Take heed! We’re only touching on a few of the great places to mountain bike with your family in Park City. Explore the embedded maps and you’ll see a lot more options. You would have to spend weeks in the area to ride everything. We’ve lived nearby for several years and we are learning more about Park City every summer. If you want to stop in one of the area’s great bike shops, they may point you to a trail not on this list depending on your preferences/abilities.
Before taking your kids out for a spin in Park City on advanced trails, we strongly suggest being keenly aware of your young ones’ skill levels or having an adult with at least intermediate skills pre-ride the trails we have shared in this post. This is so you ensure safety and fun.
Take note that a few of the trails we mention can be done as out-and-backs. There are a few trails that are directional, meaning climb-only or downhill-only mountain biking is allowed. Please abide by these rules because it’s part of your responsibility to keep the flow going and avoiding an earful from passers-by. Also, avoid riding muddy trails and keep an eye on the weather. With just more than a sprinkle of rain, the dirt in the Park City area can quickly turn to goopy cookie dough and stick to your tires and brakes.
Park City’s trail organization, Mountain Trails Foundation and Summit County’s Basin Recreation have done a phenomenal job with managing this area for decades. They have the leaders, the volunteers, the community interest, and the money to make things work year round for mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners, equestrians, and cross-country skiers. It’s no wonder the Park City area is one of IMBA’s Gold-Level ride centers. We are grateful for all that these groups have done in order to make this a mountain biking mecca in our back yard. Enough of my blah-blah-blah. Here we go.
For Parking/Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/pDRMqMgZcyQAJFt39
Who it’s for: Strong beginners through experts
This is easily one of our favorite areas because the climb trails are somewhat short and you can easily do laps on the four downhill only trails. Its south facing slopes at this elevation dry out earlier in the season, too. Park at the Bad Apple Trailhead as shown on the map. From there, ride up Bad Apple and Fink Again. When you top out on Fink Again, turn right. You could do the downhill trail Crazy 8 or continue on for about another mile until you can descend on Ant Farm, Team Cutthroat DH, or The Drop Out. All these trails require intermediate mountain bike skills due to corners, rollable features, and jumps. The Drop Out is the most popular way down because in 2019, all of the berms were rebuilt. On the last three trails past Crazy 8, there are a few optional rock kickers and doubles. Most everything is rollable, but be sure to look before you leap. This trail network is so good, that we often frequent it with our high school NICA team in order to get out of the valley.
When returning to the car on Bad Apple, be aware that this area is popular and there may be hikers and other bikers heading up. Always follow proper trail etiquette and yield to uphill traffic. This is also a great place to use a bell if you have one. The Bad Apple trailhead is also a popular access point for Flying Dog.
The map below is labeled as ‘Drop Our’ but it shows the Bob’s Basin system very well.
Trailside Bike Park
This bike park is not lift-served. You gotta pedal, but that means it’s free to ride and you can easily spend at least a couple of hours here. It is very family-friendly and riders of all abilities will have a great time – even kids on balance bikes. There’s a small skate park immediately above the parking area as well. To get to Trailside from Salt Lake, take I-80 towards Park City, but drive past the Kimball Junction so you can turn right onto state road 40/189 towards Heber (exit 146). Then take exit 2 and turn right onto Silver Summit Parkway. Follow the speed limit and keep straight. You will end up at the Trailside parking area. There are soccer fields on your right. The skate park and bike park are up the hill to your left.
Trailside has two pump tracks, a skills area, a couple of jump lines, practice rock drops, and several trails. The easiest trails are Yabba Dabba Doo and The Great Gazoo. The advanced trails are Bamm Bamm and Mr. Muchrocks. You could access the Round Valley area from an intersection on the lower third of Mr. Muchrocks.
Explore this wonderful riding area to your heart’s content. Younger riders will love the lower pump track and just meandering about the lower section of the park. Beginner through expert riders will like the flow trails with jumps and wood features. There’s even an on-off whale tail on Bamm Bamm.
The map below is labeled as ‘Yabba Dabba Doo’ but it shows the Trailside Bike Park in its entirety and and the close by Round Valley trail system.
Family Mountain Biking At Deer Valley Resort
For Parking/Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/Y7AVb1ED1dsD2kEe6
Who it’s for: confident beginners through experts
Park at the bottom of the resort and take the Silver Lake Express lift to get access to the Sterling Express lift. At the top of Sterling Express, younger or beginner riders will want to start on the Holy Roller trail. Intermediate to advanced riders should get a warm up lap on Tidal Wave. After this, it’s up to you.
The big flow trails at the Deer Valley Bike Park were designed by Gravity Logic. And even though they don’t have PNW dirt to work with, they’ve done an excellent job for creating trails that meander down the mountain and get your kids worn out. The Holy Roller trail is four freakin’ miles long. That’s right – four miles long! Back in the day, Deer Valley used to host the NORBA Cup races and until 2018, the Scott Enduro Cup. So there’s plenty of old school tech and danger for the rowdies. The rock garden known as Barney’s Rubble on NCS will challenge expert riders and the table jumps on Tsunami will have you flying through the air with both tires off the deck.
For Parking/Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/pDRMqMgZcyQAJFt39
Who it’s for: intermediate skilled mountain bikers through experts
Ride this loop counter-clockwise. Why? Because if you ride it clock-wise: (A) You’ll miss out on one of the best descents in the west (B) You’ll earn the scorn of those enjoying the descent. The trail is not directional, but riding it counter-clockwise is by far the most popular route. Our youngest did this ride with us for the first time when he was 10 and we all lived through it rather well. We took the climbing very slow and made sure to keep him happy with snacks and ice in his water. Here is how we suggest you do this ride: Bad Apple, Fink Again, take a left when you get to 24-7, right on to Flying Dog (this is brief), then right on Preserve Connector. Look at the embedded map. This route takes you to the front toe of the dog. The climbing is pretty good, but this trail is where you truly earn your turns. Once you start the descent, and get to the butt of the dog, there are only a couple of small climbs when returning to the trailhead. The highlight of our descent is always the trees and the beaver ponds. If you do the ride in the evening you may see one of these amazing engineers of the forest moving about their lodge.
Silver Spur to Armstrong to Mid Mountain to Spiro
For Parking/Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/F8csBoSXUoy4qDih7
Who it’s for: intermediates through experts
From our parking pin on the map, find your way to the Silver Spur trail. You can get on it if you head towards the First Time Lift and head southeast. This trail will get you to Armstrong. This loop is one of the best in all the land because the Armstrong trail is uphill only for mountain bikers. Hikers and trail runners can use it for both up and down travel. Remember, always yield to foot traffic. Our family gets crazy excited when this ride dries out in June because it tells us that summer has finally arrived.
Climbing the Armstrong trail is beautiful. The singletrack meanders through trees and winds its way up through Park City Mountain Resort. If you want to make it a shorter ride, you can head down the HAM trail. At the top of Armstrong, get ready for a bit more climbing because in order to get to Spiro, you need to take a left (south) on the Mid-Mountain trail. Follow this stretch of Mid-Mountain for about 2 miles and you will reach Spiro.
At the base of Spiro, take Silver Spur back to the parking lot where you started.
The Spiro descent only has a couple of short climbs and that makes it a ton of fun. Near the bottom of the trail there will be signage to get you back to the Armstrong trail head. Be cautious in this area. Even though most of the trail traffic is mountain bikers, you are likely to encounter hikers on Spiro. Slow down and give a courteous greeting or ring of your bike bell to announce your presence and ask to pass if/when it’ safe.
For Parking/Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/yi2oC1HwDJ6AWXQr7
Who it’s for: everyone!
When our kids where just getting started on pedal bikes, we used to take them on the paved Rail Trail behind White Pine Touring. Depending on the kids’ attitude for the day, this little ride could seem like a 1 mile Tour De France time trial or a 100 mile desert endurance event. When leaving the White Pine Touring lot, head to the east and make this ride as long as you like with the out-and-back method. There are ponds past Wyatt Earp Way as you pass the last of the neighborhoods that are worth a stop. This ride is great for bikes with trailers, trail-a-bike attachments, and balance bikes through pedal bikes. It’s popular for runners, walkers and road bikes. This means that you have to pay attention, be aware on oncoming traffic, and develop some trail etiquette while you’re working on your bike skills. Be careful when passing or being passed. Announce your presence to trail users you are going to overcome. Practice staying on your line and stay on the proper side of the trail.