Summer in the Rockies: Great Things to Do with Kids in Park City
Top 5 ideas for exploring Park City, UT with the kids. By Camille Miller
Located just 38 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, Utah, Park City is known internationally as a playground for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. In the summer, families escape to Park City's higher altitudes to escape the summer heat and take advantage of beautiful views, historical wonders, and thrilling adventures.
Nowhere in the world can you find views like those seen from the peaks of the Rocky Mountains. A short hike (just a little over a mile) on Rob's Trail leads you up to see spectacular vistas overlooking Canyons Resort. Take a jacket, sunscreen and a water bottle, since the atmosphere is thinner at 7,000 feet and weather in the mountains can be unpredictable. Rob's Trail is located in Bear Hollow behind the Utah Olympic Park. (The trailhead is located near the Park City Nursery: 4497 Utah 224.)
Looking for a challenge? The Ontario hike at Deer Valley is 2.5 miles long and has an elevation increase of about 900 feet. Start at Silver Lake Village at the trailhead just beyond the Sterling Express lift.
Park City Museum (Park City Museum)
If you and your children appreciate history, you'll find the Park City Museum fascinating. This mining-town turned ski-town has a rich past filled with captivating tales of Native Americans, hardy pioneers, overnight millionaires, and cunning criminals. Interactive exhibits encourage you to personally examine a full-sized stagecoach, climb aboard a railcar, and step inside the original territorial jail. As you plan your visit, set aside several hours to take your time exploring this valley's extraordinary past. (528 Main Street; 435-649-7457/Hours: Mon-Sat 10am - 7pm, Sun 12pm - 6pm/Adults $10, Children ages 7-17 $5, Kids 6 and under Free.)
Outdoor Fun: Park Silly Sunday Market is a delightful way to spend a day out. Enjoy the farmers’ market, bouncy houses, puppet shows, and crafting fun. The market is open every Sunday from June to September on Park City's Historic Main Street, from 10am - 5pm.
Get out of the summer heat and introduce your kids to whitewater rafting. The rivers near Park City are mild enough to thrill without taking any unnecessary risks with inexperienced rafters. The guides are great with children and can accommodate groups of any size. A photographer is available to capture the expressions on your loved ones' faces as they navigate rapids, eddies, and even a waterfall! Plan a half-day for this trip, and make arrangements with your guide to include a sandwich lunch if you desire. Make your reservation with All Seasons Adventures at 435-649-9619. For more ambitious multi-day rafting trips schedule with Midway Adventure at 435-657-2008.
Alpine Slide at Park City Mountain Resort (Flickr: Ken Lund)
The Alpine Slide at Park City Mountain Resort is a summertime favorite with over 3,000 feet of gently declining track. Wind your way through aspen and pine trees as you race to the bottom of the mountain on this luge-like course. You control the speed yourself, so the big kids can feel the wind in their hair, while the little ones point out the hawks soaring overhead. This fun slide is something your kids are likely to request again and again! (1310 Lowell Avenue; 435-649-8111/Riders 48” or taller: $12. Riders under 48” (at least 2 years old): $3)
If the slide doesn't interest you, consider a scenic ride in a Gondola at the Canyons Resort. Panoramic views at an altitude of 8,000 feet will take your breath away. (Purchase Gondola tickets at the Activities Center in the Resort Village, 4000 Canyons Resort Dr., from 9:30 am - 6:00 pm. Adults $18, Junior (Ages 5-12) $13, Children 4 and under Free.)
The winter sports park created for the 2002 Winter Olympics is open year-round. Treat your kids to a ride down an Olympic bobsled track, traveling up to 65 mph with a trained pilot. Challenge yourself on adventure rope courses and two ziplines. You can even try your freestyle aerial skills and land in the 750,000-gallon training pool for a truly memorable experience. Plan to spend the whole day here and visit on a weekday if possible to avoid crowds. (3419 Olympic Parkway; 435-658-4200)
Camille Miller contributed this to MiniTime.com.