A Wasatch Back Summercation
- Posted On
- Jul 21, 2020
- Northern Utah
Summer along the Wasatch back is nothing short of epic. It’s close enough for a quick weekend getaway yet far enough away to experience all the “feels” of a real Vaca’
The players along Wasatch Back may seem like an ordinary bunch...Park City, Kamas, Heber and Midway...but the recreational opportunities here are mighty, where you are bound to find something to please even the pickiest member of your crew.
Where the rubber meets the road…ok…not exactly the road but the paved path. Park City has 43 miles of paved paths that are ideal for biking, roller blading, balance biking and, yes...even stroller pushing. And, best of all…there are easy to follow color-coded routes connecting to parks, wildlife viewing areas and local businesses.
Some of the best locales to hit the pavement are the McLeod Creek Trail (Connects Park City to Canyon’s Village area), Historic Rail Trail/Poison Creek (connects Prospector Park, City Park to Main Street) and the Millennium Trail (connects Summit Park, Kimball Junction, Canyon’s Village)
If your family is ready to move past exploring the paved paths, there are some great natural surface trails to keep the tires rolling and even connecting parks to business locales making it ideal for a rest stop treat of ice cream or in our case it’s the lavender-Boba tea at Townshend Teahouse that motivates more miles on the trail.
Both Willow Creek and Matt Knapp Parks are the perfect launching point for hitting the awesome network of natural surface trails located between The Canyons Village area of Park City Mountain and Kimball Junction. Both of these parks are full-service…ie restrooms, picnic tables, water fountains, open grassy spaces for playing and of course playgrounds. Willow Creek even has a separate play-area for toddlers and a fenced off dog park featuring a pond to help your furry friends keep their cool.
Rolling on to the single-track -For those ready to hit the trails and explore some single-track, Park City is KING... with over 450 miles of non-motorized trails, there is something for every ability. The best place for young riders is Round Valley. For beginners Matt’s Flat (out-and-back) and the Practice Loop are great intro’s to single-track riding. Next, try the 4.5-mile Matt’s Flat/PorcUclimb/ Downdog loop. For the advanced-beginner head into town for a fast, flowy and fun 7-mile loop connecting Free Mason/Lost Prospector/Skid Row which are located on Masonic Hill just east of Main Street. For the local downhill scene Woodward, Deer Valley and Park City Mountain all offer beginner-advanced lift-served mountain biking options.
Just one step at a time- Hiking is a great way to enjoy the cool mountain vistas and get a bit of exercise at the same time. PC Hill (easy /1.3-mile round trip), Quarry Mountain (moderate/2.2 mile round-trip) and Iron Mountain (difficult /5.5 miles round-trip) are 3 hiking-only trails that provide epic views of Park City. If you have a 4-legged furry friend, Run-A-Muck is for you. This 43-acre off-leash dog park has 2 miles of single-track hiking trails.
Keepin’ it Local
This summer Historic Main Street will be a different scene on SUNDAYS from 11am to 10pm (June 14th-September 6th ) throughout the season. It will be closed to cars for the day giving the Main Street businesses an opportunity to spread out onto the street allowing for better social distancing in the car free zone. (HistoricParkCityUtah.com)
Copper Moose Farm Stand (1285 Old Ranch Road) is open Tuesday/Thursday from 12-6pm and Saturday 9am-3pm (CopperMooseFarm.com)
The Park City Farmer’s Market located at Park City Mountain is every Wednesday from 12-5pm (ParkCityFarmersMarket.com )
New for 2020 is Versante on The Lawn at the Park City Peaks Hotel featuring live music and Silly Market vendors on weekends throughout the summer. This outdoor space provides socially-distanced picnic tables that can be reserved online.
The Heber Valley Farmers Market is Thursday’s beginning July 9th from 4-9pm located at the Main Street Park (250 South Main - 435-654-4830). The 2020 summer schedule will be limited and smaller allowing for social distancing.
H2O – Splish-Splash
Whether it’s a pool, a river or a sandy beach, H2O adventures are definitely taking the lead in summer fun.
Outdoor Pools – Silver Mountain Sports Club and the MARC are both have great outdoor pools that are open for day-use to visitors. Both of these locations have social distancing guidelines in place to ensure healthy poolside fun.
River Style Both the Provo and Weber Rivers provide many places to adventure…rafting and fishing ranking the highest. The Provo River flows 71-miles from Uinta Mountains to Utah Lake and is a world-class blue-ribbon fishing destination. The Upper section flows from Uinta Mountains to Jordanelle Reservoir and is mostly free-flowing, the Middle Section flows 10 miles through the beautiful Heber Valley between the Jordanelle and Deer Creek Reservoirs and the lower section flows 17 miles from Deer Creek to Utah Lake. The lower section between Deer Creek and Vivian Park is great for rafting and tubing. High Country Adventure offers guided rafting, SUP (Stand-up paddling board) and tubing (minimum age 12) tours.
The Weber River flows 125 miles from the headwater in the Uintas to the Great Salt Lake. The Middle section (Rockport to Echo) is one of the best sections for fishing. The 5-mile section between Henefer and Taggarts is the best for rafting with class II-III rapids. All Seasons Adventures and Destination Sports are two local companies that offer fully guided ½ day rafting and tubing (minimum age 14) tours.
If the au-naturale H2O scene is more your style then our local state parks are for you; Jordanelle, Deer Creek, Rockport and Echo all have plentiful opportunities for water recreating, sand castle building, beach chair lounging and swimming. These locations also have rental options to explore a different activity like…SUP, kayak, boats and personal watercraft.
Wasatch Mountain State Park located in the beautiful Heber Valley is the ultimate outdoor playground. Where you can hike, mountain bike, golf, camp, fish, horseback ride, disk golf, goo-cache and explore backcounty roads via OHV. This 23,000-acre Park provides something for everyone. The pond next to the visitor center is the perfect place to test the waters and give fishing a try. Poles can be rented at the visitor center for $3 each. A new addition to the Park is the Pine Canyon Bike Park which includes a pump track and beginner trails.
No visit to the Heber Valley is complete with exploring the shops and dining in Midway. This swiss-inspired small town has a vibrant downtown that is perfect après’ adventure, where you will find cool locally owned antique shops and boutiques and many tasty dining options offering both indoor and outdoor seating.
Kamas aka The Gateway to the Uintas. Mirror Lake Scenic Byway a 56-mile route that offers endless recreational options…topping the list are camping, hiking and fishing. Hiking Bald Mountain (summit 11,943’), canoeing Mirror Lake and exploring Christmas Meadows top the list.