Originally dismissing Park City, UT as just another alpine ski area with pine forests and Colorado Front Range style riding, I am so glad that we decided to spend 2 nights in town and check out the local scene. Pinecone, Armstrong, and Mid-Mountain were straight up masters of flow right out of Bike Magazine with hardpack serpentining through Aspen forests and across grassy ski trails. Leaving the dropper post behind, Park City was a rare opportunity to just pedal, steer, lean big, and take in the scenery. Positive vibes from other riders, runners, and hikers created a perfect balance between bonding with nature and meeting like minded trail users.
Many first timers seemed to especially appreciate the lift served XC trails to avoid the 3+ mile grunt up Armstrong, while those with lungs turn the climb into a short warm-up before venturing off to the Canyons, Pinecone, or cruising Mid-Mountain as a daily workout. Unleashed trail dogs seemed right at home accompanying both seasoned power riders and families with younger riders.
Missing from the Park City scene was the colorful culture of bearded single-speeders, professional stoners, and odd ball artists, otherwise finding fault with Park City requires a some serious reaching. If I had to choose between Colorado and Utah, my heart would go with Colorado, but weekend trips to Park City would certainly dot my calendar. Besides the lack of colorful culture, the absence of technical riding, fast desert trails, and varied terrain might eventually grow old, but its hard to say for sure, as part of me could definitely get use to maximizing fitness training on Park’s smooth trails and finishing the day with some strength training at one of the perfectly maintained local gyms. I am looking forward to returning next year to check out Flying Dog and the Canyons.