Park City’s Mountain Biking History

Park City, Utah Mountain Silhouette

Park City’s Mountain Biking History

WPB on Main St. in Park City, Utah

The history of mountain biking in Park City, Utah runs deep. After the discovery of silver in the late 1800s, prospectors began streaming in and by 1870, the town (named Parley’s Park) was booming. The town was incorporated in 1884 and changed its name to Park City. When the bottom dropped out and silver prices tanked (post-World War 2), it was the snow that saved the economy. Old mining shafts were repurposed into skier subways, shuttling skiers up the old ore railways and depositing them atop the mountain. Soon, chairlifts replaced the skier subway and Park City eventually turned into a world-class skiing destination.

As well-known as it is for its winter offerings and host to numerous events during the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games, visitors are realizing that Park City summers are just as spectacular as the winters. The thousands of acres used for winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing transform into forests, open meadows, and high-alpine traverses with over 500 miles of trails to accommodate mountain biking and hiking.

In the early days of mountain biking in Park City, most pedaling took place on old mining roads. Then in the 1980s, a group of passionate social riders eagerly built trails that would be the foundation for Park City’s robust trail system. There were 15 miles of legal trails when mountain biking went mainstream in the mid-1990s. In 1992, Deer Valley Resort offered Utah’s first lift-served mountain biking experience. Soon after, Mountain Trails Foundation was created with the mission to build, connect, and protect Park City’s world-renowned trail system while working with local government entities, private landowners, and developers.

Today, Park City has 500 miles of sanctioned singletrack, ranging from smooth flowy switchbacks in Round Valley to the white-knuckle descents off the Wasatch Crest. There are pump tracks, bike parks, gravity trails, and lift-access riding at two resorts in town. Plus, the sheer number of trails, the diversity of riding, and a cohesive network that has put Park City, Utah on International Mountain Biking Association’s (IMBA) Gold Level Ride Center list. In fact, it was designated as the world’s first-ever Gold Level Ride Center.

Park City also offers all the lodging and dining options you would expect from a world-class resort town. From five-star luxury hotels to casual brewpubs and activities for the whole family, it all works together in Park City, Utah and it’s what’s pushed this mountain bike destination to the gold standard.

To learn more about Park City’s rich history, visit the Park City Museum at 528 Main St. or hire a professional guide at White Pine Touring to show you the historic sites via a comfort bike. To discover more about the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games, check out the exhibits at the Alf Engen Ski Museum at the Utah Olympic Park.