Sure, ski season is right around the corner, but warm, late-autumn days are making the case for some last minute camping, hiking, and biking excursions to fill the void until the flakes start to fall. For those looking to really chase summer and hit the road for one last adventure-inspired roadtrip- or start planning for next year—all-inclusive mountain bike guiding company Chasing Epic suggests Park City for its ski town charm, and miles of dirt. Chasing Epic’s founder and owner, Steve Mokan, offers his top five reasons for what makes Park City’s singletrack worth the trip.
What’s your favorite trail for intermediate to advanced mountain bikers looking for a challenge?
SM: Want it all in one ride? The Park City IMBA Epic is for you. Starting and finishing in town, this ride has over 3,500 feet of climbing (and descending), and takes you up Park City Mountain Resort, along the Wasatch Crest, and down through the Canyons Resort. Sure, it’s a lot of climbing to get the reward, but it’s well worth it. Super fast descending, a little bit of exposure, and some technical trails highlight the downhill as you make your way through the Canyons.
What’s your favorite ride to take in the local views?
SM: While most people would say the Wasatch Crest, I’m going off the beaten path and recommending Deer Crest (at Deer Valley). The trail starts at the upper base area and climbs briefly, but then descends over 1,000 feet with views down into town, and more impressively to the east across Jordanelle Reservoir and into the Uintas. The trail is fast and smooth, and just about anyone can tackle it. Best part? Once you’re done having fun on your bike, it’s an easy cruise back into town to your favorite bar. Second place: Flying Dog Trail. This lies 15 minutes north of downtown Park City (on the north side of I-80), and is a great 15+ mile loop that offers views across all three ski resorts—tough to beat on a sunny day!
What’s your idea of a quintessential Park City ride?
SM: The Mid-Mountain IMBA Epic. This trail can be ridden any way you want—out and back, as a loop connecting it with the in-town bike path, or as a one-way “shuttle”. Any way you look at it, the Mid-Mountain trail deserves its glory, as it winds its way through Deer Valley, Park City Mountain Resort, and the Canyons with gentle climbs, fast and quick descents, and some of the most beautiful aspen groves you’ll see this side of Colorado. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for out-of-commission mines along the way, too!
What’s your favorite spot to grab a morning cup of coffee and quick bite before hitting the trail?
SM: Wasatch Bagel, on the north end of town (but still in town!) is a small, nondescript coffee shop in a small shopping center. Don’t miss it; amazing french toast, great breakfast sandwiches, and lots of tasty coffee options are sure to get you fueled up for your all-day ride. Be sure to get a few cookies for the trail!
What’s your favorite Park City watering hole?
SM: Park City has too many bars to count, but the one that comes to mind is Wasatch Brewery. They always have a huge selection of amazing beers, but make sure you try the famous Polygamy Porter—you can’t have just one (take some home to the wives!).
For more information about the mountain biking scene in Park City or Chasing Epic, check out their websites.