Home » 2007 Cross Country Road Trip

Friends' home in Park City, UT

Monday, July 30, 2007 - 11:00am by Lolo
238 miles and 5 hours from our last stop - 2 night stay


Nice Park City CampgroundNice Park City CampgroundOver the years, so many of our close friends have moved away to various parts of the country, so when our travels bring us near one of their neighborhoods, we love to take the opportunity to visit, especially when that neighborhood is Park City.

I think we took the Levines by surprise when we called and told them that we were in Nevada and would be passing through Utah via Route 80 the next day, but they didn’t hesitate for a minute to invite us to make their driveway our home for however long we wanted.

We all were quite excited about seeing each other again. Evan had been Tommy’s best friend since 3rd grade and over the years our families had grown quite close. We were kindred spirits in our love of the outdoors and a taste for adventure. While we expressed that love by criss-crossing the country each year in our RV, they expressed theirs by packing up and moving to Park City, a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. Now our worlds were colliding once more.

Lolo enjoying the view from the deckLolo enjoying the view from the deckWhen we got to their house, Herb was more than a little concerned with how we were going to get the motorhome up their steep and curvy driveway. The back of the Lazy Daze sticks out about 8 feet beyond the rear wheels, so his fear was that we were going to bottom out. After some convincing, he began inching the motorhome up the driveway while I practically crawled alongside it watching for any scraping. It came really close at times, but we eventually made it to a nice flat area on top. We weren’t sure if we were ever going to get down again, but we were going to forget about that for now and just have a good time.

We had conveniently arrived around dinner time, but being the wonderful hosts they were, they wined and dined us in style. The views of the mountains from their deck were breathtaking.

The next morning the boys went over to the Deer Valley Resort to mountain bike down the ski slopes. Our boys had had some experience mountain biking down ski trails before in both Whistler and Vail, so we felt pretty comfortable with them doing it. We were a little worried though about their equipment. Riders that do this a lot have specialized bikes and wear full-body armor to protect them when they fall. Our guys, however, had regular mountain bikes and t-shirts. They promised to stick to the more reasonable trails. A short while after they left, we sat on the deck and watched a huge thundercloud build over the mountains where they were riding. Sure enough, the phone rang. It was the boys calling to tell us that the lifts had closed because of lightning.

View from insideView from insideWe drove over to Deer Valley to pick them up. Although the storm looked like it was moving away, the resort did not reopen the lifts. Since the boys had only gotten one run in, the management was nice enough to refund their money. Undaunted, we decided to do what was Dennis’s original suggestion, a single-track trail known as the Lost Prospector Loop.

Rather than all drive to the trailhead, we took our bikes off the car and rode from Deer Valley down some really steep and winding roads through Park City. It was so much fun. I’m sure that, for me anyway, this type of ride was much more enjoyable than being bounced and beat up down a ski slope.

The Lost Prospector Loop was a really fun singletrack ride on the side of a mountain on Park City’s east side. It might be rated easy-intermediate, but it was plenty enough excitement for me. There was some elevation gain in the beginning, but nothing too horrible, and the switchbacks through the forests of quaking aspen and maples were really fun. There were also some great views of Park City and the surrounding mountains. I think even the boys would agree that this ride was more fun than riding down the ski trails of Deer Valley.

When we got back to the Levine’s house later that day, we tested our acrobatic skills on their new trampoline. I thought I was pretty good, but the videos told another story.

Later that evening we drove into historic downtown Park City to walk around and have dinner. There are still plenty of old Victorian buildings that give you a glimpse into Park City’s past as an old mining town, but now there are plenty of upscale shops, restaurants, and art galleries to satisfy the hordes of tourists that come here to enjoy Park City’s other natural resources. We spent some time wondering through the art galleries, especially those that emphasized photography.

When we got back to the house, we just sat out on the deck enjoying the tremendous view and each other’s company for one last night. We were going to head back home tomorrow morning.

The next morning we said our good-byes and had to repeat the tense “RV-down-the-steep-winding-driveway” process, in which I was in charge of checking for scraping. Fortunately, the only scraping that occurred was to my knees as I once again crawled on all fours beside the rig.

Then it was onward and eastward for many more miles on Route 80. Hopefully, we would find some more fun stuff to do along the way, because I wasn’t done yet.


Park City is one of Utah’s two outdoor recreational meccas (the other one being Moab), famous for its world-class skiing and mountain biking. It lies in a spectacular setting, nestled in a valley at 7,000 feet on the eastern side of the Wasatch Mountain Range. The city is located near Interstate 80 approximately 32 miles east of Salt Lake City.

Park City is one of Utah’s two outdoor recreational meccas (the other one being Moab), famous for its world-class skiing and mountain biking. It lies in a spectacular setting, nestled in a valley at 7,000 feet on the eastern side of the Wasatch Mountain Range. The city is located near Interstate 80 approximately 32 miles east of Salt Lake City.

Park City began as a mining town back in 1870 when silver and a bit of gold and lead were discovered by some off-duty soldiers. Hordes of prospectors flooded the area turning the peaceful valley into a boisterous mining town. By 1880, Park City had grown into a substantial town with a population of 10,000. It was one of the few Utah towns that was not founded by Mormons, as its 27 saloons would attest to. A large fire in 1898 destroyed much of the town, but citizens quickly rebuilt. Most of the buildings you see in town today were built right after that fire. During the Great Depression, the drop in metal prices, labor problems, and some bad flooding in the mines pretty much brought Park City’s mining industry to an end. By 1950, the city had nearly become a ghost town.

Then in the 1950s, skiing came to town, but its mining past was still quite evident. In 1963 when Treasure Mountain opened to the public, a mine train was used to bring skiers three miles into the mountains where they were then lifted to the slopes by a mine hoist elevater. The chairlifts were old aerial trams that had been used for hauling oar. Even today, there are over a thousand miles of mining tunnels beneath the ski slopes. Tourism really grew in the 1980s, and today Park City is one of the most affluent resort towns in the United States.

The city has three major ski resorts: the Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley, and the Canyons. In addition, the Utah Olympic Park is located near the city. This was the site of the bobsled, luge, and ski jumping competitions in the 2002 Winter Olympics. Visitors looking for an adrenaline rush can take an 80 mph bobsled ride down the entire length of the Olympic bobsled track, ride the world’s steepest zipline, or just sit back and watch a freestyle aerial and ski jumping show.

Park City is also a popular summer destination. The three ski areas keep a lift open in the summer to bring hikers and mountain bikers up the mountain. Deer Park has 55 miles of single and double track trails and the Park City Mountain Resort has anothr 35. The Utah Olympic park has summertime bobsled rides and an alpine slide.

Even if you’re not a skier, biker or hiker, there’s still a lot to do in Park City. The historic downtown area has 64 turn-of-the-century Victorian buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Main Street is lined with fine restaurants, art galleries, and upscale shops. There are music concerts, theater performances, rodeos, the Artstravaganza music and arts festival in August, and the renowned Sundance Film Festival in the second half of January.

It would be tough for anyone to not find something fun to do in Park City.

Friends' home in Park City location map in "high definition"

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