Exploring Utah’s Park City Beyond The Ski Slopes

By Brian E. Clark Special To Channel 3000

PARK CITY, Utah — The three big (really big) ski areas around this former Wasatch Mountain mining town — Canyons, Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resort — offer an awesome 9,000-plus acres for folks who like to slide around on the snow on skis and snowboards.


Why, you could spend weeks exploring all the many runs, bowls, chutes, peaks and glades that these areas offer ? something I?d like to do one of these years.

But what to do if your legs get tired and you want to take a day off? Or say you don?t ski or snowboard and are looking for something else to do besides look at a crackling fire, soak in the hot tub or read a book?

Don?t worry, for the Park City region has tons of things for the non-skiing public to do, ranging from shopping to museum hopping to a ghost tour with a deceased ?seamstress,? to dog sledding to riding a bobsled down an Olympic-caliber course. And did I mention bowling? You can do that, too.

Here?s a rundown of the many options, though I?m sure I missed a few:

The Park City Historical Museum, highlighting the Park City area?s colorful history with interactive exhibits and much more. www.parkcityhistory.org

The Utah Olympic Park, with free admission to its facilities and two museums; public skeleton and bobsled rides; ?learn-to? clinics for freestyle skiing, Nordic jumping, bobsled, luge and skeleton; and the frequent opportunity to witness national and international competitions, youth and Olympic athletes in training on a year-round basis. www.olyparks.com

Jupiter Bowl, Park City?s new entertainment venue with ultra-modern bowling, billiards, arcade, restaurant, bar, etc. The arcade has a variety of games including air hockey, guitar hero and much more. www.jupiterbowl.com

Free tours of High West Distillery, highlighting the process and history associated with how they make their award-winning whiskeys and vodkas. (Yes, whiskey and vodka in Utah!) Tours are offered daily in the afternoon, call ahead for times. www.highwest.com

Snow tubing at Gorgoza Park, a great activity for all ages. The facility features seven lighted lanes, three beginner and four advanced. In addition, Gorgoza has the new Fort Frosty area for the little ones, including a tubing carousel. http://www.parkcitymountain.com/winter/conditions/mountain-activities/tubing-at-gorgoza

Ride the Alpine Coaster at Park City Mountain Resort. http://www.parkcitymountain.com/winter/conditions/mountain-activities/alpine-coaster

Hot air balloon rides, a breathtaking experience any time of the year. http://www.visitparkcity.com/things-to-do/winter-activities/winter-ballooning/

Ice Skating. Gather friends and family for an afternoon or evening of fun on the ice. http://www.visitparkcity.com/things-to-do/winter-activities/ice-skating/

Snowshoeing for all ability levels. Basically, all you have to do is be able to walk. You don’t have to go far to view the snow-capped Rocky Mountain peaks. Park City has hundreds of miles of trails (many of them groomed for you by the Mountain Trails Foundation) perfect for snowshoeing. Strap on some snowshoes and experience these trails first-hand while getting a great workout at the same time. And maybe you?ll see a porcupine, like my family did on a trail near Deer Valley. http://www.visitparkcity.com/things-to-do/winter-activities/snowshoeing/

Fly fishing. The local streams don?t freeze in the winter, and the fishing can be excellent. http://www.visitparkcity.com/things-to-do/summer-activities/fishing-hunting/

Park City Film Series. The Park City Film Series offers screenings of current independent films every weekend throughout the season at the Park City Library?s Jim Santy Auditorium. The small-town feel of the Series combined with thought-provoking cinema holds a huge appeal for film enthusiasts. www.parkcityfilmseries.com

Spas. Park City features many spas that offer a vast array of invigorating massages and specialized treatments. http://www.visitparkcity.com/things-to-do/spa/

Viking Yurt. Experience a cozy sleigh ride to fine dining in a Yurt at 8,000 feet above sea level ? a unique dining experience! http://www.thevikingyurt.com/

Last Friday Gallery Stroll. From 6:00?9:00 p.m. on the last Friday of each month, members of the Park City Gallery Association offer a unique monthly showcase highlighting artists, special exhibits and art events. http://www.parkcitygalleryassociation.com/

Kimball Art Center. The Kimball Art Center is a non-profit center for the arts, committed to engaging individuals of all ages in diverse and inspiring experiences through education, exhibitions and events. Each year, the KAC showcases 20 visual art exhibits, teaches art classes in a myriad of media (painting, drawing, ceramics, metal work, glass, silversmith, photography, etc.), hosts monthly Art Talks, and more. www.kimballartcenter.org

Snowmobiling. Take a guided snowmobile tour across the breathtaking Rocky Mountains. Local tours traverse wide-open bowls, tree-filled glades and numerous backcountry trails. http://www.visitparkcity.com/things-to-do/winter-activities/snowmobiling/

Horse-drawn sleigh rides by the Snowed Inn Sleigh Company, with or without dinner. http://www.parkcitymountain.com/winter/conditions/mountain-activities/snowed-inn

Saturday night Western BBQ at Canyons Resort, complete with a gondola ride at night. http://www.thecanyons.com/dining.html?dinid=48

Egyptian Theatre. The historic Mary G. Steiner Egyptian Theatre on Park City?s Main Street hosts a variety of musical acts, special events, live theatre and more throughout the year. http://www.egyptiantheatrecompany.org/

Park City Performing Arts Foundation. Produces a variety of live shows at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, with events currently scheduled for December, January and March. www.ecclescenter.org

Last but not least, learn about this mining town’s many ethereal beings by participating in a Park City Ghost Tour. A lively (or perhaps not?) guide will lead you on a 75-minute walking tour while sharing stories about apparitions and the many haunted buildings around Main Street. Reservations required, http://www.parkcityghosttours.com/