Mountain bikers come in all shapes, sizes, and financial situations, but one thing most of us can agree on is that taking a mountain bike trip to Park City is a must at some point. So whether you’re a dirt bag mountain biker, a regular Joe, or prefer experiencing the sponsored rider lifestyle, here are some recommendations for your MTB trip to Park City.
Where to Stay
Sponsored Rider: According to the website, the Montage at Deer Valley is “a luxury Park City, Utah resort located atop Empire Pass” where you’ll have primo access to the lift-serviced trails at Deer Valley Resort plus connecting trails like Mid-Mountain and Wasatch Crest. Rooms start at around $300 per night in summer.
Regular Joe: You’ll find plenty of reasonable rates in Park City during the summer months, many slopeside with easy access to the lifts. Check out the Snowflower near the base of Park City Mountain resort where you’ll find studios with full kitchens available for around $100 a night. The Park City Lodging website is also a good place to find reasonably priced rooms. You can even try your luck renting directly from homeowners using websites like VRBO and Airbnb.
Dirt Bag: Pitch a tent! Our sister site Tripleblaze shows 26 campground within 25 miles of Park City, but beware: several of these campgrounds are within 25 miles as the crow flies but may be a long drive from Park City. Mountain bikers’ best bet for camping is probably Jordanelle State Park, but it’s still a haul by car to the best trails in Park City.
Where to Ride
Sponsored rider: Book time with an instructor at the Canyons to perfect your roll. Even if you’re staying at Deer Valley, the Canyons bike park has the biggest jumps and features that will look great on your Canon 1D X.
Regular Joe: Purchase a 1-day lift pass and explore the high alpine trails around Deer Valley Resort and enjoy the flowy descents on the way down. Select lodging packages even include vouchers for lift passes good at Park City Mountain Resort, Canyons, and Deer Valley so be sure to check when you book your accommodations.
Dirt Bag: Earn your berms! You can also ride the free Park City Transit bus #9 to Empire Lodge for a mostly downhill run back into town on singletrack trails including Empire Link and Root Cellar.
Places to Eat
Sponsored Rider: Food and wine are a classic part of the Park City experience and big spenders have no shortage of excellent restaurants to choose from, including Riverhorse, Mustang, and Zoom. I’ve had the opportunity to sample all three and each one is amazing, offering local ingredients and incredible service. Expect entrees priced in the $25-$40 range.
Regular Joe: First things first: look for coupons in the Park City newspaper for summer deals on the “sponsored rider level” restaurants for a glimpse at how the other half live. Other recommendations: Bandits for BBQ, Sammy’s Bistro for “quick service gourmet food,” Park City Pizza and Noodle for, well, you know, and Squatter’s for a hearty breakfast.
Dirt Bag: Stop in at Smith’s or even the Super Wal-Mart in nearby Kimball Junction for supplies. You’ll also find plenty of fast food restaurants to choose from and even a few gems like Cafe Rio where you can get giant burritos slathered in delicious molé sauce.
Choose Your Bike
Sponsored Rider: Rent a like-new GT Fury at Canyons Bike Park for $110 per day. While you’re at it, snag the Ultimate Protection Package for another $60 per day, which includes a full face helmet, Leatt neck brace, pressure suit, and shoes.
Regular Joe: Depending on the length of your trip and how you plan to get to Park City (either by driving or flying), you may decide to rent a bike in Park City. Jan’s has a large fleet of bikes that should suit most riders for $49 a day or $225 for a week. ColeSport also offers rentals with DH bikes going for $70 a day and FS trail rigs renting for as little as $45 a day.
Dirt Bag: Bring your own bike or better yet, borrow one from a friend.
Where to Drink
Sponsored Rider: Slake your thirst at High West Distillery and Saloon. Choose from blended whiskeys and bourbons or one of the spirits distilled in house.
Regular Joe: Sample local Utah beers like Polygamy Porter and Full Suspension Pale Ale at Squatters Brew Pub. Take a walk up the hill to Wasatch Brewery for a refreshing Session Saison or even a Jalapeño Cream Ale.
Dirt Bag: BYOB or hit up the convenience store for some Coors. Seriously, this is one area where every visitor to Park City deserves to splurge.
Off the Bike
Sponsored Rider: Mountain bikers can certainly appreciate the need for speed, and a run down the Olympic Bobsled run in Park City is a once-in-a-lifetime thrill that’s tough to match. The bobsled run is open summer and winter and rides cost $200 per person.
Regular Joe: Feeling guilty for dragging your family to Park City even though they aren’t big mountain bikers? Have no fear, there are plenty of summertime activities to keep your crew entertained! Drop off the family at the base of Park City Mountain Resort for the zip line, alpine slide and coaster, climbing wall, mini golf, and more. Pay for activities a la carte, or bundle together to save some coin.
Dirt Bag: Ride more. Seriously, getting to Park City isn’t cheap, and you might not be able to afford to come back anytime soon, so get in as much riding as possible!
Your turn: What are your tips for making the most of Park City on a sponsored rider, regular Joe, or dirt bag budget?
I love the breakdown by price! I think so often we get stuck thinking that places like Park City are only accessible to the rich and famous, but if you’re willing to live the dirt bag lifestyle for a week or two, anywhere is within reach.
I think I speak for us all … wel all the voices in my head anyhow. This is useful information. Thanks. It may not be this year or even decade but park city is on the bucket list, with Cuyuna and Fruita. Have y’all done “places to ride b4 you die? “
Recently spent a day in Park City on a dirtbag road trip. Cheap camping (or any camping) was hard to find. We also felt pretty out of place in our dirty riding clothes. Oh well, we rode at PCMR and it was great! Can’t wait to go back.