Park City Ski Resort Terrain

Intermediate skiers paradise – Park City Utah

One thing is for certain at Park City – there is virtually an endless amount of terrain. It would easily take 100+ days of skiing to hit every run and each little nook and stash on the mountain. Generally the runs are quite wide and open without any big drop offs or surprises along the way. This makes it quite easy for a low intermediate skier to traverse the entire mountain. It seems that every lift has “an easy way down” and ensures that you don’t get stuck and get in over your head.

Expert Terrain: There are some steep shots, most are hike to via McConkey’s or Jupiter. In addition there are some big glades, steepish bump runs, tight tree lines to be found throughout the resort. Most all of the Expert Terrain is best suited when the snow conditions merit. You’ll want new snow, or newish snow to really enjoy the Expert Terrain. If you’re a local, this would be a great advantage – just head out when the conditions are perfect, and hit all your favorite lines. During our trip the snow was 45 days old, so the expert terrain and lines were not attractive or appealing. I certainly won’t hike for turns any more when the snow is firm, slick, and chunky.

Advanced Terrain: This is a tricky category for Park City in regards to grooming. Virtually all the true single black diamond terrain was bumped out, and only about 3-4 groomed. For such a broad and massive resort, I found this to be a bit odd. I would imagine in some years, with more staff & better snow they would groom more “high angle” terrain to satisfy this key market. The groomed advanced runs we found would likely be categorized as “blue” or intermediate terrain at many resorts like Sun Valley, Jackson Hole, Telluride, etc. So, you’ll want to love the bumps as an advanced skier to really get the most out of Park City.

Intermediate Terrain: Here is where Park City really shines. Much like Heavenly Valley in Lake Tahoe, Park City is a full on maze of intermediate trails. The runs are long, wide, and very approachable for just about any level of intermediate skier. In addition, we found that the groomed black diamond runs are gentle enough for most strong intermediate skiers. As an Intermediate you can get from lodge to lodge, base to base, and cruise around. Plan a day, grab a nice lunch at one of the many great on-mountain lodges and cruise around.

The only negative with the terrain at Park City is the “over-development” of high end ski homes nestled among the ski runs. There are several ski lifts, and runs where you’re going over roads, through tunnels, and around $10-15 Million dollar luxury homes. Personally I found this to be a detractor as it impacted the fall line skiing, and also made you feel that you’re not really getting out into the wilderness. I’m sure if I owned one of these spectacular mansion ski homes my attitude towards them would be more positive. Most people I talked to on the lifts felt the same.