While we are officially breaking into spring here in Georgia, most of the ski resorts are still officially open (Park City closes this Sunday). So I couldn’t let ski season officially end without writing about our family adventure to Park City, UT. We visited Park City towards the end of February and had a great time. This was our third time taking the kids skiing and it was amazing seeing them grow in their enjoyment of skiing and skills on the slopes…even after not skiing for an entire year.
My husband had been to Park City once on a guys ski trip some years ago, but let’s just say he was no help in planning this family ski trip! But no worries for me, researching for a family adventure is half the fun! Park City is simply beautiful! Here are the things I loved about our trip to Park City.
Ease of getting to the mountain
While I knew I wanted to try a ski area outside of Colorado, one of the main draws to Park City was its distance from the airport. The resorts we have been to in Colorado are at least a 2-hour drive from Denver (after an already 4-hour flight). Park City Mountain on the other hand is a quick and easy 40-minute drive from Salt Lake City. When traveling with 3 kids, that is definitely a win! As a side note: some will recommend taking a shuttle if you are not used to driving in snow. We rented a car and drove ourselves with no problem in both Colorado and in Utah, once during an active snow. Just know your driving capabilities and make the best choice for your family.
Marriott Mountainside Resort
We stayed at Marriott Mountainside for our 4 days in Park City. This is a Marriott vacation club property, but when space is available, they rent rooms like a regular hotel. It is a family’s dream! It is a true ski-in ski-out resort and I can’t imagine you could get any closer to the mountain than this. Not only was it right next to a lift, but there is a ski valet, a kids activity center, a movie room, daily activities and heated pool and hot tubs for a quick dip even when its freezing cold outside. There were also eating options right outside the doors within walking distance or a short drive away. While this was only our first trip to Park City, I cannot imagine having stayed anywhere else. If we ever visit Park City again, I’ll definitely be planning to stay at Marriott Mountainside.
The Park City Mountain Slopes
While my husband is somewhat of a natural on skis (go figure!), we are all technically beginners. I personally like to stay on the greens (the easiest level of ski slopes), but still want to feel like I am getting good runs (a ‘run’ is a trip down from the top of the mountain). While I was initially concerned about Park City not having enough greens, I was very pleasantly surprised once we got there. The greens at Park City Resort are LONG and WIDE…aka a beginner’s dream. The longest run at Park City Mountain is the green run ‘Homerun’ which is 3.5 miles long. We loved it. There were several other greens as well to mix it up a little. There is also a short lift ‘First time’ for the true beginner that wants to work on getting on and off a lift and has just enough of a challenge down a hill to get your ski legs.
Snow Tubing at Gorgoza Park and Ice Skating
Ski resort towns have so much more to offer than just skiing, so if you aren’t so sure about skiing, don’t let that deter you from a little winter fun. We had a blast snow tubing at Gorgoza Park. Gorgoza Park is about a 15 minute drive from the ski resort, but well worth it. We went late one evening about an hour and a half before closing and pretty much had the place to ourselves. I lost count of how many times we went up and down. Gorgoza Park has some of the longest snow tubing hills I have seen (to be fair, I haven’t seen many). Ice skating was right at the mountain near the slopes. We (or in this case the kids) took that on one day immediately after skiing. Most cities have ice skating during winter, but there is nothing like ice skating with beautiful snow capped mountains as your back drop!
If you’re considering a ski trip for your family, don’t let the big name deter you. Park City Mountain resort is a great ski resort for experts AND novices. So start planning early for next ski season!