Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cross Country Skiing at Round Valley, Park City

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Cross Country Skiing at Round Valley, Park City
Round Valley is one of my favorite places in Utah to cross country (xc) ski, mainly for two reasons: 1) it's free 2) dogs can be off leash! What's better than that?! Round Valley also has groomed tracks and a wide enough space for skate skiers. 



Just outside of Park City lies this nearly 700 acres of preserved open space covered in sage, scrub oak, mountain mahogany, and in summer, a variety of wildflowers. Round Valley is groomed and maintained by the Mountain Trails Foundation, and has 25K of winter trails. There are three main TH areas: Quinn's Junction, Highland, and the Round Valley Way TH. The grooming report is updated daily (depending on weather conditions), and can be checked on their Facebook page. In addition to xc skiing, Round Valley offers designated trails just for Fat Biking and Snowshoeing. Here is a full trail map.

Quinn's Trailhead
Directions: From SLC, head East on I-80 towards Park City. Take Hwy 40 south towards Heber, then take exit 4. Turn Right at the first light, then an immediate left. The TH parking will be on your right next to baseball fields and restrooms.

Distance: varies
Elevation gain: varies
Dog friendly? Yes! There are a few designated areas where dogs are not allowed, but 90% of the area is off leash.
Kid friendly? Yes

Round Valley ski area, Round Valley Park City, cross country skiing in Utah
 Here's Quinn's TH. From this point, you head head in either direction. Any day I go, I don't follow a set route, I just ski towards whatever looks pretty :)

Obviously there are a lot of signs and notification at this TH. They post the grooming report, the trail map, information about The Yellow Dog Project, no hunting is allowed, local events, and they have doggie poop bags.
Round Valley ski area, Round Valley Park City, cross country skiing in Utah
 We started skiing and the track was already pretty skied out by noon. I recommend you come earlier in the morning to ski freshly set tracks.
Round Valley ski area, Round Valley Park City, cross country skiing in Utah
Charlie sniffs out the track ahead.
Round Valley ski area, Round Valley Park City, cross country skiing in Utah
 Round Valley is so pretty! I love that Charlie can come skiing with me - he had such a good time running in the snow.
Round Valley ski area, Round Valley Park City, cross country skiing in Utah
Another beautiful section of the trail.
Round Valley ski area, Round Valley Park City, cross country skiing in Utah
(Photo by Dave Wilson)
A friend and I enjoying our time skiing.


Highland TH
Directions: Take I-80 East, then South on HWY 40. Take Exit 2, and turn right. Turn left on Highland and drive to the very end of the road, which turns into a dirt road for about the last 100 yards.

Here's a driving map.

Distance: varies
Elevation gain: varies
Dog friendly? Yes! 
Kid friendly? Yes

Cross Country Skiing at Round Valley, Park City
 Highland Trailhead
Cross Country Skiing at Round Valley, Park City
 If you ski from Highland (Silver Quinn Trail) over to the connection to Ability Way Trail, its 2.75 miles one way.
Cross Country Skiing at Round Valley, Park City
 The most annoying part about the Silver Quinn trail is how loud the traffic is off HWY 40. You'll also ski behind the Park City Hospital.
Cross Country Skiing at Round Valley, Park City
 You'll know you are at Ability Way when you reach the large cottonwood tree on the left side. 
Cross Country Skiing at Round Valley, Park City
Ski back the same way you came, or turn it into a loop!




1 comment:

Katie Arruda said...

I have hiked and biked here, but never skied! Heading here tomorrow to try XC skiing for the first time. (confession, I am totally bringing olives harness and my running waist belt to see if I can convince her to tow me around).

Thanks for all the info!

Katie @ Katie Wanders