A winter vacation to Park City doesn’t just have to be about skiing and snowboarding. Picture yourself escaping to serene forest surroundings, where the crisp air and the invigorating exercise of snowshoeing lift your spirits. Park City has an abundance of snowshoeing opportunities, which cater to all skill levels. Whether you're a first-timer seeking a meandering excursion, a seasoned explorer craving hardcore adventures, or somewhere in between—Park City's snowshoe trails offer a perfect match for everyone. All you need are a pair of snowshoes, hiking poles, and a daypack filled with essentials to venture into a world where the beauty of this season beckons with each step. Not only is snowshoeing a great way to boost physical well-being and rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul but also a fun-filled family activity! So if you’re searching for some epic trails that promise gorgeous scenery, connection to nature, and the opportunity for quality bonding time, here are a few of our top picks.
Be Prepared for Snowshoeing
Whether you are snowshoeing on groomed trails, non-maintained trails covered with a fresh blanket of snow, or in the backcountry it's wise to be well-prepared for unexpected weather changes, emergencies, gear hiccups, or any other situations that could impact your day. Nature can present challenges, even in the most straightforward terrain, so it's essential to stay ready for any potential mishaps.
What to Wear
If you’re concerned that it's too cold to play outside—do not fret because snowshoeing will get you warm in no time. By donning enough layers and spending at the very least 15 to 20 minutes on snowshoes, you'll likely find yourself breaking a sweat. So, don't let the notion of "it's too cold" deter you, and embrace the mantra of "layer up." With the flexibility to adjust your temperature by adding or shedding layers, be sure to bring along extra gear on your frosty escapades in the snow.
Snowshoe Packing List
- Good snowshoes that fit well, with sturdy bindings to attach to your boots
- Snowshoe poles (to help you stay balanced)
- Sweat-wicking long underwear or leggings
- Second layer top and pants
- Waterproof jacket
- Snow pants
- Hat & Gloves
- Waterproof hiking boots
- Lip balm
- Plenty of water/sport drink
- Snacks & extra food
- Sunscreen & Sunglasses
- Cell phone
- Safety and avalanche gear when appropriate
- Small first-aid kit
- Duct tape for binding mishaps
- Headlamp if you're snowshoeing in the dark
If you are headed out on a guided tour you will probably only need to bring your personal basics like extra layers, snacks, water, cell phone, sunscreen, lip balm, as your guide will often supply all your other needs.
Winter Trail Etiquette
The team of people who groom Park City’s winter trails does a tremendous job laying track for all winter enthusiasts. As a snowshoer, please do your part to maintain the tracks for all users by snowshoeing out of the set classic Nordic track and at the edge of the groomed trail. Round Valley is an off-leash dog zone, but city regulations require you to clean up after your pup and to use a leash when you are outside of that area. When off-piste snowshoeing, avoid walking atop buried or partially buried vegetation.
Snowshoe Trails In and Around Park City
Many areas of town boast groomed and non-groomed trails for your snowshoeing pleasure. Basin Recreation packs and grooms 18 miles of connected trails in the Willow Creek Park and Utah Olympic Park areas and Round Valley has approximately 16 miles of Nordic trails groomed daily or as conditions warrant. This area is free to the public and open for multi-use. The grooming report is updated daily throughout the season via Mountain Trails Foundation.
Family-Friendly Snowshoe Trails
Gambel Oak Loop
A 3.9-mile loop that is one of the best kid-friendly snowshoe trails in Park City. The terrain is easy to navigate, plus the loop winds through some tremendous wildlife-watching areas.
East 224 Connector and McLeod Creek Trails
This flat, wide trail connects Park City to the Kimball Junction area. It’s perfect for beginners who are looking for a manageable path. With all of its scenic opportunities between Park City and Kimball Junction, it’s also ideal for anyone wanting glimpses of Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter, and McLeod Creek.
Rockport Lake Trail
Ideal for snowshoers of all levels, Rockport Lake Trail has two miles of flat terrain, making it easy for beginners to traverse. The lake is a stunning sight in the winter, and there are breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. Generally taking under an hour to complete, this route is perfect for those looking for something short and sweet.
Snowshoe Trails near Park City
To the southwest of town and at 9,000' lies the Bonanza Flat Conservation Area. This land was permanently protected via a municipal bond. It is home to a massive aspen forest, grand peaks, and views of the Heber Valley to the southeast. The Mountain Trails Foundation grooms snowshoe, fat bike, and Nordic trails in this area—so there is something for everyone. Part of the beauty of this area is its remoteness and lack of parking. The best way to get here is to take the free bus or book a shuttle using Transit to Trails.
The PC Hill Trail is an excellent quick workout on foot or snowshoes with rewarding views on top. Feeling ambitious? Connect to Round Valley Trails for a more extended outing.
With 700 acres of protected open space, the Round Valley Trail system is comprised of five trailheads Quinn’s Junction, Sunny Slopes, The Cove, Highland Drive, and Old Ranch Road. You’ll find great scenic views of Park City Mountain and Deer Valley, and also a good chance to spot wildlife along the way. Some of the groomed trails: Rambler, Matt’s Flat, PorcUclimb, Down Dog, Backslide, the Big Easy.
The Daly Canyon trailhead is located at the top of Daly Avenue with access from the top of Main Street in Old Town. With no winter maintenance, this area holds snow early and late in the winter season and offers a couple of great options for trails that are both out-and-back and loops with unique views of historic mining buildings. Please Respect Ski Area Boundaries.
The Uinta's are east of Park City. With a few routes in and rugged terrain, this area is best explore with a guide. Pristine and clear and with wildlife and incredible views, these mountains are a treasure and so fun to explore. By hiring a trained guide you will be able to go off the beaten track.
GUIDED TOURS & RENTALS
If you are unfamiliar with the area, opting for a guide could be a great choice. When you enlist the services of a professional, they'll handle route finding, planning, supply your snowshoes and poles, and ensure you're well-versed in the necessary safety precautions for spending a half day in Utah's winter environment. Guide companies cater to all experience levels, offering tours from beginner to expert. The below outfitters also rent snowshoes and poles if you decide to go at it alone.
- Mountain Vista Touring: offers guided tours throughout Park City and our neighboring Uinta mountains. If you're just looking for some fresh air or a longer backcountry experience, their guides and tours cater to you and your abilities and include all the necessary gear! A unique tour to consider is their Snowshoe Hike to the Homestead Crater where you can take a relaxing soak in a geothermal hot spring!
- All Seasons Adventures: caters to families and corporate groups staying in or around Park City. All trips include round-trip transportation, snowshoes, waterproof booties, hiking poles, water, snacks, and guide.
- White Pine Touring: provides a range of tours including local, backcountry, moonlight and historic. They’ll set you up with snowshoes and poles before you hit the trail with your guide.
Now Get Out There and Explore For Yourself
Park City stands as a winter wonderland, not just for skiers and snowboarders but enthusiasts of winter offering a myriad of snowshoeing experiences for adventurers of all levels. So bundle up, grab your snowshoes, and come embrace the refreshingly cool air, stunning vistas, and the vitalizing exercise that comes with every step on our snow-covered trails.