There is no denying it; winter in Park City, Utah is pretty amazing! Winter usually brings quite a bit of snow, which takes a while to melt even once the resorts close – especially at higher elevations. This can make some of the area’s trails less accessible until later into the spring/early summer. That being said, there are plenty of low elevation trail options to explore. Hitting the trails is a fun (and active) way to get outside as spring transitions into summer. Here is a list of springtime trails/trail systems to explore this spring:
Round Valley Trail System
Located slightly northwest of Historic Main Street and the two resorts – Deer Valley and Park City Mountain – the Round Valley trail system tends to dry out well before those trails found at a higher elevation. Compiled of over 30 miles of trails, spread out over 700 acres, Round Valley offers a variety of terrain for all hiking levels starting in mid-late spring. Round Valley is also a great place to take dogs, as leashes are not required.
- Parking/Trailheads: Quinns Trailhead on Park City Parkway (near the intersection of highways 248 and 40), North Round Valley Trailhead (Silver Summit Road, just off Highway 40), or Round Valley Way Trailhead (in the Park Meadows neighborhood).
- Insider Tip: Start and end your hike at the Quinns Trailhead where there are bathrooms, a playground for kids, and an outdoor workout playground for adults. From the trailhead, hop onto Rambler trail – from there hikers can access a variety of loops and both singletrack and doubletrack options.
Technically part of the Round Valley trail system, PC Hill is a short hike, with quick elevation gain and stellar views. In the mood for a longer hike? If hiking to the summit isn’t enough, once you reach the top, the trail continues down the backside, providing access to other Round Valley trails.
- Parking/Trailheads: A large parking lot sits directly beneath PC Hill, just off of Kearns Boulevard/248 (across from Wyatt Earp Way).
- Insider Tip: Love a good sunset? The top of PC Hill offers expansive views and is west-facing, making it a perfect location to watch the sunset.
The Lost Prospector trail is a Park City classic, and, lucky for trail lovers, it is accessible for recreation during the spring. Sitting on the ridgeline just above the town, Lost Prospector is a great out-and-back hike option, or a loop if integrated with the Rail Trail. The trail offers stunning views of the town, and of both resorts. There are other trail options that run along/intersect with Lost Prospector if hiking in a loop is preferred, including Gambel Oak and Masonic.
- Parking/Trailheads: Rail Trail parking lot (just behind White Pine Touring), Prospector Park (located just off Kearns Boulevard), or Aerie Drive (parking limited).
- Insider Tip: Park in the lot along Aerie Drive (permitted there is space), hop on the trail, and head North West. Hike it as an out and back to enjoy maximum views of town.
Glenwild trails, a network made up of roughly 25 miles, are located on the opposite side of I-80 from Kimball Junction. These trails accessed easily via the Spring Creek Trailhead, offer intermediate terrain for hikers and mountain bikers to enjoy. The Glenwild area offers stunning views of the area and the trails tend to dry out in time to be trafficked by spring.
- Parking/Trailheads: Spring Creek Trailhead, Bad Apple Trailhead, or East Canyon Creek Trailhead (all located along Rasmussen Road). Spring Creek Trailhead has a bathroom, as well as a water fountain.
- Insider Tip: Start your hike at Bad Apple or East Canyon Creek Trailhead and end your hike at Park City Brewery, located just across the parking lot from Bad Apple. Be mindful of downhill-only mountain bike trails.
Spring in the mountains brings variable weather – sunny one moment – a rain shower or occasional gust of wind the next. One of the reasons these trails tend to dry out more quickly is that they are more exposed to the sun and wind. It’s always a great idea to bring extra clothing along with you, and please be mindful of trail conditions – avoiding any terrain where mud sticks to shoes. Remember sunscreen, even if it’s a cooler, overcast day, and bring a sufficient water supply. Additionally, proper trail etiquette makes for a fun and positive trail experience for all trail users. Mountain Trails Foundation provides some great tips for you to keep in mind:
- “Practice 10 Seconds of Kindness.” Slow down and smile, it’s easy and it makes everyone feel good.
- Bikes, even if traveling uphill, NEVER have the right of way to pedestrians or equestrians.
- Bells on trails keep everyone safe. Use and listen for them while you are on the trails. Pick up a freebie at a local shop or from Mountain Trails.
- Do not use muddy trails! If it is sticking to your heels or wheels, turn around. As you know, #RutsSuck.
- Keep singletrack, single. If you come to an unexpected puddle, walk or ride straight through the middle.