It’s hard to believe it’s been just about two years since we moved up the hill to our home in Park City. Although it’s only 30 miles from Salt Lake, it’s far away enough to feel like another world. Even after two years, we still feel like the “new kids” – we continue to learn about the yummy restaurants, locals’ events, and seasonal activities of our hometown. One of my favorite “get to know Park City” things to do has been to get outside and explore the extensive trail system here.
I’ve often shared my adventures on some of my favorite trails: Mormon Flat, Summit Park, Toll Canyon. Recently, I’ve discovered a few nearby “new to me” trails that make me so grateful to live in such a glorious place.
My friend, Beth, showed me the Spring Creek trailhead this fall, just a few miles from home. Since then, I’ve explored it for quick jaunts or followed the trail through a 5-mile loop of the Glenwild trails. I always see hoof prints and even shared the mountain with a large elk and his harem of ladies once. The best part about the Spring Creek trail is that it ends with a cool-down in the creek for Cholula.
I’m learning that the mountains are filled with these trails, and many of the trailheads all connect with the same paths. There are two trailheads that I call Bad Apple because I’m not sure which it really is, and they both connect pretty quickly to the same tangle of trails. I’ve done my best brainstorming for writing pieces on this trail. It’s easy to be inspired!
A couple of weeks ago, I left a friend’s house and instead of turning right, toward home, I turned left (blame my parents for this wandering “where does this road go?” trait). I drove past a trailhead that wound into an area I’d never explored, so I came back a couple of days later and did just that. Round Valley is a popular biking trail and, in winter, Nordic skiing loop. I hiked for five miles that day and felt like I hardly scratched the surface– I can’t wait to explore more. And the views of Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resorts are breathtaking!
My most recent discovery is literally right up the street from home, at the other end of our neighborhood. I spied the Daybreaker trailhead by driving by it- I’m not sure how I’d missed it in the past. The trail winds up through scrub oak and connects to the 24-7 and Flying Dog trails. As the elevation rose, the views just got better and better and I wondered how it was possible that I’d never explored this part of the trail system.
In a winter when I’ve yet to dust off my snowboard due to below freezing temps, poor snow conditions, or health issues, hiking has been my sanity saver. Occasionally, I’ll glance at a trail map to learn about distance or loops, but my method has been to start at any given trailhead and just GO. As I wander, I’ve learned to get my bearings based on other hikes I’ve done. It’s been interesting to see how the trails interconnect, and what a pleasure to come upon a stellar view for the first time! The more I explore, the more I realize how widespread the trails are in Park City- there’s so much more to discover. And while I can’t deny the beauty of these snow-covered paths, I’m eagerly anticipating the color of spring and summer- the wildflowers, birds singing, and sunshine on my face.
One year ago: Things I’ve learned about LOVE.