The Park City area in Utah is home to several world-class ski resorts, including Park City Mountain, Deer Valley Resort, and Alta. These resorts offer a wide range of terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, and are known for their high-quality facilities and amenities.
The ski season in Park City generally runs from November to April, depending on the weather and snow conditions. During the peak of the ski season, the resorts are typically open from early morning until late afternoon or early evening, and offer a variety of activities and events for skiers and non-skiers alike.
While the skiing at these resorts is world-class, sometimes the options for getting to and from them can leave people scratching their heads. During peak season, the large crowds and unpredictable weather can wreak havoc on your ski trip plans.
Avoid The Crowds!
One of the ways to make your transportation around park City ski resorts easier is by simply avoiding the crowds when possible. Crowds make everything difficult, from filling up parking lots early, to competition for shuttles, and road congestion. Avoiding the busiest of times around these mountains will make your life much easier.
During the ski season, the busiest ski resorts in the Park City area are generally Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort, which are known for their large ski areas, varied terrain, and luxury amenities. These two are located directly in downtown Park City, while the others are not. These resorts tend to be busiest on weekends and during holiday periods, when many people are visiting the area to ski and snowboard.
To avoid crowds at the busiest ski resorts in Park City, you can try visiting on weekdays instead of weekends, or skiing during non-peak periods, such as early or late in the ski season.
In contrast, the Alta, Solitude, Brighton, and Snowbird ski resorts are slightly smaller, more intimate resorts that are known for their laid-back atmosphere and excellent skiing and snowboarding conditions. These resorts tend to be less crowded than Park City Mountain and Deer Valley, which allows them to offer a more relaxed and uncrowded skiing experience.
Park City Transportation Options
Here are tips around the three main transportation systems in and around Park City:
The Park City Transit bus system serves the Park City area and provides great service to several ski resorts, including Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort. The bus system also serves the Park City area and the surrounding communities, with several stops within the immediate city limits. This is likely your best option if you are just trying to get around town cheaply.
Park City Transit is augmented by the High Valley Transit system, which helps shuttle people around the Park City area as well. Both the Park City Transit and High Valley Transit routes are located here.
The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) operates a bus system that serves the Salt Lake City area, including the ski resorts of Alta and Snowbird. However, the bus service to these resorts is limited, and it may not be the most convenient or practical option for getting to the resorts, especially if you are traveling with ski equipment.
To get to Alta or Snowbird from Salt Lake City, you can take UTA’s Ski Bus route, which operates during the ski season and provides service between Salt Lake City and the resorts. The Ski Bus route stops at several locations in Salt Lake City, including the Salt Lake City International Airport, and offers connections to other UTA bus and rail services.
There are countless shuttle and group transportation companies that offer services to help transport skiers around Park City, including between ski resorts and the Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC).
Here are some examples of shuttle and group transportation companies that serve the Park City area:
- Utah Mountain Shuttle: offers airport transfer service between the Salt Lake City airport and ski resorts in the Park City area, as well as between most area ski resorts and other destinations in the area. Offers online reservations.
- Deep Powder Transportation: This taxi service – also called Park City Taxi – offers private shuttle service between the Salt Lake City International (SLC) airport and ski resorts in the Park City area, as well as between resorts and other local destinations. This taxi service has everything from mini buses to sprinter vans.
- Salt Lake Express: offers shuttle service between the Salt Lake City International airport and ski resorts in the Park City area, as well as between resorts and other destinations in the area. This shuttle also offers convenient online booking.
- Lift & Uber: These types of services can be quite costly on your own, but if you’re able to share them with a few other people, the cost may become more manageable. A car service like this can easily run over $150 one way.
Stay away from anything called luxury transportation or something similar. They will cost much more than the services I listed above, without much to differentiate themselves apart from slightly nicer cars (sometimes).
You may see All Resort Express mentioned on other lists like this one, but it has permanently closed.
Renting a car is a viable option if you want the flexibility to come and go as you please. There are several car rental agencies located at the airports and in the towns near the resorts. However, you need to be aware of both parking and weather issues when driving yourself.
If you are planning to rent a vehicle and drive to these popular ski resorts in Utah, you should be aware that parking can be extremely limited at many of the resorts, especially on busy days. Most ski resorts in the area have parking, but the spots usually fill up quickly, especially during peak seasons. In some cases, you may need to park off-site and take a shuttle to the resort.
Here are a few things to consider when it comes to parking at the ski resorts in Park City:
- Some resorts charge for parking, while others offer it for free. Be sure to check the parking policies of the ski resort you are visiting.
- Many resorts have designated parking lots for day skiers, while others have designated areas for overnight guests. Be sure to park in the correct area to avoid being ticketed or towed.
- Some resorts offer preferred or reserved parking for an additional fee. If you are willing to pay extra, this can be a convenient option that guarantees you a spot close to the resort.
- If you are staying at a hotel or vacation rental near the ski resort, check to see if they offer shuttle service to and from the resort. This can be a convenient way to avoid the hassle of finding parking at the resort.
Consider the Weather!
During the ski season, roads in the Park City area can be slick and snowy, so it may be a good idea to choose a car with four-wheel drive to help you navigate the roads more easily.
Utah also has chain laws that can come into effect during the ski season. The laws vary depending on the road and weather conditions, and may require the use of chains on certain roads or in certain areas. If you are planning to drive a rental car in the Park City area during the ski season, it is a good idea to check the Utah Department of Transportation website for the most current information on chain laws and other winter driving tips.