The world Class Alpine skiing at the various resorts in the Park City area has not been a secret for at least the last twenty years. Then there was that little competition a few years back, the 2002 Olympics, which really put Park City’s alpine skiing on the international tourist destination radar. What has never received the same attention though is Park City Nordic skiing. With its base elevation at 7,000 ft, an annual average snowfall of 140 inches, and an abundance of rolling terrain, Park City is ideally suited for Nordic skiing! The Nordic skiing in and around Park City is basically split into three different areas; White Pine touring Center, Round Valley, and Snyderville basin.
White Pine Touring center is located right in the heart of Park City and is based out of the Hotel Park City. The summer golf pro shop is converted into a fully supported retail and ski tuning center complete with rentals, lessons, a killer selection of cutting edge outer wear, and on the spot ski waxing. White Pine touring grooms over 20k of rolling trails usually from Thanksgiving to the first week of April. The terrain is rolling and mellow for the most part as the grooming is done on what are golf courses in the summer. There is also an area known as the “Farm” which is open space but groomed by White Pine in the winter months. The farm has slightly more challenging terrain with a few longer, twisting downhill’s but a strong intermediate can easily handle it. It is not uncommon to see Team USA Nordic Skiers and Biathletes’ training at White Pine when they are not on the world Cup Circuit since the team is based in Park City. White Pine touring charges $18 to ski their ultra deluxe groomed trails.
Snyderville Basin is the area that surrounds Park city and starts at the Kimball Junction exit off interstate 80. You can park at the Whole Foods (perfect for after ski whole wheat pizza!) and get right on a free network of trails that goes all the way into town and beyond. The Snyderville basin terrain is a shared network where you might run into dog walkers, snow bikers, runners, and maybe even a few fellow Nordee’s! This terrain consists of a bunch of rolling, interconnected loops. Some run along streams and blast across bridges, some utilize county soccer fields and boardwalk, some are dirt or asphalt summer bike paths but all are super fun! The Basin trails are groomed on a rotating schedule by the Snyderville Basin Recreation Center. These trails connect into White Pine Touring’s trail complex utilizing a tunnel under Rt 224 so you don’t even have to cross the highway. The Snyderville Basin trails also connect into Round Valley.
With about 25 k of superbly designed and groomed trails, Round Valley sits just east of Park City off Kearns drive. This is another free area and it is maintained by the Mountain Trails Foundation which also is a major builder and maintainer of summertime single track. Mountain Trails is a donation based nonprofit dedicated to providing killer outdoor recreation opportunities in and around Park City. This is also a multi use area and is really popular and busy on the weekends. Round Valley’s terrain is spectacular as it has the longest up and downhill’s of all of Park Cities Nordic centers. The Round Valley Express for example is an almost 2 mile long continuous, fast, and winding downhill. You will definitely see a lot of snow bikers out here as the terrain is perfect for that as well. Round Valley is also site of the annual Round Valley Round Up which is a full day of Nordic racing consisting of a 5k, 20k, and 40k and believe me, when it comes to Nordic racing in Park city; The field is STACKED!! Another really cool feature about round valley is that it too can be accessed from Park City via Basin Rec’s Rail Trail.
Park City Nordic skiing; Leave the crowds and the hustle of the alpine resorts behind! With all of the Nordic options, an elevation that supports a consistent snow pack, world class grooming, and perfect Utah weather, get out for a day of Nordic skiing on your next visit to Park City!
Words & Photography by Dan O’Connor
Producer: Patrick Howell