One of the reasons that Park City is such a popular place for skiers is there’s terrain for every style of skiing here. With three world class ski resorts, and hundreds of miles of open terrain surrounding the area, any skier can find a challenging way to have fun here. Nordic, Alpine and freestyle skiers from around the world come to enjoy pristine trails, carefully groomed slopes, and the freedom of the wilderness.
Also known as cross country skiing, Nordic skiing is where the skier navigates relatively flat terrain. This is done by propelling themselves forward using poles, and pushing off with their skis. The bindings on cross country skis leave the heel of the boot free to allow the skier to push off with each stride and keep moving forward without moving downhill. Nordic skis are longer and thinner than other types of skis, which distributes the weight of the skier more evenly so they don’t sink down into the snow.
Park City is home to lots of gentle terrain and open areas that are perfect for cross country skiing. The White Pine Touring Track, located at Thaynes Canyon Dr. and Park Ave, is perfect for Nordic skiers of any skill level. It features 3km, 5km, and 10km loops in the foothills above Park City, and provides access to several other backcountry trails.
Also known as downhill skiing, Alpine is the style of skiing most people are after when they go to a ski resort. Alpine ski runs at resorts are rated in difficulty by a colored shape marking the trail. Each resort is a little different with the way it rates trails, but generally speaking, green circles are the easier trails, blue squares are intermediate, and black diamonds are difficult. As Alpine skiers head down the hill, navigating the trail, they use their poles to stabilize them, and are secured to their skis by a strong binding that holds both the heel and the toe on place.
There are three major ski resorts in Park City; Deer Valley, Park City Mountain, and Canyons resorts. Sundance ski resort is also nearby, and there are several other resorts in the Salt Lake City area. There’s plenty of terrain available for backcountry Alpine skiers in the Park City area as well.
For the brave of heart, freestyle skiing offers an extreme sports rush and a chance to get truly creative. Freestyle skiing involves performing jumps, flips and other tricks, either on an obstacle course type trail, or in a ski-ready half-pipe. The mogul skiing seen in the Winter Olympics is a freestyle skiing event. Freestyle skis, boots, and bindings come in a wide variety and are made to suit the type of tricks you want to do.
Park City Mountain Resort offers a freestyle skiing course where no more than 5 skiers are paired up with a coach in a group that matches their skill level. The freestyle skiing course covers a wide range of skills, from basic jumps to half-pipe tricks. Skiers and snowboarders of any age (11 and up) are invited to participate.