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The Green Scene

Park City - an Eco-Friendly Mountain Town

The Green Scene

Park City - an Eco-Friendly Mountain Town

By Jane Gendron

When world-renowned snow gives way to high country warmth, Park City transforms into a green-hued playground. For starters, 400 miles of hiking and biking trails weave through aspens groves, conifers, and alpine meadows, filling grateful lungs with sweet-scented sage and evergreen. Preserving that green scene for both moose and mountain biker has become a local priority, making Park City a place where eco meets action – both in terms of extraordinary recreational opportunities and innovative environmental stewardship. Think e-bikes, open space conservation, and net-zero carbon emission goals. As a result, tapping into the local green scene has never been easier or more fun.

 

Ditch the car: step, pedal, e-bike or hop the bus

Much of Park City is walkable and bike-able thanks to designated lanes, paths, trails and underpasses. Getting around town without leg-burning effort is also possible. Share one of the city’s e-bikes (available for pick up and drop off at locations throughout town, from Kimball Junction to Old Town). Or take the bus. The convenient – and free – transit system has been whisking tourists and locals around town for decades. In addition to biodiesel buses, the city recently stepped up eco-efforts by introducing electric buses to the fleet. The full skinny on walkability/bike-ability (including maps), bike share and bus information is available at ParkCity.org. And while you’re wandering or cruising, soak in the public art scene at PCscArts.org or stroll the area’s fine art galleries.

Get out there

Connect with nature or discover a heart-pumping workout by hitting the trails. Thrilling – as well as Zen-like – adventure can be found on an award-winning trail system which caters to all levels of hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. Beginner/casual hikers and bikers often opt for the relatively flat paved trails, such as the Rail Trail or McLeod Creek, and work up to the undulating, dusty single track of Round Valley. For a bit more of an adrenaline rush, the mountainous climbs and descents throughout the greater Park City area (particularly on the slopes of the ski resorts) include wicked views, gladed and wild flower-strewn escapes as well as technically challenging terrain.

Cool off and get a little exercise at neighboring Jordanelle State Park via kayak, swim or stand-up paddleboard. And for the peace-seeking angler, spectacular fly fishing on the nearby Provo and Weber rivers means plenty of solitude for casting a line – and even encountering the occasional moose or Red-tailed hawk.      

 

Hit the Market(s) – silly and otherwise

Zero waste and zany (in the best sense of the term), Park Silly Sunday Market is an open-air, festival-like gathering that packs lower Main Street every Sunday from early June to late September with an ever-evolving selection of artisans, entertainment and eats – from veggie stands and beer gardens to opera singers and country bands. The goods are hand-crafted and sustainable, everything from cheese boards made from recycled liquor bottles to whacky hats. For another sampling of close-to-homegrown eats, check out the weekly Farmers’ Market (Wednesday at the Silver King parking lot of Park City Resort); and keep an eye out for beside-the-road farm stands, selling everything from sweet peaches to pine nuts.  

 

Revel in the Open Space

Open Space preservation has led to the protection of several swaths of wild places – and the habitats, view corridors and watersheds they encompass. One of the newest members of the open space gang is Bonanza Flat, 1,350 acres straddling Guardsman Pass, where gorgeous alpine lakes, meadows and aspen groves are accessible via hiking trails.

Closer to Interstate 80, Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter is a unique 1,200-acre, wetland-filled preserve and LEED Platinum-certified building, which houses hands-on exhibits and is itself an example of eco-construction. This base camp for all manner of environmental learning and activity offers everything from guided hikes and talks to summer camps and an indoor, ecosystem-themed climbing wall. Be sure to look for elk and Sandhill cranes, whether biking and hiking north of the interstate or peering out over the grassy wetlands from the eco-center’s observation deck.

Of note: The rules on bike access, dog walking and other motorized and non-motorized activities vary at different open space locations. Be sure to take note of signage regarding regulations.

 

Celebrate faster… higher… stronger…greener

Utah is once again an Olympic hopeful, promising to throw its hat in the ring for another Games – most likely in 2030. This time around, there’s a sustainable angle to the bid, which makes a visit to the 400-acre, action-packed, Utah Olympic Park - site of the 2002 bobsled, luge, skeleton and ski jumping events and current training ground for the elite and novice athletes – the perfect homage to sport and Mother Nature. Warm weather happenings range from free, self-guided hiking and museum exhibits to fee-based attractions, such as the zip line, bobsled or Saturday freestyle show (where aerialists perform jaw-dropping tricks as they launch off jumps into the newly revamped splash pool).

So long, carbon. Hello, fun.

As Park City moves toward its net zero carbon goal by 2022, the innovative city- and community-led initiatives for protecting the green scene continue. For more eco-infused fun (and serious, earth-friendly information), check out the happenings at Summit Land Conservancy,  Recycle Utah and Utah Open Lands, the three local non-profits consistently rallying around the green scene… Hops hunting, anyone?

VisitParkCity.com     PCscarts.org  

 

Mountain Town Mecca– Park City

  • Posted On: Apr 16, 2018 at 12:36 PM
  • Category: Destinations, General Interest, Kids, North
With the snow-melt comes the quieter side of this mountain town, but the word is out and now the streets that were once vacant during the “mud season” (the term the locals use to describe the time between being able to ski and when the trails dry out enough for summer pursuits) are now bustling with action. With average summer temps in the 80’s, zero humidity and a town that sits at nearly 7,000 feet in elevation, this is the perfect summer getaway.

Discovering Ogden

  • Posted On: Apr 16, 2018 at 12:04 PM
  • Category: Destinations, General Interest, Kids, North
From the days when it served as “Junction City” and transcontinental railroad passengers filled the streets, to its days as a venue for the Olympic Winter Games, Ogden has always had a diversity and a vibe that led the New York Post to proclaim it, “The OTHER Utah.”

Park City’s Gold Level Riding

  • Posted On: Apr 16, 2018 at 07:44 AM
  • Category: Destinations, General Interest, Kids, North
With over 400 miles of trail in Park City it can be a bit overwhelming to pick a ride, let alone pick an appropriate ride for you, your family or friends. With summer officially here, now is the perfect time to highlight some rides in the Park City area that may help you plan your next adventure.

Fly Fishing 411 Quick Picks

  • Posted On: Apr 16, 2018 at 06:48 AM
  • Category: Destinations, General Interest, Kids, North, South
Utah is the second driest state in the US, but in spite of that the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has done a terrific job of providing both still water and moving water public fisheries. Many fishing opportunities revolve around reservoirs and the tailwaters that flow from them.

Road Trippin’ Spring Break 2018-Adventuring in Moab

  • Posted On: Mar 10, 2018 at 12:03 PM
  • Category: Destinations, General Interest, Kids, State and National Parks
Moab is truly an outdoor recreationalists Utopia...hiking, biking, river running, climbing, canyoneering, rockaneering, zip lining, kayaking, paddle boarding, jeeping, skydiving, ballooning…that’s a whole ‘lotta adventure “ing” options – and the BEST part of all is there are professional guides to safely lead, assist and instruct you and your family in whatever kind of “adventuring” you are up for.

Bryce Canyon Winter Festival

  • Posted On: Feb 6, 2018 at 03:22 PM
  • Category: Kids
The Bryce Canyon Winter Festival at Ruby’s Inn is the perfect snowy getaway for families and friends alike.

Camping, Glamping, Cabining, Yurtin’…Endless Options Outdoors

  • Posted On: Jul 7, 2017 at 11:33 AM
  • Category: Destinations, General Interest, Kids, North, South, State and National Parks
There is no WIFI in the great outdoors, but you will find a better connection.

Abra Kanabra Adventure

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Totally Tubular!

Here in Utah we are so lucky to have unique Olympic venues for our communities to enjoy!

Red Rock Winter Escape

  • Posted On: Jan 8, 2017 at 01:53 PM
  • Category: Kids
A Trip to Canyon Country for Fun and Sun!

If Hot Chocolate Could Speak

Get the low down from Ski Utah's Brandon Ott on the how, what and where for skiing with your family in Utah!

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