With its vibrantly colored fall leaves crystal-clear lakes and its snow-covered mountains, Park City, Utah is one of the best places in the world to ski and experience nature. In 1985, Utah started letting everyone know it had the “Greatest Snow on Earth,” but world-class skiing isn’t all Park City offers. The vibrant, adventurous spirit of Park City can be seen in every activity from the dozens of community concerts all year long to a thriving Main Street with activities day and night to art festivals, more hiking and single-track mountain biking miles than you can fit in a season and an amazing community of locals. As a kid growing up in Park City, I spent my time snowmobiling, hiking, skiing, riding all-terrain vehicles, snowshoeing, biking, boating, and building forts. However, It wasn’t until after I moved to Palo Alto and started returning to Park City that I realized how beautiful it is. The wonder of Park City lies in its surrounding forests, towering mountains, and magnificent lakes. It holds the beauty of a national park, while also offering a wide array of thrill-seeking activities.

Exploring the intricately woven trails and massive mountain ranges is done most effectively at Park City Mountain Resort, the second largest ski resort in America. For many resort regulars, downhill skiing is a way of life. Different types of skiing, combined with a multitude of varied runs provides an endless combination of possibilities. Last winter, my sister and I decided to explore these. We went from one end of the resort to the other and back, all within a half day of skiing. Packed with our Slim Jims, Snickers, and Red Bull, we made our way to the shortcuts and backcountry that only we knew about, catching patches of powder here and untouched chutes there. It was a dream come true until we realized that we had to make our way across nearly 7,000 acres within the next half-hour. We frantically put our racing skills into action, and expertly maneuvered through the slopes at 30 mph. At last, we made it back to the car in style.

While Park City holds incredible locations for winter sports, it is also home to summer activities such as biking and hiking along any one of the 400 miles of trails around the area, camping in the Uinta Mountains, and boating on Jordanelle Reservoir. During my childhood in Park City, I was beckoned by the numerous trails and I spent my summers biking with my dad. When we weren’t in the mountains, we spent hours inner tubing or jet skiing in the peaceful lakes. I always loved driving the boat and going on adventures with my family as well as consuming an unhealthy amount of tasty snacks.

Living in Park City and returning to such a beautiful place enabled me to feel the peace that comes from being in the mountains. Stepping away from distractions of my daily routine gave me a clear view of my life and the exposure to nature drew my family together. I hope future travelers will be able to find similar peace as they explore the beauty of Park City.