Altitude Training: Park City Mountain Resort

Wasatch Crest loose dirt trail winding around the mountain, overlook of mountains in the distance and clear blue sky

A view of the Wasatch Crest trail in stunning Park City, Utah

After a very successful altitude training trip last year, I decided to take full advantage of my remote working privileges for another sojourn to the high country. This time around, thanks to fellow Xterra off-road triathlon pro Emma Garrard and the Garrard family, I’m staying in Park City, Utah. Though I’ve only been in town for a days, I’ve already bagged a handful of truly bucket list mountain bike rides and trail runs. Click through to experience the majesty of Park City Mountain Resort’s summer hiking and biking trails.

One of my first rides on the massive slopes of the Park City Mountain Resort started up the gradual and smooth Armstrong trail climb.

Dark earth trail through lush Park City forest

Aspens and pines dominate the canopy along the trails

The relatively tame Armstrong trail leads up to the IMBA epic Mid Mountain trail, where the fun begins in earnest.

IMBA Epic Mid Mountain trail winding around the mountainside overlooking lush mountains

Aptly named, the Mid Mountain trail cuts across the mountain, offering incredible flow and views without the labor of prolonged climbing or the intensity of prolonged descending.

IMBA Epic Mid Mountain trail cutting through open green grass, headed for a stand of trees in the background

The Mid Mountain trail traverses pine and aspen forests, ski slopes, and mountain brush.

From the Mid Mountain trail, I climbed up Tommy’s Two Step and the Keystone Trail. For many, climbing is a necessary evil to get to the descents. As a racer, climbing is my bread and butter training, and descents are dessert.

Dark brown earth singletrack cutting through dense bright green groundcover with tall dark green evergreens jutting up towards the white sky

I had to stop to admire the lush alpine environment on Tommy’s Two Step.

From the Keystone Trail, I took the Shadow Lake trail up to the Wasatch Crest trail. The arduous final push up the mountain and the accompanying views made for a transcendental experience.

Dusty brown trail stretching through meadow dotted with tall, elongated conical evergreens

Riding up above 9,000 ft on the Shadow Lake trail, evergreens and grassy meadows dominate the landscape.

View of a Park City mountain hillside with intermittent light green meadows and stands of dark evergreens

Taking a respite in the shade and appreciating the alternating patches of meadows and trees on the higher mountain slopes.

Rocky trail overlooking smaller mountains in the distance

The final push up the Wasatch Crest trail is “Puke Hill,” the steepest by far on the ascent. The effort was greatly tempered by the surrounding majesty.

After making it up 3,000 vertical feet from the base of the Park City Mountain Resort to the Wasatch Crest trail, I rode down the Pinecone Ride trail, back to the Mid Mountain trail. From there I took the Spiro trail the rest of the way down to the base of the mountain. The four-mile descent down Pinecone Ridge was perhaps the most fun I’ve ever had on a bike. I don’t have any pictures of the descent, as I didn’t dare take a hand off the handlebars and couldn’t bear to stop and ruin the entrancing flow of the descent.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit Park City, check out White Pine Touring. They have top-notch guided tours for all sorts of outdoor adventures, amazing knowledge of the trails, and all the gear you could possibly need. I have already seen a couple of their tour groups out on the trails, and it looks like they’re having a blast.

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2 Responses to Altitude Training: Park City Mountain Resort

  1. Pingback: Race Report: 2015 Xterra Mountain Championship | Alex Modestou Racing

  2. Pingback: Biking Mt Mitchell | Alex Modestou Racing

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