Guide: Mountain Biking Park City, Utah

The mountain biking in Park City, Utah is by far some of the epic riding in the country, if not the world. I’m sure you could argue that your favorite trail is way better than anything in Park City, and you may be right. But there is no way, as a collective trail network, is there a better place to ride your bike than here in Park City. Don’t believe me? Read on.

Park City is an old silver mining town, tucked away on the other side of the Wasatch Range from Salt Lake City. After the mining went bust, the town spent their last pennies on a ski lift in hopes of bringing in tourists, and it worked! Park City’s tourism primarily comes from skiing. But as of late, Park City is making a name for itself as a mountain bike destination during the summer months. After spending two summers here, I can 100% attest to that. 

Park City Mountain Bike Map

Park City Mountain Bike Map
PCMR Deer Valley Prospector Round Valley Glenwild The Crest Canyons UOP Summit Park/Pinebrook Jeremy Ranch

PCMR

Long climbs and even longer descents! Classics like Jenni's & Armstrong to get you up, and unlimited options to get you down from technical to flowy!

Deer Valley

If you're looking for Downhill Bike Park action, this is one of the best in the nation. Plus, their singletrack ain't half bad.

Prospector

New to mountain biking and looking for some introductory trails, this is the spot.

Round Valley

Some of the best XC style trails in the west. Rolling hills, technical options, and perfect for long rides! Plus a trailside bike park for those looking to hone in their skills!

Glenwild

Raw, natural, and epic trails. These trails will have you remembering what mountain biking was like before trail builders.

The Crest

The infamous Wasatch Crest Trail that takes you on an epic ride across the ridgeline of the Wasatch Back. A must do for every mountain biker.

Canyons

Not as good as it once was (cough cough Vail), but Canyons' downhill trails are still epic with long run-outs back to the base.

UOP

Another great spot for beginners and experts alike. First time, check out RTS. Seasoned vet, climb Yetis and descend down Iron Bill. Better yet, up Iron Bill!

Summit Park/Pinebrook

Not as densely packed, trail-wise, but still home to classics like Road to Arcylon

Jeremy Ranch

Another small area, but still home to interesting trails like Sheep Trail and Moose Hallow.

Park City’s mountain biking network is vast, with over 700 trails, and 600 miles of riding. So to help, I will try to break down where to ride when you get here, In no specific order, the riding areas are the follow: Deer Valley, PCMR, Round Valley, Glenwild, Canyons, Olympic Park, Prospector, Pinebrook/Summit Park, and Jeremy Ranch. Each of these has a unique set of trails and a completely different vibe compared to the next. The trails here tend to be a level of difficulty up from most others I’ve ridden. Don’t assume, just because it’s a blue, that it’ll be a cake-walk. Since you’re riding the backside of a mountain range, most trails will have at least 1,000’ of climbing. And perched at around 7,000’ of elevation, the air will quickly get thin the higher you climb.


PCMR (Park City Mountain Resort)

Rating: 5 Stars (Blue – Black)

Expect long climbs to the higher elevations that result in some of the most enjoyable downhill mountain biking in Park City. These trails are challenging but moderate for the intermediate rider. I wouldn’t reccomend bringing a beginner up the mountain, but it is manageable to get them down safely if they ride the brakes.

These trails tend to be non-technical climbs that go from the base @ 7,000ft up classics like Armstrong & Jenni’s. But head over to John’s if you’d like some challenging, technical uphill action. Once you reach the top of your climb, riders tend to point their tires downhill classics intermediate Blues like Spiro, HAM, CMG, Loose Moose, and Mojave. You can expect smooth trails, tight corners, and a few rock gardens here and there. But for those looking for more of a challenge, try out RedBull, Moose House, or Black Forest where you’ll find technical rock sections, steep lines between tight trees, and all the drops you can handle! Riding at PCMR tends to be an Climb Up & Ride Down, few people lap the mountain on a given ride. A great spot to ride after work, but be warned, it gets busy on the weekends… like ski season busy.

Estimated Time & Distances: Climbs tend to be about 3-4 miles, with descents being similar 3-4 miles long. Expect to ride 6-10 miles when riding here, which can take anywhere from an hour to two hours depending on your speed.

If you’re not into the pedaling, take the Crescent lift up to Mid Mountain and start your rides from there. This isn’t a downhill specific mountain, so always be prepared to pedal.

Getting There: Park at the main parking lot at Park City Mountain. All trails can be accessed from the main base areas.


Deer Valley

Rating: 5 Stars (Blue – Double Black)

If you like to leave pedaling for the suckers and rather take the lift to get a ton of laps in, Deer Valley’s lift access bike park is the place for you. Be warned, this is a challenging riding area, and definitely not recommended for beginners. Don’t be fooled by the Green ratings.

After taking Silver Lake Express lift up from the main base area, you reach the Downhill park. From here, take the Sterling Express lift up for endless downhill trails that range from Green to Double Black, where you can expect smooth flowy trails, jump lines, and of course, technical descents. Each trail sign has the difficulty and style of trail right below its name to ensure you don’t end up on something too difficult.

Favorites of mine, starting with Blue trails, Nail Driver and Tidal Wave to get warmed up, then head over to Black trails, Twist & Shout and then Aspen Slalom. If I’m really feeling it that day, I’ll head over to the far side of the map to try my skills on Fireswamp and Theives Forest. These trails are not for the faint of heart and are appropriately graded Double-Black.

Estimated Time & Distance: I’ve spent as little as an hour  here on the XC trails to over 5 hours riding the lift and downhill runs. Since it’s lift-access, the distances really don’t matter as much. But each downhill run is about 1-2 miles long.

Deer Valley (or DV), also has plenty of pedal-powered riding near the base which will have you pushing your limits both on the up and down through dense brush and open pine forests. Highlights here are Deer Crest, Pipeline, NCS and Devo. But for the most pedal-powered fun, you really need to ride down Undertow. It is an absolute blast of a flow trail that will surely be a ride you’ll never forget.

Getting There:  3 Options to ride here: 1) Park at main base area, Snow Park Lodge, for lift access & riding around the lower elevations. 2) Alternative option for strictly lift access riding, find some street parking near Silver Lake Lodge. 3) For those look to pedal around the Empire Pass area of Deer Valley, park right below the winter gate or at Empire Pass on Guardsman Pass road. 


Round Valley

Rating: 4 Stars (Green – Blue)

Round Valley is an XC mountain biker’s dream. In a world of steep climbs and long descents, there isn’t many options for the XC rider in Park City. In comes a trail system that goes up, over, and around the rolling hills (mountains to most) in the valley of the Wasatch back. This is the place you come to get long rides in without having to spend the first 45 minutes of the ride going uphill. Trails like Rambler, Ramble On, and Happy Gilmore circumnavigate most of the trail system. Interwoven throughout are climbing and descending trails like Porcuclimb, TM, and Nowhere Elks. Check out Pulp Friction for a gnarly new downhill only trail that drops you right off at a trailhead.

The crown jewel for this riding area is the Trailside Park. This is a bike park designed to test and build all levels of riding skills. There are 5 downhill specific trail that have jumps and technical features found on Filter Drop and Mr. Murdocks, or find more flow on Bronto Jam. Or start building your skills on the Great Gazzoo or Yabba Dabba Doo. This area even has a 3 Jump jump line, pump track, and a practice area with skinnies, wood features, and other technical features to learn on. I ride this area regularly to practice my jumps and carrying speed through turns.

Estimated Time & Distance: A loop around RV is only about 6miles, taking you about an hour, but because there are so many options to choose from, you can ride anywhere from 1-20 miles for a quick ride or an all-day ride.

These trails can be very smooth, great for beginners, while others here can have some pretty rocky terrain that will challenge even the best of riders. I personally race here twice a year so it has a special place in my heart, not to mention my go-to for lunch laps during the week.

Getting There: 7 different trailheads to access different trails around the perimeter of Round Valley.

1)  Old Ranch Trailhead
2) The Cove Trailhead
3) Round Valley Way Trailhead
4) Quinns Trailhead
5) Highland Drive
6) Happy Gilmore Trailhead
7) Trailside Park


Glenwild & Jeremy Ranch

Rating: 3 Stars (Green – Black)

Glenwild has become one of my favorite trail systems in Park City because of its nature, raw feeling, as well as the lack of crowds on the trails. Overall, these trails aren’t that technical, but tend to be quite rocky in some areas which gives it an average rating of Blue. The climbs aren’t steep, and neither are the descents, so it allows you to pedal hard the entire time, or sit back and relax and take it at your own pace. Great place for an intermediate rider.

These trails are rocky, sandy, and cut into the side of a tree-less mountain. Don’t expect to get much shade here, but because of its location, it tends to be some of the first ridable trails after the snow melts and after a rain storm. The rides  here are the Glenwild Loop which a 6-mile loop around the Glenwild hill, great for an afternoon ride. The other classic here is the Flying Dog trail, which take you deep into the backcountry where you climb endless switchbacks into a sweeping descent through aspen groves. 

On the Jeremy Ranch side of the trail system, there are 4 downhill only trails: The Drop Out, Team Cuthroat DH, Ant Farm, and the old school Crazy 8s. These trails are fantastically built with sweeping berms, rock gardens, drops, and small jumps to hit. 

Not much shade in this area, so riders tend to stay away from this area during the mid day summer’s heat.

Estimated Time & Distance: Rides here tend to either be short 4-6 mile loops that’ll take you under an hour, or long rides like Flying Dog that are a committing 17miles long and can take a few hours to complete. 

Getting There: 4 Options: 1) Park at Bad Apple Trailhead for access to Bob’s Basin & Flying Dog. 2) East Creek Canyon Trailhead, just off I-80, to get on in Jeremy Ranch 3) Park at Spring Creek Trailhead to hop on Stealth for the Glenwild loop. 4) For a long approach on 24-7, park at the 24-7 Trailhead on Jeremy Road.


Canyons

Rating: 3 Stars (Blue – Black)

Canyons is a gateway to some of the biggest rides in Park City. Though not nearly as densely packed with trails as PCMR, Canyons is still a great place to ride. Starting from the base area, you can head up Hollys trail to reach the upper mountain area. Once at the upper elevations, you can head downhill on Ricochet, Ambush, or challenge yourself on the gnarly, twisted Insurgent Trail. Ricochet will be your go to trail to go from top to bottom on a busy day, keeping you on the best singletrack. But just remember, this is a ski resort, so the climbs and descents are steep!

But if you’re looking to access a big ride, you can jump on Mid Mountain trail from Canyons, or even up to the Wasatch Crest Trail, which connect PCMR to Canyons in the most epic way!

As of now, Canyons no longer does lift access like they used to, but it’s not to say that they won’t in the future.

Estimated Time & Distance: Expect to climb at least 1,000 vert when riding Canyons with distances starting at 5 miles or more. Obviously, you can always go further and higher. A fun day here involves 1,500-2,000 feet of climbing and descending.

Getting There: 2 Options: 1) For riding during the weekend when the Cabriolet is running, park in the main base parking lot and then take the Cabriolet lift up to the Village. 2) For midweek riding, park at the gravel lot at the top of Canyons Resort Dr, then pedal over to the Village area.


Utah Olympic Park

Rating: 3 Stars (Green – Blue)

The Utah Olympic Park, or UOP, is a great place for beginners to test and bike their skills. Do t mistake this area for a beginners-only area though. The lowers area has the Green RTS loop which is both scenic and fun. There are also two downhill specific trails, OMH and BYOB which are an absolute blast, and semi-flow Trail.

For those looking for more vert and longer descents, head uphill on BLT or park at the Ski Jump Parking lots to go ride Yeti’s uphill and hammer down Moose Puddle. Or test your skills on the black trail Iron Bill in either direction.

This area is close to where I live, so I regularly lap this area. Great to ride alone or as a group, with plenty of options for all skill levels to ride (or ride around).

Estimated Time & Distance: Rides as quick as 30min and 2hrs can be done here, covering a quick loop distance of 2-4 miles, to multiple laps and big climbs that can have you riding for 12 miles. Like I said, there’s an option for everyone here.

Getting There: 2 Options: 1) Park at RTS trailhead to access the lower trails like RTS & BYOB. 2) Park in the gravel lot, past the Olympic Park, and just before the gate to access the Yetis & Moose Puddle Trails.


Prospector

Rating: 2 Stars (Green – Blue)

Prospector will always have a special place in my heart, as far as Park City riding goes. This trail system was where I first moved when I got to PC. Not too challenging, not much climbing, but perpetually low crowds. So during those busy summer months, when you’re looking to ride in the shade and not have to deal with crowds, head over here.

Not the most densely packed trail system, but great trails that traverse the side of the prospector hill without much climbing or technical sections. This makes a great place to take beginners, even though it’s rated blue. 

The common loop that most riders take, starting from the Prospector neighborhood, is Freemason (1mi) to Lost Prospector (4.5mi) to Skid Row (0.8mi), ending on the rail trail (1.5mi) for a total of loop around 7-8 miles. The trails tend to be straight and dirt packed, with few rocky sections, but all have great views of downtown Park City, and the PC Hill. 

More trails can be linked, like the tougher Masonic Trail, into an even bigger loop circumnavigated the Prospector hill. This can take on on a full ride of about 15 miles without ever leaving the neighborhood!

Estimated Time & Distance: I used to ride this trail on my lunch break, shooting out for quick 4mi ride in under 30min. A 15mile look can also be ridden here taking a couple hours.

Getting There: 3 Options: 1) Rail Trail Parking lot for quick access to Freemason. 2) Park at Prospector Park to access the far end of the Lost Prospector Loop via SOS & Skid Row. 3) Park on Aerie Dr where there is a couple parking spots to get directly on the middle of the Lost Prospector Loop.


Pinebrook & Summit Park

Rating: 2 Stars (Green-Black)

Admittedly, the Summit Park area is the least ridden area for me in Park City. The real reason why most people ride over here is; one, if they live here, two if they’re coming from Salt Lake and it’s the closest riding. Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh. The riding over here is actually a blast.

Up in summit park, you get the chance to ride a dense pine forest right from the trailhead without having to climb thousands of feet. The wide, smooth trails on Road to Wos, and the switchbacks of No Worries are a blast. Plus it’s a great place to bring your dog since it’s rarely crowded.

The real reason I ride over here is for Road to Arcylon (which is No Lycra spelled backwards). This is a gnarly freeride trail built to seriously test your skills. Sure there are ride-arounds, but that’s no fun. In the short, half-mile trail, there are tons of wooden features, jumps, berms, and techy rock sections that will be sure to put a smile on your face that would be hard to wipe off. Then take the up track, simply named Up, and lap that bad-boy all night long.

Estimated Time & Distance: These trails aren’t the longest or biggest days on the bike, but to have fun you should expect to be out there for an hour and riding at least 5 miles.

Getting There: 2 Options: 1) Park at Gorgoza Parking lot to access the Yes, Lycra climb. 2) Park on the road at Summit Park Peak trailhead by the Water Tower to access Road to Wos.


The Wasatch Crest

Rating: 5 Stars (Blue – Black)

There is no secret, the Wasatch Crest, or The Crest, is the most iconic ride in Park City. I’ve ridden this trail 3 times now, once shuttled from Guardsman’s Pass and twice ridden up from the Park City side starting at PCMR, and it gets better every time. The trail itself, is only 6 miles long, which nothing spectacular as far as long rides go. But where this trail is located is what is truly incredible about it, and make it worth truly worth every second. The trail sits above 9,500′ on the ridgeline of the Wasatch back. Once up on the Crest, you are gifted with panoramic views of the entire Wasatch Range towards the west and the vast mountains and hills of Park City to the east. Nothing but open trails in front of you.

If you choose to pedal it from PCMR, in total, the climb is over 9 miles long and goes up 3,000ish feet. Not bad for the “start” of a ride. Once up on the ridge, it’s all fun.

The Spine is the most infamous technical section, in my opinion, in Utah. If you say the spine, no one asks which trail you’re talking about, because everyone knows. The Spine is a section of jagged, sharp red rock on the saddle between summits of Desolation Peak and Square Top. Despite being relatively wide, 15′ across, the stakes and consequences are quite high if you fail to ride it successfully. There is a steep, double black diamond ski pitch on either side for reference. It’s not a shear cliff drop-off, but it would put you in the hospital if you took the tumble. To date, I’ve only cleaned the true Spine section once. There is a ride around on the left for the faint of heart.

Estimated Time & Distance: This all depends on how you’re riding. If you’re shuttling and have the cars at the trailheads waiting for you, you can knock out the Crest in 2 hours. If you’re pedaling from town, up, over the crest, back down, and then return to the car. You can expect it to be an all day ride 4-6+ hours. Distances also fall into that same category, at a minimum it’s still like 20 miles depending on where you drop down from the Crest at.

This should be on everyone’s bucket list to ride!

Getting There: 2 main ways of getting there. 1) Take a shuttle to the top of Guardsman Pass from either the Park City or Salt Lake City side. 2) Park at PCMR, ride your bike up Armstrong and Pinecone to reach the Crest Trail.


Summary

In the end, there is no bad riding in Park City, UT. Sure, you might find yourself on something tougher or steeper than you’re used to if you’re coming from out of town, but there really is something for everyone here. If you think I can improve this guide or are looking for any tips or local beta, reach out: contact@zacharykenney.com

Just remember to pay attention to all posted signs regarding hiking only, the use of E-Bikes, and where dogs are allowed on and off leashes.

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