Park City, Utah; America’s Favorite Town
Things to do in Park City, Utah
Park City is a gorgeous mountain town located in Summit County, Utah. The town is popular with avid skiers and snowboarders and offers plenty of open areas for those who wish to take part in snow-based recreational activities. Park City is the perfect mountain getaway for families who love the thrill of fast paced winter sports, as well as those families who are looking to spend a quiet and relaxing vacation off the grid.
Mormon Pioneers first traveled through Park City, Utah, before they settled in Salt Lake City. Parley P. Pratt (a leader of the Mormon pioneers), explored the canyon in 1848. Parley P. Pratt was given a charter in 1849, so he could construct a toll road through the canyon. Some of the families from the trek decided to live at the basin top of the canyon, due to the amount of grass available for their cows to graze. The property rights of the top of the canyon (the area that would become Park City) were transferred to Samuel Snyder, Heber C. Kimball and Jedediah M. Grant. The settlers of the area eventually named it “Parley’s Park City.”
Parley P. Pratt Photo Courtesy Wikipedia
Colonel Patrick E. Connor was the first person to find silver ore in Parley’s Park City; which led to silver mines being built in the area in the 1860s. Once word had gotten out that silver was found, prospectors flooded the area. The prospectors lived around the mountain terrain, which marked the first mining settlements in Parley’s Park City.
The Ontario Silver Mine, (which was discovered by Herman Buden in 1872 and eventually purchased by George Hearst), was the first major mine producer in the area. By 1892, The Silver Mine King (which was owned by Thomas Kearns and David Keith), became known as one of the “most famous silver mines in the world.” More silver miners moved to Parley’s Park City, as the amount of silver in other mining cities around the world was diminishing. While some mines were built with no issue and operated at a successful rate, others weren’t having the same luck. Misfortunate struck the mining town again in 1898, when Parley’s Park City was “virtually destroyed” by a fire in the area. In 1902, 34 miners were killed in Parley’s Park City, by an explosion in the Daly West Mine. In the early 1900s, Parley’s Park City had been renamed to Park City. Silver miners continued to search for silver in the area, until the 1950s. By the end of the 1950s, the price of silver had decreased and Park City “nearly became a ghost town.” Miners eventually found different careers with Park City’s booming ski community.
Daly West and Quincy Mines in Park City (1911) Photo Courtesy Wikipedia
Due to the diminishing price of silver, the town of Park City started to fall into hard economic times, but was able to turn a corner when “Parkite” miners presented the city with a ski resort called Treasure Mountain. In the end, Treasure Mountain saved the town from going bankrupt. Treasure Mountain opened in 1963 on 10,000 acres of miner-owned land. 1963 marked the beginning of a tourist boom in Park City, as well as the beginning of the city being promoted as a destination resort for the ski community. Since Park City became known as a prime destination for skiing, the city accommodates lodging for more tourists than residents. Park City has become well known due to the city hosting the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Park City, Utah is a charming city to visit, especially in the winter months.
Looking Up Main Street in Park City, Utah Photo Courtesy Wikipedia
Utah Olympic Park
Utah Olympic Park was built for the 2002 Winter Olympics (Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Olympics that year, but the park was built 28 miles east of Salt Lake City, near Park City.) Utah Olympic Park was funded for by taxpayer money, which was made possible when The 1989 Olympic referendum was passed. The state was repaid by the funds that were generated by Utah Olympic Park. Today, Utah Olympic Park is used for training for Olympic and development level athletes.
Alf M. Engen & S. Joe “Quinney” Statue at Utah Olympic Park Photo Courtesy Brandon Speakman
Utah Olympic Park is open to the public and includes 2 museums; the Alf Engen Ski Museum and the George Eccles Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum. The Ski Museum displays over “300 trophies, medals, uniforms, scrapbooks, skis, boots, photos, films and other collectables that span some 70s years in the career of the Engen family.” The Ski Museum also presents more information regarding Utah’s rich ski history and the Wasatch Range. Utah Olympic Park is the #1 recommended attraction to visit in Park City on TripAdvisor.
Photo Courtesy Wikipedia
Deer Valley Resort
Deer Valley in Park City is an Alpine ski resort in the Wasatch Range. Deer Valley Resort is well known for being an exclusive resort with high-end amenities. The amenities at Deer Valley include free ski valets, free parking shuttles, fine dining and boutique shopping in the main lodge. These amenities are provided in order to stand out among other ski resorts in Park City.
Deer Valley Ski Resort Park City, Utah Photo Courtesy Wikipedia
Deer Valley is regarded as “one of the top ski resorts in North America.” Deer Valley Resort is one of three resorts in the nation that is ski only, which is one of the reasons the resort is so popular among skiers. Deer Valley limits ticket sales to 7,500 a day for ski areas, in order to avoid overcrowding on the mountain. Deer Valley is a beautiful area to ski at and a great resort to stay at when visiting Park City. Deer Valley Resort is TripAdvisor’s #2 recommended attraction to visit in Park City.
Skiing at Deer Valley Photo Courtesy Wikipedia
A portion of the resort’s Flagstaff Mountain Terrain Photo Courtesy Wikipedia
Guardsman Pass Scenic Back Way
The Guardsman Pass Scenic Back Way (one of many scenic routes you can drive through in Park City), offers stunning views of mountain scenery. During the summer, the Guardsman Pass is a great way to view fields of wildflowers, evergreens, aspen trees and many other types of lush mountain plants. In the fall, the trees and “lush mountain foliage” turn orange and yellow and the oak will discharge many shades of red. The Guardsman Pass Scenic Back Way is a pretty drive and a great family activity that doesn’t cost a ton of money. The views of the Scenic Back Way have been described as majestic. The total time it takes to drive one way through the Guardsman Pass Back Way is approximately 1 hour. The Guardsman Pass Scenic Back Way route is TripAdvisor’s #3 recommended activity to take part in, during your visit to Park City.
Park City Main Street Historic District
Park City’s Main Street Historic District is a great area in Park City to stroll along through and take advantage of some window shopping. Park City’s Main Street Historic District includes 47 historic buildings along most of Main Street and part of Heber Avenue. All of the buildings were built after the fire in 1898. Main Street in Park City is argued to be “the best remaining metal mining town business district in the state of Utah, exhibiting unique historical and architectural qualities.” The Park City Main Street Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 26, 1979. Park City’s Main Street Historic District is TripAdvisor’s #4 recommended attraction to visit in Park City.
Main Street Park City 2007 Photo Courtesy Wikipedia
Park City Fine Art
Park City Fine Art is located in historic downtown Park City and is filled with “traditional and contemporary western art by many of the country’s leading painters and sculptors.” Park City Fine Art is a large two-story store with a stunning array of different art pieces on display. Park City Fine Art is a great place to check out, whether you are looking to buy some amazing art or just want to glance at expensive, top-of-the-line paintings and sculptures.
Photo Courtesy Brandon Speakman
The staff at Park City Fine Art is experienced in the area of fine art and is extremely friendly. Park City Fine Art also sponsors many art events in the area. Park City Fine Art is a cool store to check out during your next trip to Park City.
Photo Courtesy Brandon Speakman
Twisted Fern in Park City is a tasty restaurant that prides itself in preparing “real food.” Twisted Fern defines “real food” as food that comes “directly from plants and animals, is naturally fresh, nourishing, wholesome, and pleasant.” Adam Ross, who is the Head Chef/Owner at Twister Fern, started his love of culinary arts when he was 8-years-old. Adam would visit his mom’s bakery in the town of Naples (located in western New York) and would experiment in the kitchen. While he was too young to assist in creating the baked goods that were baked in the kitchen, Adam put his culinary efforts into creating dog treats, which he named “Adam’s Dog Biscuits.”
Adam studied culinary arts in Denver, Colorado and moved to Park City upon graduating. Adam started working for Bistro 412 and was quickly promoted to Head Chef; he would work at Bistro 412 for 10 years, before opening his own restaurant; Twisted Fern. One activity that Head Chef Adam has really taken to, is experimenting with ingredients and creating different flavors, before they become a mainstream wave in the culinary business.
Twisted Fern is proud to offer a great selection of Gluten Free, Vegetarian and Plant Based items. The appetizers at Twisted Fern include Buttery Dinner Rolls (Meyer Lemon Ricotta Cheese), Blackened Octopus (Blue Corn Grits, Green Tomato Relish, Lardon, Cilantro), and Fried Brussels (Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette, Dried Blueberries, Sunflower Seeds, Finishing Salt.) Some of the entrees at Twisted Fern include Utah Elk (Sirloin, Herbed Red Potatoes, Asparagus, Roast Carrot Puree, Coffee/Cacoa Glace), Roast Eggplant & Zucchini (Toasted Buckwheat Pilaf, Confit Tomato, Rosemary White Bean Puree), and Chicken Fried Portabello (Green Peppercorn Gravy, Cauliflower Grits, Asparagus, Pickled Carrot.) Twisted Fern is a great restaurant with a very unique menu. Twisted Fern is TripAdvisor’s #1 recommended restaurant to dine at in Park City.
Grub Steak in Park City has “remained a favorite tradition in Park City for over 40 years.” Grub Steak offers many different types of meat including a Tomahawk Rib Eye (which is 2 inches thick and weighs 40 oz., and is proud to be “Instagram Worthy”), Certified Angus Prime Rib, New York Steak of Certified Angus Beef, Alaskan Halibut (Chef Selected), Northern Salmon Filet, Maine Cold Water Lobster Tail, Bison Tenderloin, Elk Sirloin and Baby Back Pork Ribs.
Photo Courtesy Brandon Speakman
I had the opportunity to try the very tasty, Cedar Baked Idaho Ruby Trout, which was basted with Orange Basil Butter. Grub Steak is a great restaurant to visit in Park City, due to the nice ambience the restaurant has and the different dishes offered on the menu.
Cedar Baked Idaho Ruby Trout Photo Courtesy Brandon Speakman
Park City is a fun place to visit year-round, but is especially enchanting in the winter months. For more information on Park City, Utah, check out a custom travel planner..
Overlooking Park City, Utah Photo Courtesy Wikipedia