Mid-Mountain bike trail, where the views of the basin and surrounding peaks make the trek well worth the effort. It’s a popular biking trail so be sure to watch out for bikes on the Park City’s hiking trail system includes nearly 400 miles of continuous, non-motorized recreational hiking, biking and running trails throughout Park City.
- Deer Valley’s Silver Lake Trail. This moderate to strenuous two-mile hike climbs up Bald Mountain behind Silver Lake Village. En route, the trail winds through pine and aspen trees to incredible vistas of Park City and the Heber Valley. From the top, you can descend the Ontario Canyon Trail, which slowly winds down the mountain, ending back at Silver Lake Lodge where you can reward yourself with lunch at the Royal Street Cafe at Silver Lake. You can also take Park City’s free bus service to Deer Valley Resort’s Silver Lake Lodge to start the trail.
- Round Valley. A crown jewel among Park City’s open spaces, Round Valley is also a great place to introduce younger kids to hiking. Dogs are also allowed to roam off-leash throughout much of this area. Spring or fall is the best time to hike this trail system, which sits at around 6,500 feet above sea level, because midsummers can be hot
- Armstrong Trail. One of the more popular trails is the perfect go-to for hot summer days. Begin at the Silver Star lift and wind your way up through the tall aspens and picturesque evergreens. On your way to the top, you’ll pass a few ski runs and the base of the King Con lift before reaching a clearing with a phenomenal view of the town. This trail is ideal for hikers, as it’s limited to uphill bike traffic only. The best part of this trail, hands down, is that it starts and ends near the Silver Star Café, and there’s nothing better than celebrating a hike with a well-deserved post-hike beer and a delicious meal.
- Robs Trail. Starting at Bear Hollow Drive, this popular trail winds up the south side of the Utah Olympic Park. The wide smooth trail gradually works it’s way up through aspens and pines giving you glimpses of the surrounding resorts along the way. Plan an out-and-back or continue on to meet up with the Mid-Mountain Trail or Ambush Trail.
- Union Pacific Rail Trail. Completely non-motorized, this trail spans 28 miles from the neighborhoods of Park City to Echo Reservoir. Once a railroad used to transfer coal and silver, this trail is relatively flat and is the perfect place to get in your long bike ride, run, Nordic ski, or walk. Especially since along the way, you’ll find the iconic Union Pacific Bridge as well as expansive views of the Park City ridgeline. And, just like the mid-mountain trail, you don’t have to do the complete 28 miles to experience this trail. There are several access points throughout town where you can plan shorter out and back hikes.
- Guardsman Pass. Dog Lake, Lake Mary, Twin Lakes Reservoir Loop are located at Brighton Resort, but can be accessed via Guardsman Pass. When there’s no snow on the slopes, the lakes come out to play. This hike takes you up the ski runs of Brighton Resort, through fields of wildflowers, and past three crystal blue lakes. You can choose between wandering around the lakes or summiting the nearby peaks to look out over the Wasatch ridgeline.
Of course these are just 10 of our favorite hikes, but with 400 miles of trails around Park City, there's sure to be a trail to meet every need. Leashed dogs are allowed on most Park City trails. If you choose to bring your four-legged friend, please be sure to pick up after her. And remember, if you see a dog wearing a yellow bandana or ribbon, that means the animal needs space. For trail maps, visit mountaintrails.org or pick up printed maps at local sporting goods stores, visitor centers, and other locations throughout town.
Published on Thursday, June 4, 2020