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Park City Scenic Drives

Some of the best scenic drives or road bike rides in Utah are within a few miles of Park City. These mountain passes and scenic byways will take you to some of the most breathtaking places in the West. Bring you camera so you can take home many memorable photos of wildlife, wildflower, and incredible mountain vistas.Please note that many roads within our state forests are closed during the winter month due to snow.

GUARDSMAN PASS

This beautiful mountain pass connects Park City to Midway and Big Cottonwood Canyon. It is a popular drive to view wildflowers, wildlife, and fall foliage. The road is paved and winds through Deer Valley Resort, through alpine meadows, and advances to the summit of Guardsman Pass (elevation 9,700 ft.). There is short-term parking and bathrooms at the summit. The road continues into Big Cottonwood Canyon to Salt Lake City where dogs are not allowed because it is a watershed.

Directions: From Deer Valley Drive head south. At traffic circle take the second exit, Marsac Avenue (the first is the bus-only entrance to transportation center). Continue on Marsac Avenue for 7 miles.
Access: Typically, open May to November. Closed in the winter.
Distance: 15 miles round trip from Main Street to summit.
Average Drive Time: .5 to 1 hour out-and-back.

MIRROR LAKE SCENIC BYWAY

One of the most popular mountain routes in the state, Mirror Lake Scenic Byway cuts through Utah's highest mountain range from the town of Kamas up into the Uinta-Wasatch Cache National Forest before descending to placid Mirror Lake. Many small lakes, waterfalls, camping sites, and hiking trails are along this beautiful route. There are no retail services within the forest area, so it's best to shop and gas up before you begin your drive.

Directions: Take UT-248 east from Park City towards Kamas for 16 miles. Turn left at the intersection of UT-248 and UT-32. Drive 2 blocks then turn right onto UT-150 (Scenic Byway). Drive 32 miles along the highway to Mirror Lake. Return the same way or continue to Evanston, WY and return via I-80 westbound.
Access: Closed in the winter. The best time to drive it is late May to late October. No charge to drive the highway. Must purchase a 3-day National Forest Pass to park and use facilities. This pass is also valid for the Alpine Loop.
Distance: 48 miles one-way from Park City to Mirror Lake.
Average Drive Time: 1.5 to 3 hours.

WOLF CREEK HIGHWAY PASS

This paved highway begins in Woodland offering unimpeded views of the Uinta and Wasatch Mountain Ranges as well as the iconic Mount Timpanogos. There are several pullouts along the route that offer excellent photo opportunities and there are large aspen groves and open meadows filled with wildflowers in the summer months.

Directions: Take UT-248 east from Park City towards Kamas for 16 miles. Turn right at the intersection of UT-248 and UT-32. After 2 miles turn left at the flashing light onto UT-35. Follow UT-35 for 24 miles through Woodland and into the Uinta Wasatch-Cache National Forest to the summit of Wolf Creek Pass (elevation 9,476 ft.).
Access: Closed in the winter.
Distance: 38 miles from Park City to summit of Wolf Creek Pass.
Average Drive Time: 1 to 3.5 hours.

WEBER CANYON

A mellow drive through scenic Weber Canyon filled with aspen groves that are bright green in the summer and bright yellow in the fall. A perfect destination for this drive is the Smith and Morehouse Reservoir. At one point the Trans-Continental Railway traveled through the canyon.

Directions: Drive east on UT-248 toward Kamas. In 5 miles turn left onto Brown’s Canyon Road. After 7 miles turn right onto UT-32 towards Peoa/Oakley. After 4 miles on UT-32 turn left and head east on Weber Canyon Road. Drive for 12 miles where the pavement will end. Turn right and follow Forest Rd 33, a dirt road, for 2.5 miles to the reservoir. The parking lot will be on your left.
Access: Summer and fall. Dogs allowed.
Distance: 60 miles round trip from Park City.
Average Drive Time: 1.5 to 2 hours.

PROVO CANYON

Provo Canyon connects Heber City to Provo and is the starting point for several attractions including Bridal Veil Falls, Sundance Resort, Timpanogos Cave National Monument, and Cascade Springs.

Directions:Drive east on UT-248 toward Kamas. Turn right onto US-40 East towards Heber. Drive for 14 miles on US-40 through downtown Heber and turn right onto US-189.

BRIDAL VEIL FALLS TRAIL

From the road you can see this 607-foot waterfall flowing over a series of steep drops. There is an easy 1.4 mile paved out and back trail.

Directions: From Heber, drive on US-189 for 17 miles until you see parking lot for Bridal Veil Falls on your left.
Access: Trail and parking April to October.
Distance: 38 miles from Park City to Bridal Veil Falls.

ALPINE LOOP SCENIC BYWAY

This is one of the most scenic drives in the Uinta Wasatch-Cache National Forest, connecting Provo Canyon and American Fork Canyon. The paved road winds through aspen groves to the summit (elevation 8,000 ft.) where there are stunning views of Mount Timpanogos, Utah’s second tallest mountain (elevation 11,752 ft.) and is an incredible place to go as the fall colors start to peak. Sites accessible from the highway include Robert Redford's Sundance Resort, Timpanogos Cave National Monument, and Cascade Springs.

Directions: From Heber, drive on US-189 for 14 miles. Turn right onto UT-92 (Alpine Loop Scenic Byway). You will see Sundance Resort after 3 miles, Mountain Timpanogos and through American Fork Canyon. If returning via Cascade Springs, the road turns to gravel where you'll travel 7.5 miles back down to Midway, where you can return to Park City. Although paved, trailers are not recommended because of the steep grade and narrow curves.
Access: Open late May to late October. Must purchase a 3-day National Forest Pass that is also valid for the Mirror Lake Highway.
Distance: Out-and-back from Park City is 87 miles. Loop returning through Cascade Springs is 80 miles.
Average Drive Time: 2.5 to 3.5 hours.

CASCADE SPRINGS HIKING TRAILS

A large natural spring releasing millions of gallons of water over a series of ledges and pools which feed into the Deer Creek Reservoir, which you passed if you drove down Provo Canyon from Heber on US-189. A paved path creates three loops around the spring with viewing areas and benches. The lower loop, Pools Loop, is wheelchair accessible, but the upper loops, Cascade and Springs Loops, require the use of stairs.

Directions: 3 miles past the ranger pay station on Alpine Loop, turn right onto Cascade Springs Scenic Drive. Continue 6.7 miles to the trailhead parking lot.
Access: Best wildflowers June to September and foliage September through October. Closed in the winter.
Distance: Round trip from parking lot of all three loops is .8 miles.

ECHO CANYON I-84

This leg of the drive from Park City through Echo Canyon State Park to Henefer was traveled by buffalo, Native Americans, and the Mormon pioneer’s journey to Salt Lake City in 1847. Echo Canyon features peculiar rock formations viewable from the highway.

Directions: From Kimball Junction, take I-80 east towards Cheyenne, Wyoming. After 23 miles take Exit 168 for I-84 toward Ogden. Continue on I-84 for 3.5 miles to Exit 115 for UT-65 toward Henefer/Echo.
Access: Paved interstate maintained year-round.
Distance: 28 miles one way from Kimball Junction.
Average Drive Time: 30-45 minutes.

BIG MOUNTAIN PASS HIGHWAY UT-65

This pass is famous for being the route of the Donner Party and Mormon Pioneers in the 1840’s. Starting from Mountain Dell Canyon the highway climbs to Big Mountain Pass (elevation 7,420 ft.). From the summit continue on UT-65 for 10 miles to East Canyon State Park. The complete loop then descends into Henefer and through Echo Canyon via I-84 and back to Kimball Junction on I-80.

Directions: From Kimball Junction, drive west on I-80 to exit 134. Turn right off the exit onto UT-65 and travel 8.5 miles to Big Mountain Pass. To continue the loop through Henefer and Echo follow UT-65 for 19 miles. Turn right onto Main and follow it to I-84.
Access: Closed mid-November to June depending on snowfall.
Distance: From Kimball Junction the full loop is 70 miles, out-and-back to Big Mountain Pass is 36 miles, and out-and-back to East Canyon State Park is 55 miles.
Average Drive Time: 1.5 to 2.5 hours.

EMIGRATION CANYON

The highway between East Canyon and Salt Lake City was the final descent of the Mormon pioneers in 1847. From the Little Mountain Summit (elevation 4,940 ft.) you will have great views of Little Dell Reservoir.

Directions: From Kimball Junction, drive west on I-80 towards Salt Lake City. Take Exit 134 and turn right onto UT-65 N towards East Canyon. In two miles turn left onto Emigration Canyon Road. The Little Mountain Summit is 1.5 miles from the turn. You can park and enjoy the view before returning to Park City via I-80 or you can continue through Emigration Canyon into Salt Lake City.
Access: Open Year-round.
Distance: 17 miles one way from Kimball Junction.
Average Drive Time: 30 – 45 minutes.