Summer at Park City Mountain Resort: Mountain Biking trails

The Canyons Resort in Park City has the only gravity-based mountain biking in Utah. Expert riders will be well challenged on the miles of black diamond-level single track trails and terrain features in the Canyons Bike Park. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t something for everybody. Whether visitors crave the adrenaline rush of lift-served bike park fun or the cardio boost of hilly mountain biking trails, Canyons Resort in Park City have both all summer long…at every level.

canyons bike park

We visited at the start of their second full bike park season, and found a full operation under way. Start at Canyon Mtn Rentals, where families can buy Red Pine Gondola tickets for just $10 per person or High Meadow bike park tickets for $30. The difference: the gondola ticket will grant you access to mountain bike trails and single track with uphill and downhill, whereas the bike park ticket will allow you to enjoy chairlift served downhill only trails.

canyons bike park

Bike rentals are also available at Canyon Mountain Rentals, of course, for $110 all day, $85 half day. This sounds steep (no pun intended), but these are top rate downhill mountain bikes, and come with a protective gear package. (Gear can be rented separately if that’s all you need.) We rode with a 14-year-old and 12-year-old, and protective arm and leg pads were not available in their sizes. Full face helmets were available, however. After my 14-year-old crashed hard, sending a pedal into his shin, he’d recommend opting for the leg pads even if they’re a bit big.

Note: Bike sizes are on the adult-sized end of the scale. We found bikes that properly fit our kids, but anyone under age 10 may have a hard time. (For this reason, our eight-year-old did not participate.)

The Video Review:

Where to go:

Grab a bike trail map at the base, and head up the Red Pine Gondola. From the Red Pine Lodge, it’s easy to access the bike park with a High Meadow pass, or start on regular mountain bike trails without. Either way, you’ll want to return to Red Pine Lodge for lunch: during the summer months, this quick service option serves favorites from all the winter restaurant venues. The salads in particular are excellent, and the sun deck makes for a great place to compare feats (or injuries).

canyons bike park

In the bike park:

If you’re a novice, definitely start with White Rabbit, the easiest course. Progress from there to Flying Salmon, a green beginner trail, then be advised that the next trail up, Wild Mouse, is quite a bit harder. We had been gravity-based biking only once before, and the beginner runs at The Canyons were just right for us.

canyons mountain biking

On the trails:

It’s easy to get on the wrong trail as you navigate the mountain, even though the trails are marked. Disregard the ski run signage, and follow the smaller bike markers. For beginners and intermediates, the popular Mid-Mountain trail is challenging with some fairly steep ups for the first mile. (To access, start at the zip-line hut just above Red Pine Lodge.) Unless you’re an expert, you’re better off skipping the black diamond bike trails (as they are downhill only and can include steep switchbacks and drops. We found ourselves unwittingly on one at one point, and navigated it very slowly (a luxury only possible in non-bike park areas). Even so, we had some falls and injuries. Respect the trails, and follow the advise of the ratings.

canyons mountain biking view

For a nice four-mile ride from Red Pine Lodge to the base area, take Mid-Mountain to Ambush (both intermediate). If you miss the corner to Mid-Mountain at the Orange Bubble Express, as we did, you can connect with Richochet (expert, but we navigated it ok) to Short Swing (intermediate, but I crashed hard), to Ambush.

Note: Trust the level ratings of the trails, but know that conditions, such as loose rocks, mud, etc can change. For this reason, an intermediate trail one day may prove more challenging to you than an expert trail. Go slowly when in doubt! Secondly, have your kids ride in front of you: my worst wreck occurred while turning my head to look back to make sure my 12-year-old was behind me!

Single track trails also depart the Red Pine Lodge area the opposite way (west), but deposit riders a good distance from the base area. Plan to ride in the bike park or on mountain single tracks for at least 2-4 hours at the minimum, and all day at the max!

red pine lodge

Hours:

The gondola runs 10 am to 5 pm, and the High Meadow chair (servicing the bike park) runs from 10 am to 4:30 pm (staying open late on Wednesdays all summer until 7:30 pm). Rentals are available from 9:30 am, and yes, it will take you the full half-hour to get your gear.

Want to learn about more to do in Park City and The Canyons in summer? Check out our Park City guide!

Disclaimer: Our family was hosted at The Canyons to experience the mountain bike park for the purpose of review. 

About the author

Amy Whitley AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

Comments

comments

Leave a Comment

*

Shares