Making the Most of Park City’s Fall + Shoulder Season
With everything so chaotic this year, the consistency of seasonal change is a comforting constant as we navigate so much unknown. As the leaves here in Park City start to crisp and change, the little patches of red and yellow dotting our mountains is a beautiful reminder of the things that are still the same as last year and the year before.
Last week I sat outside at The Bridge Restaurant, one of the patio eateries now serving diners on Main Street, and enjoyed the brisk mountain view and a good cocktail (I recommend their excellent Bloody Mary and a brazuca omelet). We were right by the bridge that takes walkers from Main Street over to the mountain resort and Town Lift. Dog walkers and tourists alike were meandering through the area, taking in the mountain air. It was such a refreshing scene, seeing people masked up, safely out, and about appreciating the day.
Travel seems a lot slower these days, one of the few plus sides to this pandemic. People are traveling for longer periods of time and behaving more like locals than tourists.
Fall is by far my favorite season here in Summit County. As a Utah native, I’m still amazed year after year at the majesty our mountains present when the weather starts to turn. While Park City is known more for it’s skiing and resort feel, it’s autumnal days offer up a plethora of relaxing and adventurous opportunities for any type of traveler or long term resident.
Here are a few of our team’s preferred fall activities…
1.) Fly Fishing
Fly fishing is difficult in the spring with high runoff and can be tricky in early summer due to mosquitoes and the heat. With cooler temperatures approaching, the late summer and early fall offer a great excuse to get out and explore new streams. There is always a healthy hatch to be found and you can’t beat the dry fly fishing conditions that September and October have to offer during fall in Park City.
Not a fly fisher (it’s okay, neither am I most of the time) but stuck with a fly fisher but don’t want to get in yourself? Head to The Market, Park City’s local grocer, and grab a few provisions. I recommend picking up some local cheese from Beehive Cheddar, Ritual Chocolate (made in Park City, their Mulled Wine flavor is the BEST), and maybe a bottle of wine. . . or two. Cuddle up on the river bank with a good book and your snacks for the perfect outdoor escape. How to pull your partner away from the river? We’ll have to leave that one up to you.
2.) Mountain Biking
As the summer tourists begin to clear out at the end of August, the 400+ miles of IMBA Gold standard biking trails are yours for the taking. With the daytime temperatures starting to drop, longer rides become much more comfortable for even the novice rider. As an outdoor recreation town, Park City has tons of options for gear rentals and guided trips.
If you’re like me, and you’re more of a novice biker, there are 20 plus miles of paved biking and walking trails along the main roads in and out of Park City proper, as well as into the Deer Valley area. With sight like the iconic White Barn along the way, it’s a great ride to take with children or if you’re looking for a more relaxed activity outdoors.
Like with mountain biking, Park City and its surrounding areas are home to hundreds of miles of stunning trails for any level of hiker. With lots of little canyons in and around the valley, you’re always minutes away from a nature escape sure to impress.
A few of my favorites include East Canyon (about 20 minutes outside of downtown Park City), Rob’s Trail (only ~10 minutes from Main Street), and Iron Mountain (in the Old Town area).
Right as the leaves start changing this time of year, Rob’s trail, pictured below, is just ablaze with red leaves. Definitely take a camera, this hike is worth showing off later on.
4.) Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
I know this goes without saying, but something about knowing you’re about to be bundled in sweaters for 6 months or more, suddenly makes comfort food a whole lot more attractive. Now we can FINALLY switch over to cold-weather cocktails, hot coffees, and the baked goods we’ve all longed for through the inane heat of August.
Ritual Chocolate (I know, I know, we’re obsessed), has an excellent Old Fashioned kit for sale online. It’s whiskey season again, and this is a great way to kick it off. With the High West whiskey distillery down the road from us, it’s almost criminal if you’re not drinking whiskey in Park City as soon as the leaves turn..
The local farmer’s market (currently Wednesdays after 12:00 in the Silver King Parking Lot) is serving up all sorts of excellent fall veggies and fruits. I got a 25-pound case of the best peaches I’ve ever eaten from Wild and Peachy, a Utah based farm, and am now stuck with a blessed problem of what dessert do I bake first?!
And of course, our good quarantine friend, take out. I’ve been in a soup + sandwich kick lately, and Wasatch Bagel + Grill has been hitting the spot. Their club in particular is excellent.
Let us know what your favorite fall activities are in the comments below, and if you have any good ideas for what to do with that many peaches, please let me know!
Until next time…
Cooper’s Marketing Manager + Novice Baker