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Help Planning Trip Around Park City Utah Wedding in August

Help Planning Trip Around Park City Utah Wedding in August

Old Jun 4th, 2006, 10:04 AM
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Help Planning Trip Around Park City Utah Wedding in August

We are DC residents attending a wedding in Park City, UT on Saturday Aug 5 (2006). Never been to Utah before and thinking it might be fun to extend the weekend into a 1-2 week summer vacation.

Here is what we know:
Flying into SLC on Fri Aug 4, and attending wedding at Deer Valley Resort on Sat the 5th. We are considering staying at either The Lodges at Deer Valley or a B&B in Park City (maybe Washington School Inn?).

After Saturday the sky is the limit! My family lives in Seattle and we considered staying in Utah for a few days after the wedding and then driving up to the Pacific Northwest... have no idea how long that would take? Or we could just stay in the Utah area the whole time.

Here are some questions for those familiar with Utah and surrounding areas:

1) Where to stay in the Park City vicinity for the wedding? (apparently the Park City-Kimball Arts Festival is that weekend)
2) How long should we stick around Utah after the wedding? What should we be sure to see and do while there? (tips on how long it might take to get from place to place would be appreciated)
3) How hot will it be in the area that time of year?
4) Anyone have any experience with driving from Utah up to Washington State? How long would it would take and what are some fun things to see along the way?

Thanks for any ideas as we are in the fun but overwhelming early stages of trip planning.
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Old Jun 5th, 2006, 01:33 PM
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Hi Dan,

You could spend a wonderful 2 weeks right in Utah and have a huge variety of things to do and places to see.

What do you enjoy? Outdoor sports? Scenery? Art? Music?

The PC Art Festival is one of the best in the country and will be happening the weekend you are here.

What about some Natl Parks? Moab (Arches and Canyonlands) is a 4 1/2 hour drive from Park City. Bryce and Zion are about 5 hours. Grand Tetons/Yellowstone also about 5 hours.

Sounds like you've been to Seattle before so how about seeing new things?

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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 04:02 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I grew up in Colorado and desperately miss the mountains so I would say scenery/hiking would be first priority.

It looks like our plans are evolving such that we'll only be in Utah for about 4-5 days (Friday to Mon/Tues). If we plan to stay mainly in the Park City, SLC area during that time, what are the must sees/dos?
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 04:29 PM
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If hiking and beautiful mountain scenery are your priority, drive over to Snowbird/Alta---it's only about 45 minutes from Park City. The Snowbird resort is at 8000 feet in lovely green meadows, with peaks rising to 11,000 feet. There is excellent alpine hiking (and I'm saying that as a serious North Cascade and Switzerland hiker). We routinely spend a week there in August, and hike every day, sometimes to a lake, sometimes through wildflowers to the top of the tram (11,000') for a ride back down. In fact, we will be there the week of August 5 ourselves---can't wait!.
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 04:37 PM
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dananddar,

someplace on the web there are some stunning photographs of the area, but I lost my bookmark. While I try to find them, try these:
http://utahpictures.com/Albion_Basin.html
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 06:16 PM
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OK Dan,

Here you go,

I live in Park City. Here are my suggestions.

Park City - Utah Olympic Park, Saturday noon aerialist shows advance tickets necessary, ski museum, summer wheeled bobsled rides, zip line and high tech alpine slide. Woohoo!!

Also, mountain biking, hiking, fly fishing, art galleries, gourmet restaurants, music festivals, big name concerts outdoors at Deer Valley, hot air ballooning, shopping, horseback riding, alpine slides, zip lines, several public golf courses.

Uinta Mountains - east of Park City by 45 minutes, high altitude lakes, hiking. Just like CO!

Snowbird (my favorite place to ski) - tram rides, hiking, alpine slide and zip line. Great spa in the Cliff Hotel, glass of wine at sunset in the roof-top pool of the Cliff is highly recommended! Also, dinner at my old haunt, the Steak Pit guaranteed good.

Alta, hiking the Albion Basin for wildflowers. Undescribable! Peak is usually mid-July early Aug.

Are you tired yet?
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 07:12 PM
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Thanks everyone for all the great suggestions... sounds like we'll have plenty of fun things to keep us busy during our 3+ days in the Park City area.

I can't wait to try some of the recommended hikes and other mountain activities.

RE: hikes - we are in good shape but not in the habit of heavy-duty hiking (the Blue Ridge are beautiful but it's a stretch to call them "mountains" IMHO). Are there any specific trails you would recommend in the easy to moderate range?

Dayle, you mentioned "gourmet restaurants" in Park City - any particular suggestions? We like all kinds of food.

Never done a hot air balloon ride before - any specific companies we should look for? How about for (beginner) horseback riding?

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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 07:28 PM
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Hi---easy to moderate hikes around Alta/Albion Basin would be Cecret Lake (yes, it's spelled that way), a very easy one, and Catherine's Pass, with about 800 feet of altitude gain from the trailhead above Alta. This is one of my favorite hikes--the wildflowers on the way up and the views from the top are lovely. The trailhead is almost 9,000 feet, and you go UP from there, so that becomes a significant factor, but it is not a particularly difficult hike otherwise. We have encountered moose in Albion Basin as well as around the Snowbird resort.

As I mentioned, we like to hike up to the top of the tram at Snowbird and ride down, but you can also ride up and hike down for a less strenuous hike; the route via Little Cloud/Gad Valley is especially nice if it's not closed due to construction. Or the hike down Peruvian Ridge is spectacular. You can also hike from the top of the tram over to Baldy and back; or drop down into Mineral BAsin as far as you are comfortable, remembering that you will have to hike back out! All of these hikes are detailed on a summer hiking map available in Snowbird.

If you'd like a change from Park City, lodging is available at Snowbird resort; I believe a hotel room at the Cliff Club is around $100 in the summer. There are a number of excellent restaurants there--Dayle mentioned one (a favorite of ours too), but there are others too. And there are two more lodging options, the Iron Blosam (yes, it's spelled that way), and the Lodge. You could check the Snowbird website for rates.

Hot air balloons---hopefully Dayle can answer that. There is horseback riding at Snowbird; they take you up the tram, down into Mineral Basin on ATV's, and then riding in a beautiful "unroaded" area. I've seen people heading out but we've never done it ourselves. I imagine there is riding available at Park City too.

You're in for a real treat on this trip!
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Old Jun 7th, 2006, 01:28 PM
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enzian - These are all great suggestions - thanks so much for the detail! I am now thoroughly looking forward to this trip!

One last question for you - do we need hiking boots to do the hikes you recommend or could we make it in cross-training type sneakers?
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Old Jun 7th, 2006, 02:27 PM
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Hi again---I always wear light hiking boots, but that's just me. The kids (teens) all do these hikes in their running shoes, and my sister (age 50) hikes in her trail runners. For the hikes from Alta (Cecret Lake or Catherine's Pass) cross-trainers will be fine, assuming you have the right socks (not cotton!) so you don't get blisters. If you choose the downhill hike from the top of the tram (dropping about 3.000 feet in all), you would need to be sure that your shoes fit well enough that your toes don't hit the front on a long downhill. None of mine meet that criterion---that's why I wear boots. But you could hike along the ridge and back from the tram without worrying about that.

Be advised that Alta controls the number of cars entering Albion Basin, due to limited parking at the various trailheads. If you arrive at the control booth late morning or early afternoon, you may have to wait a few minutes for a car to come out before they will let you in.

Maybe we'll see you on the trails. Have fun.
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Old Sep 24th, 2006, 02:33 PM
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Just wanted to say (a belated) thank you to everyone who responded to my plea for assistance with the itinerary for our Utah trip. Here is a quick trip report.

PARK CITY:
We ended up staying 3 nights at the Washington School Inn in Park City, which I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone staying in the area. The rooms are small but charming and the location couldn't be better for access to the attractions of Main Street. The breakfasts were delicious and they make cookies every afternoon. There is also a very nice hot tub on the first floor.

Since we were there for a wedding and the Kimball Arts Festival was going on (lucky for us - that was great!) the only restaurant we ended up trying was Chimayo. I thought the food was tasty and it had a nice ambiance but it was a little overpriced (probably normal for Park City).

We also went on a 1.5 hour horseback ride with Red Pine Tours (800.417.2669), just outside Park City. Good price, the guides were very good and the scenery was beautiful.

SNOWBIRD
We then moved on to Snowbird, where we stayed two nights at the Cliff Lodge. It served our purposes at $130/night but wasn't anything special (not that you are going there for the TV, but ours got AWFUL reception). For others who stay there, definitely request a "mountain side" room.

You have to pay $20 per day to use the Cliff Club pool unless you are buying other spa services, so we opted to just use the family-friendly pool on the 3rd level. There were a lot of noisy kids splashing around (we are 30 and kidless) and some overly friendly chipmunks (one tried to take a bite out of my heel while I was relaxing on a lawnchair), but otherwise it was fine.

For dinners, we ate at the pricey Aerie and the inexpensive southwestern place on the ground floor (El Chatalan or something like that)... my preference was actually for the latter. The Aerie has a nice view for sure, but I did not think the food lived up to the price, the service was slow, and the decor was lacking (there were several burned out lightbulbs for example).

The highlight of our whole trip to Utah was the breathtaking Catherine Pass hike that Enzian recommended. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for suggesting we do that!! The Cliff concierge did not know where it was, so we had to rely on a guidebook I luckily brought with me (basically, you just continue on the road past the Cliff up the mountain and then park in the lot just past where the chairlift crosses above the road). As Enzian promised, the wildflowers were in full bloom and the views were absolutely stunning. From the top of the Pass we continued on to the summit of Sunset Peak (another .3 miles) for unbelievable 360-degree views of the whole area. The weather also could not have been more perfect... a nice breeze kept it warm but not too hot.

I had just purchased a new camera before we left on our trip and I nearly wore it out on that hike - there were so many beautiful things to see. For a few representative photos check out the Utah set on my Flickr site:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/darceyb...7594246455417/

Thanks again to everyone for the advice - we had a great trip to Utah thanks to you!
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Old Sep 24th, 2006, 06:08 PM
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Hi Dananddar,

I'm so glad you took time for a tripr report and that you had a good time! Yes, the Albion Basin in full bloom and the views from the top of the canyon are spectacular, aren't they! You can see why we like to ski there!

Come visit again.
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Old Sep 25th, 2006, 09:09 AM
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Hi Dananddar,

I'm glad you liked that hike to Catherine Pass. Did you go on Monday? We were on a nearby ridge that day, hiking to Cardiff Pass. The flowers and the weather were incredible all week. We ran into locals on several of our hikes, and they made a point of saying that the wildflowers were the best they had seen in years.
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Old Sep 27th, 2006, 07:50 PM
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Enzian - we actually did the hike on Tuesday. I had my eyes peeled for your Livestrong bracelets on the trail just in case. Wish I could have thanked you in person for the wonderful suggestion. Utah will always have a special place in my heart after that hike.
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Old Sep 29th, 2006, 06:58 AM
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Will be in Park City on Oct 4; is this a hike worth doing at this time of year. Are leaves still in color? How far is it from Park City?
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Old Sep 29th, 2006, 07:43 AM
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Hi bayridege,

The aspens have turned! I was just admiring them as I left the house this morning! You'll be here for the peak colors.

Catherine Pass is very high - over 10,000 ft. and we have already had about 1 1/2 feet of snow at Alta this Sept. It's still up there too, hasn't melted even though we had warmer weather this week.

You'll just need to check conditions when you are here. I'm going for a hike tomorrow on Park City mountain trails through the aspens. Always so lovely! I'll report back.
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Old Sep 29th, 2006, 12:31 PM
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Dayle, would appreciate any advice on where my wife and I can take a hike in the Park City area for a few hours. I especially like photography. I can't tell you how excited we are for our 9 night trip to Utah.
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Old Sep 29th, 2006, 06:14 PM
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Hi again bayridge,

If you are a photographer, you are going to be in heaven! Be sure to get up very early and get some shots of "our big white barn" at tne entrance to Park City. Also good shots to be had of the colorful Victorian houses in town with the fall colors in the background!

A Fodor's friend, who also posts here often, and I were ready to get together for dinner again. If you and your wife would like to join us, let me know. We would probably go next weekend though 10/6 or 10/7. Will you be here that long? If not, I'll see if mid-week is doable.

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Old Feb 25th, 2007, 08:24 AM
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What is it like in Albion Basin in mid April? I guess the wild flowers are not out then.
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Old Feb 25th, 2007, 09:06 AM
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Mid-April? Usually there is a lot of snow and people are still skiing.
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