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Park City, just a short drive from Salt Lake City, is easily accessible. It’s one of Utah’s winter playgrounds, with renowned ski resorts and gorgeous snow-capped scenery. But summer’s fun too with exciting mountain town activities like hiking, biking and whitewater rafting. Check off a complete bucket list’s worth of adventures in just a couple of days. Here’s what not to miss.
If you look at ski resorts and dream about the wildflowers and hikers that will displace skiers, Park City is the summer vacation you deserve. Park City summer activities include zipping down mountain biking trails or along aerial ziplines, stand-up paddle boarding, alpine slides and horseback riding. There are things to do in Park City Utah in summer for the whole family.
And while climate change is baking much of the United States, Europe and Asia, Park City’s elevation generally means slightly cooler temperatures.
Pro Tip: At 7,000 feet, Park City Utah is at an elevation where you can get easily altitude sickness. Plan less active fun things to do for the first 24 hours. Take a scenic drive, or ride a chair lift to see the miles of trails you will explore at a greater speed in the next day or three. You can also take a fly fishing guided tour. Stay hydrated, and avoid caffeine and alcohol until you are acclimated.
Hot Air Ballooning
Enjoying a Hot air balloon ride can be a great first day activity while you acclimate to Park City’s elevation. Hot air balloons are launched year round at sunrise; in summertime, you have to get up even earlier. But this means that after your aerial guided tour of Kamas Valley and the Wasatch Mountains, the whole family can take a nap.
These companies offer hot air balloon tours
- Bigfoot Balloons
- Skywalker Balloon Company specifies a minimum age of four
- Utah Balloon Flights has a minimum age of eight.
Note: you cannot take a hot air balloon ride if you are pregnant.
Pro Tip: As a self-described scaredy cat, my children were really impressed when I agreed to a hot air balloon ride. The only terrifying part was hitting the ground, but the gorgeous scenery makes it worth the jolt of fear.
The Park Silly Sunday Market
The Park Silly Sunday Market held summertime along historic Main Street is part street festival, part farmers market and part ecofriendly open air artist gallery. There is live music and activities for children. And the market is dog friendly!
Utah Olympic Park
Utah Olympic Park, built for the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics, offers guided tours that include a drive to the top of the world’s highest Nordic ski jump.
There are two small free museums, the Alf Engen Ski Museum and the George Eccles 2002 Olympic Winter Games museum. The interactive ski museum lets you experience skiing and snowboarding virtually.
The best way to enjoy Utah Olympic Park is with a pass that gives you unlimited access to these terrifying and exhilarating summertime activities:
- Alpine Slide – on a sled where you control your speed
- Extreme Tubing – speeds you down the landing hill of the Nordic Ski Jump in an inner tube
- Extreme Zip line – like a ski jump, this zip line goes 50 miles per hour
- Freestyle Zip line – a gentler zip line than the extreme, for younger kids or hestiant adults
- Canyon Summit Course – tests your agility, balance and coordination at 25 feet in the air
- Discovery Course – scaled down for younger kids from the canyon course
- Summer Summit Ropes Course – this ropes course is a more advanced version of the canyon course
- Drop Tower 377-foot long zip line ending with a 65-foot free fall
- Airbag Jumps – live out your movie stunt person dreams flopping into a giant airbag
- Scenic Chairlifts – no terror on this
In the summer there are also outdoor shows like Olympians and National Team skiers and snowboarders performing acrobatics in the freestyle pool. There is also a free a drive-in movie series in partnership with Sundance Institute.
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Summer Bobsled Experience at Utah Olympic Park
The summer bobsled track lets you hurtle along on a modified bobsled at speeds up to 60mph. These summertime bobsleds go on concrete, not ice.
Note: you must be at least 13 years or older and at least 100 lbs to ride the bobsled.
Park City Adventure Park
Park City Mountain Resort, a winter ski resort, transforms from late May to early September into this summertime adventure park. Highlights include:
The Alpine Coaster or Mountain Coaster is like a scenic roller coaster, looping and curving over a mile of track.
Don’t be fooled by the word “slide”. This is a thrilling summertime luge ride. Take a chair lift ride to the start of the over 3,000 foot track, and sit on a sled to speed down the mountain.
Note: two kids can’t ride together unless one is over age 16. Children 35 to 47 inches tall can only ride as a passenger, accompanied by a driver who is at least 16 years old and 48 inches or taller.
Scenic Chair Lift Ride
No adventure here, unless you are afraid of heights. Whoops!
Lift-Assist Mountain Biking
This is all thrills mountain biking. You take the chair lift up, with your bike, and then cycle and scream all the way down.
Didn’t travel with your bike? No worries. Rentals are available for all ages at the resort’s base area.
Whitewater Rafting on the Weber River
You can take a whitewater rafting trip on Class II rapids. Several companies offer guided rafting tours:
- Destination Sports – Weber River Trips also offers tubing
- Park City Rafting
- Utah Outdoor Adventures
Rockport State Park
This state park, a short drive from Park City, centers on Rockport Reservoir. Water sports are king here in summertime. You can rent a boat for water skiing, tubing or wakeboarding and rent kayaks, wave runners, pontoon boats and paddleboards.
Other things to do in Park City in summer months include:
- Listening to live music
- Archery range
Wasatch Mountain State Park
Wasatch Mountain State Park has over 40 miles of trails for
- horseback riding
- mountain biking
There are also backcountry trails for motorized vehicles. In summertime, you can take 4-wheel drive vehicles and dirt bikes here; in winter, these trails are for snowmobiles.
Wasatch Mountain State Park has four 18-hole golf courses
Deer Valley Resort
Another Park City ski resort is Deer Valley Resort. They have plenty of summer vacation adventures, including:
- mountain biking
- scenic chairlift rides
- horseback riding
- SUP (stand up paddleboard)
Deer Valley has live music at its Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater, including a free Wednesday night concert series. The Deer Valley Music Festival, Utah Symphony’s summer, offers chamber and classical music.