Five Ways to go Beyond the Norm in the Wasatch
Though Park City’s reputation as a winter sports destination was built on the more traditional pursuits of ski jumping, skiing, and – ultimately – snowboarding, every now and then, it’s fun to shake things up and try something out of the ordinary. For Parkites and visitors, opportunities to go beyond the norm abound, so I’ve put together a list of my current top five ways to stretch your limits while in the Wasatch.
3863 Kilby Road, Park City
Open daily from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
The highly-anticipated Woodward Park City opened its doors just two months ago, but it’s already become the hottest destination in town. Designed to accommodate year-round fun, the 60+ acre attraction encompasses action sports and mountain parks that include everything from lift-accessed snowboarding, skiing and mountain biking, to both indoor and outdoor facilities designed for all levels of BMX, scooter, skateboard, parkour and cheer. Throw in an upgraded tubing experience with two surface lifts and the longest lanes in the state, and you have an experience certain to engage athletes of all ages and abilities.
To experience Woodward, you can choose from classes, lessons, camps, monthly memberships and/or access tickets.
Lessons are offered at a cost significantly lower than at local ski areas, with two-hour group lessons for $74, and full-day lessons from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. for $122.
For those aged seven and older looking to improve their snowboarding, skiing or multi-sport skills (including trampoline, parkour, skateboard scooter and bike) in a camp setting, the facility offers Woodward Weekends, a flexible Saturday and/or Sunday series of four, six, 12 of 24 full-days of instruction from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Two upcoming Winter Camps are also being offered during President’s Week (Feb. 17-21) and Spring Break (April 6 – 10). Further, the facility is throwing its hat into the summer camp ring with multi-day programs for kids six and older, offering either single-sport or multi-sport programs that also include more traditional summer camp offerings, such as arts and crafts. All camps provide for drop-off starting at 8:30 a.m. and a late pick-up at 5:30, with lunch included and discounts for members.
To learn more, visit Woodward’s website by clicking here.
1000 Peaks Ranch
“We believe that life is too short for lift lines, powder panic, and icy moguls.” – Park City Powder Cats
In the spirit of going where no man (or woman) has gone (or tracked) before, Park City Powder Cats offers 43 pristine acres of private terrain accessed by snowcats with heated passenger cabins, each accommodating 10 guests and two guides.
The typical day starts at 8:30 a.m. at the PC Powder Cats cabin in the Uinta Mountains, approximately 35 minutes from Park City. By 8:40 a.m., guides will distribute beacons and snowcat assignments, and participants will receive orientation and safety protocols. At 9 a.m., safety protocols are reviewed and everyone is in their cats, with a 9:45 a.m. arrival time at a slope, followed by the first run. From 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., skiers and riders will experience untouched power, with five- to 10-minute cat rides between laps. Lunch of sandwiches, wraps, soups, teas and baked goods is from 12 – 1 p.m., followed by more skiing and boarding in powder, bowls, chutes and glades. Everyone returns to the cabin at 3:45 p.m. with departure at 4:30 p.m.
Because there is no groomed terrain at 1000 Peaks Ranch, participants must be advanced or expert skiers or riders who can handle an ungroomed black diamond run in any condition, including powder, slush, ice or crust.
To learn more and book your snowcat adventure, click here.
6965 East Highway 158
801-745-3772, ext. 181
For a budget-friendly snowcat experience that doesn’t require a full-day commitment, Powder Mountain Ski Resort offers single-ride cat skiing or snowboarding at just $20 per ride for season pass holders, or $25 per ride for those with day passes. The snowcats bring skiers and riders to areas of the mountain lifts cannot access, providing an experience rivaled by heli-skiing, for a fraction of the cost. Located less than 90 minutes from Park City, Powder Mountain boasts 8,000 acres of skiable terrain, placing it among the largest resorts in the U.S., but the resort is known for being uncrowded with a laid-back vibe. To purchase cat skiing passes as add-ons to season or lift tickets, click here.
Park City & Snowbird
If cat skiing doesn’t provide enough of an adrenaline rush, give the good folks at Powderbird Helicopter Skiing a call. With 46 years of experience bringing skiers and snowboarders into the backcountry for guided heli-skiing and mountain adventures, Powderbird operates out of two conveniently-located base facilities, one near Historic Park City and the other at the base of Snowbird. With the ability to access the mountain in the gnarliest of conditions, Powderbird provides all guests with safety equipment, including an airbag pack, beacon, shovel and probe. At the beginning of each adventure, guests are trained in basic avalanche safety and how to use the aforementioned equipment, after which guides pick runs based on the group’s ability levels and current snow conditions.
Guest are not required to be expert skiers or boarders, but they should have an adequate level of fitness and skill set to fully enjoy the experience.
To connect with Powderbird, visit their website by clicking here, or call 801-341-2454.
Various Utah Ski Areas
To fully experience the Greatest Snow on Earth, Ski Utah offers its Interconnect Tour, allowing skiers (alas, not snowboarders) the chance to visit up to six ski resorts in just one day for an abundance of in-bound and out-of-bounds excitement.
Priced at $430 per person, the Interconnect Tour includes two Ski Utah guides, lunch at one of the resorts, lift access, transportation to the resort from which you’ve departed, and a finisher’s pin. Gratuity is not included, (but always encouraged).
The Deer Valley tour departs from DVR on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, and provides an opportunity to visit Deer Valley, Park City Mountain, Solitude, Brighton, Alta, Snowbird, in addition to the backcountry between the resorts. With an average of 25 miles covered on skis, this tour requires participants be in good physical condition and able to ski variable conditions.
For more advanced skiers, the Snowbird departures on Thursdays and Saturdays cover Snowbird, Alta, Brighton, Solitude and the backcountry, and requires more hiking, sidestepping and a stronger overall skiing ability than the Deer Valley tour.
Private tours provide a more customized experience and cost $3,000 for up to six clients, or $4,500 for up to 12 clients.
For availability and online reservations, please click here, or call 801-534-1907.
Few towns match Park City when it comes to opportunities to step outside of your winter sports comfort zone. Similarly, when you Choose Park City, you’re guaranteed an experience above all others. Learn more about the many experiences unique to Park City by connecting with Christine Grenney at 435-640-4238, or visit her website by clicking here to learn more about the area’s neighborhoods.