Park City’s thrilling, scenic, singletrack mountain biking trails have earned it the world’s first IMBA Gold Level Ride Center designation. Bikers of all levels owe themselves a pilgrimage to these epic, world-class trails.
Deer Valley Resort is the hub of Park City’s lift-served, downhill riding scene. A host of recent upgrades and new trails have improved the experience for beginners and advanced riders alike. From easy, flowy rollers to steep downhills with wild berms and jumps, there’s a ride for everyone on Deer Valley’s nearly 70 miles of trails.
And who better to share the highlights than a local? We got the lowdown on Deer Valley’s best rides from Park City rider, Scott House, who’s spent the last 13 years mountain biking in Park City 12 of them as a guide and says his favorite rides in town are at Deer Valley Resort. Here are his takes on the top trails.
1. For the Beginner: Holy Roller
Kick off the day on Deer Valley Resort’s new beginner flow trail, designed to ease novice riders into the sport and serve as a warm up, “The first trail everybody should start on at Deer Valley is Holy Roller,” says Scott, “It’s a great introduction to get on the mountain, get your feet wet, and not have a bunch of people bombing past you.
The trail descends 1,300 feet over four, fun, twisty miles. Scott says the playful ride isn’t just for beginners, “I love spinning laps on Holy Roller. If you’re a downhill rider, start there to get a feel for the elevation and trails. Then step up into harder rides like Tidal Wave, Twist and Shout, and if you’re advanced, the new Tsunami trail.”
Deer Valley’s new trails better accommodate all levels of riders, so if you were nervous to bike here because of the difficulty, get your wheels over to Holy Roller.
2. For the Skilled: Tidal Wave
Get in the flow on Deer Valley’s roller coaster-like, downhill favorite, Tidal Wave. This 2.5-mile intermediate singletrack ride rolls through the aspens, featuring 58 tabletop jumps and 9-foot berms that can be ridden at your own pace.
Experienced riders can take the jumps and turns fast to catch serious air, while progressing newbies can ride it slower and enjoy the jumps as playful rollers. Hubs along the trail allow you to pull over to take a break or let faster riders go by.
Start by taking the Sterling Express chairlift to the top of Bald Mountain at 9,200 feet. Drop 1,000 feet as you ride the winding trail to its finish at Silver Lake Lodge.
You can extend your ride and skip Silver Lake Lodge’s action where Tidal Wave terminates by parking at the Snow Park base, “Parking is very limited at Silver Lake Village and while the chairlift ride is longer to the top, it makes for a nice, long descent at the end of the day from the top of the mountain to Snow Park Lodge,” says Scott.
3. For the Expert: Tsunami!
Once you’ve mastered Holy Roller and cruised down Tidal Wave, you may be ready for the expert thrills of Tsunami. But Scott suggests taking one more ride before jumping in. “Ride something like Naildriver or Homeward Bound, some of the older trails that have been redeveloped. They won’t have the traffic Tsunami has. Once you get comfortable, then branch out.”
Tsunami is a challenging new trail that’s part of Deer Valley’s modernization efforts and features terrain including 10-foot berms, jumps, 25-foot tabletops, and step-downs. Tip: If you don’t know what any of those are, you’re probably not ready for this ride.
The adventure begins at the top of Bald Mountain, so load your bike and ride the chairlift up to take this two-mile fun-fest 900 feet down to Silver Lake Village. The trail will open in stages throughout this summer, so don’t be surprised if you visit early in the season and it’s not all ready to ride.
4. For the Views: Mid Mountain Trail
This classic Wasatch singletrack ride sits at 8,000 feet over sea level. The trail climbs and descends nearly 28 miles through lush aspen and pine forests, meadows, and over creeks as it passes through two Park City ski resorts. Riding the whole thing is a big, day but possible to do in one sitting. Many riders choose to take on just a section of this iconic ride.
The spectacular Deer Valley to Park City Mountain Resort section begins at Silver Lake Lodge.This winding, forested section is mostly level, but expect to do some climbing and descending as the trail undulates across the land. Though forested, the path opens up in places to showcase panoramic views of Park City. Descend on the Spiro trail and follow Scott’s great advice: take Park City’s free bus system back to Deer Valley.
5. For the Night Owl: Scott Twilight Ride Series
One of Deer Valley’s newest and best mountain bike offerings isn’t a trail at all, but the SCOTT Twilight Ride Series, which extends chairlift hours into the evenings on Wednesdays in July and August.
Enjoy the long summer days and come ride the Silver Lake Express and Sterling Express chairlifts from 4 to 8 p.m. or take a private bike lesson if you reserve in advance. All summer operations including some snack options at Snow Park and Silver Lake Lodges stay open late on these days, too.
Originally written by RootsRated for Deer Valley.
Featured image provided by Deer Valley Resort