The short 1.5 mile Freemason trail gives an excellent view of town and both ski resorts.

Image: Michaela Wagner 

Rating: Easy/Intermediate
Distance: 1.5 miles
Elevation: 6779' to 7076' (starting from the Rail Trail)
Estimate hiking time: 45 minutes
Dogs: Allowed, should be leashed

Route: The Freemason trail is a short, easy trail that can be accessed approximately 100 yards from the Rail Trail trailhead, just east of White Pine Touring (parking available at Prospector Park or Rail Trail). This 1.5 mile route is one of Park City's newest trail editions, officially opening up for use July 2017. Becasue of it's elevation and aspect, Freemason open dependably early and can be used late into the season, roughly May through late October. 

Built by Mountain Trails Foundation, the intent of Freemason's construction is to offer cyclists and hikers easier access to the Lost Prospector Loop, a popular trail that wraps around the hills offering a excellent views of Old Town and the slopes of both Deer Valley and Park City Mountain. Before Freemason was built, the only way trail users could reach the Lost Prospector Loop was by crossing the heavily trafficked and often treacherous Deer Valley Drive to get to the trailhead on Aerie Drive or brave the steep switchbacks of Skid Row, a black diamond connector off the Rail Trail. 

With the addition of Freemason, intermediate cyclists and hikers who want a less strenuous ascent have the perfect fix. Of course, Freemason has its own merits and can be done as a stand-alone hike if you're looking for something short and sweet. It's a wonderful and well maintained trail, offering stunning views of Old Town whether you're looking for the lush greens of summer or the fiery reds and golds of brush oak and aspens in the fall. Overall, it's very smooth with mellow steady descents or climbs, depending on which end of the trail you start from. The early sections of the route from the Rail Trail side offer shade, but as Freemason wraps around the hill, trail becomes far more exposed, meaning afternoons in the sun can be hot. If you're desire is having the trail to yourself, hit this one early or midday during the week, trails in this area stay busy during peak trail hours, i.e. weekends and evenings. 

 

Given its connections to other trails, including Lost Prospector, Masonic, and Gambel-Oak, you can (and should) hop on and off Freemason to add variety on your hike or create endless loops of cycling romps through the woods and around the hills. Last, but certainly not least, Freemason's proximity to town makes it super easy to grab an après hike or bike snack with ease. After crushing it on the trail, we recommend cruising over to the Windy Ridge Café, Sammy's Bistro, or El Chubasco

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