While today Park City, Utah is known as a top-rated winter destination, its history runs deep in silver mining.  Park City was incorporated in 1884 after the area was discovered to be rich in silver. The town flourished as people flocked to the area from all over the world in hopes of striking it rich. In the 1930s, skiing began to draw interest after a ski jump was built atop the Creole Mine dump. As the mining industry started to crumble, skiing in Park City continued to gain popularity when a ski lift was installed at Snow Park (now Deer Valley Resort) in 1946. and then again in the mid-60s with the opening of Treasure Mountain (now Park City Mountain Resort). Although silver mining in Park City disappeared for good by the 1980s when the price of silver declined drastically, the ski industry continued to grow.

Perhaps not obvious at first, Park City’s mining history remains prevalent throughout town. Buildings, mine structures, and relevant names are still present at both Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resorts.  As you’re cruising the slopes, keep your eyes peeled for some of these names that are rich with Park City mining history.  You can even impress friends and family with your historical knowledge.

This ski run, accessed via Park City Mountain Resort’s Pioneer Lift, shares its name with the California-Comstock mine.  Although stories offer conflicting facts, it’s believed that the Comstock and California mines consolidated in 1903.  The mine, which began deteriorating in 1917, produced 150 tons of ore per day during its production prime.  A structure remains where the Keystone ski run meets Jupiter Access (skiers left).

CREOLE: It’s possible you’ve heard stories of the Creole Mine dump – it’s where some of Park City’s earliest ski jumping took place. It’s now the name of a trail at Park City Mountain Resort, which drops skiers and riders into town.

MUCKERS: Accessible via the resort's Bonanza lift, Muckers’s trail name refers to the mining role, mucking. A mucker’s job was to clean up any mess created as a result of blasting holes into the rock.

DOUBLE JACK/SINGLE JACK:  These two trails, which sit adjacent to one another, are named after the hammers that miners used to create holes in rock for placing dynamite.  A single jack took one miner to operate and weighed only four pounds, while a double jack required two miners and weighed between 8-12 pounds.

GLORY HOLE: The name of this trail at Park City Mountain Resort refers to the hole where an underground mining excavation reached the surface to daylight.

SILVER KING: The steep ski run off of Park City Mountain Resort’s Crescent lift refers to the Silver King Coalition Mine. The mine, from which Thomas Kearns grew his wealth, has historic structures that remain at the bottom of the resort’s Bonanza chairlift. 

SILVER QUEEN: This ski run at Park City Mountain Resort is named after Utah’s “Silver Queen,” Susanna Egeria Bransford Emery Holmes Delitch Engalitchef, who made her fortune from the Silver King Mine.

THAYNES LIFT: Located next to the Thaynes Lift at Park City Mountain Resort are the remnants of Thaynes Shaft Complex, which was built in 1937 by the Silver King Mine.  When active, the structure even included a boarding house.  

Offering some of the steepest terrain at Deer Valley Resort, the Daly Chutes are named after John Daly, who owned the Daly, Daly Judge, and Daly West Mines. 

MAYFLOWER LIFT/BOWL: Today at Deer Valley Resort, Mayflower Bowl is often synonymous with powder day fun, but at one point in time the Mayflower name referred to Park City’s “most unique” mine.  Why unique? It was the only mine in Park City to produce copper and gold.

ONTARIO BOWL: Named after the Ontario Mine, which was at one point considered to be the “greatest silver mine in the world,” Deer Valley Resort’s Ontario Bowl is a must-ski area of the resort – especially on a powder day.  George Hearst purchased the Ontario Mine in 1872 and his mining millions helped establish the media empire of his son, William Randolph Hearst.

SOLID MULDOON: So what is a solid Muldoon? While the name of this Deer Valley Resort ski run comes from a Park City mining claim, other originations exist, including the story of wrestler William A. Muldoon (1852-1933), known as the “solid man.”

TRUMP: One might think that this Deer Valley Resort trail is named after Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States, but it’s actually named after a mining claim. 

As you can probably imagine, this is just a small sample of where Park City’s mining history can be seen today.  The stories and signs are everywhere and offer unique insight into the way things were during the silver boom.  If you ever find yourself wanting to learn more about Park City’s mining history, a great way to spend a few hours off the slopes is at the Park City Museum on Historic Main Street.  There you can explore exhibits about both Park City’s ski and mining history.