Cyclists know Park City as a mountain bike community, after all, it’s still the only IMBA Gold-level Ride Center in North America, which means it offers something for all levels of riders. So what is there on offer for road cyclists? There’s actually quite a lot.
You can enjoy the connectivity of shorter, flatter ride routes in and around the neighborhoods that live between the bases of two world class ski resorts, and go even a bit beyond. Cyclists can find great routes stretching from the Jeremy Ranch and Pinebrook areas off of I-80 to Kimball Junction, through the Snyderville Basin and all the way to the lower Snow Park area of Deer Valley Resort. Remember, the adjective used above was “flatter” rather than flat. It’s the mountains, after all. Nothing is really flat here.
If you are looking for a bigger challenge then access to the high mountains of the Uintas can provide that as well. Rides along the Mirror Lake Highway out of Kamas, or the famed Empire Pass and Guardsman Pass climbs have been known to shatter the peloton to smithereens, and decide the eventual podium spots in the annual Tour of Utah.
In addition to the great riding, there is a wonderful community of people who live here in Park City. Many of these folks ride bikes of all kinds, so you’ll feel at home if you are looking for a destination to unpack your bags and stay for awhile. You might even see a rider like World Champion and #1 ranked Peter Sagan stretching his legs during altitude training before he heads off to the Tour de France.
The town also offers all the amenities you would expect from a resort town in terms of lodging, dining, and other off-the-bike activities. As for the cycling, here’s a list of many of Park City’s golden rides.
Short. A favorite shorter loop is any variation of the Park City Town Loop that takes you on Old Ranch Road. Old Ranch has a generous bike lane on much of it, gets you off the highways, and connects through Trailside and Silver Summit neighborhoods to the Highland Drive Trailhead and Silver Quinn Express bike path.
Family-friendly. Silver Quinn Express trail connects the fields, trails, playgrounds, and athletic fields of the Quinn’s Junction area with the Highland Drive Trailhead near Round Valley. It’s a paved path popular with families looking to get the little ones out on two wheels.
Medium. Do a town loop, but extend it by venturing out to Jeremy Ranch. From the north end of Old Ranch Road, go west on the bike path until it crosses under I-80. From there continue west on Bitner Road. Continue straight on Rasmussen Road and you will see a bike path on the left side. Follow this to the end, then take Homestead Road away from I-80 into the Jeremy Ranch neighborhoods.
In-town, but with climbing. Add a trip up Royal Street, which connects Deer Valley Resort’s lower Snow Park base area with the upper Silver Lake Village, to any of the loops described above. Royal Street is about a 3.2-mile climb that nets you about 900 vertical feet of climbing, and it’s a fun descent too. It’s also a popular way to access Guardsman Pass, via the Guardsman Connection.
Let’s get out of town and explore. The Kamas Loop. This is a classic route with a little bit of everything. Take Highway 248 towards Kamas from Quinn’s Junction and climb up high around the Jordanelle Reservoir. At the bottom of the descent, cross the road with a left turn on 2000 West which turns into North Democrat Alley. This has the last mile of dirt road during the ride. The road can be as smooth as pavement or loose and rutted depending on the time of the year.
Turn left onto Wooden Shoe Lane through Oakley, then left on Route 32 in Peoa, and finally, after about one mile, a left onto Brown’s Canyon. Brown’s Canyon has been part of the Tour of Utah, USA Cycling National Championships, and countless local races. At the top of Brown’s, you’ll intersect back with 248 to Park City.
Let’s go big. Wolf Creek Pass, Empire Pass, Guardsman Pass. They are all within your reach if you have your sights set on epic four-plus hour rides with massive elevation. The local Mountain Trails foundation (http://mountaintrails.org) has handy road ride maps available at the local bike shops.
All these routes are best ridden April through November. As you may have heard, Park City is a ski town, not just a bike town. But on certain magical days in late March to mid-April, you can ski all morning and then get a great road bike ride in the afternoon. There are not too many places you can do that.