Bill, Becky, and myself had a great time on this trip. If you haven’t had a chance to ride in the aspens in autumn you should do it at least once in your life.
We are already thinking about an autumn trip next year. Aside from the colors, there are many advantages of riding this time of year including cooler temperatures, great tread conditions, and fewer people. In exchange, there is an increased risk of losing riding days due to bad weather. A return to Park City is definitely a possibility but a number of higher altitude locations in the West are also possible. This year, schedules dictated a trip later in the year than we would have preferred. Next year, we’d like to go 1 to 3 weeks earlier, depending on the destination.
I for one, and I think Becky and Bill would concur, love to ride in Park City. This was Becky and my fourth riding visit to the area. Park City is almost forgotten as a riding destination. There area has a web of ride-in ride-out trails that connect from past Deer Valley, to the south, to north of I-80 to the north. Connecting with the spectacular Wasatch Crest Trail lets you drop all of the way to SLC or, optionally, return back to the Park City area, though there was a bit too much snow The Crest this visit.
The trails in Park City are generally pretty easy. The trails are rated with the standard green, blue, and black but it is often hard to tell which is which when you are on them. As such, the trails are good choices for novice riders. The gradient of the trails is generally modest making them reasonable for riders without gears, though the altitude makes you pay,. There are plenty of tandem friendly trails in the area and dogs seem to be OK in most of the places.
On the downside, the trails are often poorly or confusingly marked, making route finding challenging. This is compounded by resort related construction (new ski runs, new lifts, new houses) that has grown tremendously since our first visits to area. Often the construction has resulted in seemingly endless reroutes on some trail segments. Though replacement trails are often installed, there are times when trails just disappear in a new ski run, perhaps to be replaced next year after the snow melts. There are also a remarkable number of new trails, like Mid Mountain, that have been built in recent years. With a trail system in flux, the riding stays new, though it is sad to see old favorite trails disappear. You can never get too lost, even without William the Navigator in tow, as descending drops you to the civilization in the valley.