The Mid Mountain Trail in the Wasatch Range will take your breath away—literally. At 8,000 feet above sea level, the 20-or-so mile ride offers riders breathtaking views of Park City, Utah, and surrounding areas. Also known as the “8,000 Foot Trail” to some, Mid Mountain boasts close to 3,000 feet of up-and-down altitude change. Climbing, descending and ridge-top riding has earned the trail an “Epics®” label from the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).
Preparation is Paramount:
If you’re a mountain biker visiting Park City, you’ll kick yourself if you miss an opportunity to ride the Mid Mountain Trail. I rented a bike and hit the dirt when I vacationed in the area, and highly recommend you do the same. If you’re lucky enough to have your own bike with you, even better! Just give yourself ample time to acclimate to the altitude. The air pressure decreases at high altitude, reducing your ability to take in oxygen. This makes exercise more difficult.
Plan of Attack:
IMBA recommends making the ride a loop, and starting the Mid Mountain Trail at Silver Lake at Deer Valley Resort. From here ride the Spiro Trail up the mountain, which will take you through fairly rocky sections during the ascent. This will briefly put you on the Powerline Trail which will dump you on the Mid Mountain loop. Ride toward The Canyons Resort.
Though the Spiro Trail is a direct route to Mid Mountain, other trails will bring you there too. Try taking Sweeney North, Sweeney South, Daly Canyon or Deer Valley. You are going to face a good climb no matter which route you take to get to the trail. And the trail itself is a long one. Bring along plenty of water and food to keep you from getting dehydrated and famished. Looking for a shorter ride? Take the Town ski lift up to Mid Mountain from the center of Park City.
Located in the Western edge of the Rocky Mountains, it comes as no surprise that rocky sections are sprinkled throughout Mid Mountain’s singletrack. But don’t be intimidated, the trail lends itself to beginner and experienced mountain bikers alike. And if you ride there during the week, your chance of running into hoards of other mountain bikers is slim.
Don’t forget your camera! Aspens and firs tower above to create a canopy and shield riders from the sun. And as the trail winds around the mountain you’ll be treated to spectacular panoramas. If you can, plan to ride Mid Mountain in either summer or fall. Fields of blooming wildflowers will dazzle in the sunshine, while aspens will turn ablaze in autumn.
If you choose to ride Mid Mountain via the Spiro Trail, turn right onto Three Kings Drive from Silver King Drive. You will have just passed Park City Mountain Resort’s parking area on Silver King Drive. Park on Three Kings Drive. Ride a tenth of a mile to the trailhead. You’ll find it next to Crescent Drive.