Summer on the Slopes
|Biking High: Mountain biking at 8,000 feet is a whole new challenge (courtesy, Park City Mountain Resort)|
Early Wednesday morning and folks are already lining up to purchase tickets at the Park City Mountain Resort. There's even a slight wait at the chairlift. Yet, unlike winter, when skiers always seem to be in a rush to get up the mountain and even more of a rush to get down, people relax and strike up conversation with each other before their ascent. Once on top, they have four avenues to make their way backvia the sled-like alpine slide, attached to a cable on a 45-mile-per-hour zipline, down one of the trails on foot, or on a mountain bike slicing through the birches and firs down the steep mountain slopes.
Snow can only be seen on the highest peaks of Utah's Wasatch Mountains, and ski season is a distant memory, but Park City and its surrounding ski areas flourish in the summer with a wealth of outdoor activity, including some of the finest mountain biking in the West. And, unlike the rest of Utah, which always seems to swelter in the summer heat, Park City's elevation of 6,900 feet helps to keep midday temperatures in the more reasonable 70- to 80-degree range.
"I came to this area to ski, but it's the summer riding that keeps me here," says Deb Lovci, a guide with local outfitter Interconnect Tours. "I can ride on singletracks that branch out in every direction like spokes on a bike, miles of dirt roads, or go with the lift service at the ski areas. It's a great mix."
Moab and the legendary Slickrock Trail get all the hype surrounding Utah off-road biking. That's good news to Park City bikers, leaving a large network of routes to fewer riders. Just remember that the high altitude here puts the "mountain" back into mountain biking.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication