Hiking's rewards at Deer Valley

Hot off its 40th ski season, Deer Valley Resort keeps up its classy rep in the summer, but certainly not at the expense of a delightfully laid-back—and sometimes gravity-defying—mountain experience. With lifts spinning from June past Labor Day, the resort has become a go-to spot for mountain biking (from easy to expert) as well as gorgeous alpine hikes. After a 2020 pandemic-related hiatus, concerts are penciled into this summer’s calendar. And, of course, the food’s not too shabby, either. Summer operations: daily, June 18–Sept. 6, plus weekends (Friday–Sunday) through Sept. 26, weather permitting.

Hit the trail

Whether you prefer bikes or boots, the 70-mile trail system at Deer Valley has ample room to roam. Plus, it’s part of the greater Park City area’s 400-mile network of mostly singletrack trails. You can let the resort do the heavy lifting by ascending via chairlift and descending on foot or bike—or get in a serious workout. Twilight Rides are back this summer, which means lift ops are extended until 8 p.m. on Tuesdays. 

For the MTB set, advanced riders may opt for a swooping descent on Tidal Wave or Tsunami flow trails, or the more mellow Holy Roller. A must-ride for the intermediate set: Midmountain Trail, which traverses Deer Valley and neighboring Park City Mountain. For hikers, check out the view-laden Silver Lake Trail, which tops out at Bald Mountain’s 9,346-foot summit. Sultan Out and Back is a less vertical, two-mile option that also delivers lovely views.

Find some direction

Guided options at DV include the new Hike and Yoga program (a two- to three-hour hike coupled with a one-hour yoga class) as well as the popular Historical Hikes. And the onsite Mountain Bike School is designed to help any level of rider navigate the terrain with technical coaching along the way.

For a little something different, consider saddling up for a horseback ride, courtesy of Boulder Mountain Ranch. Or mosey over to “Pebble Beach” for some stand-up paddleboard action or one-wheel cruising around the Deer Valley Ponds, courtesy of Park City SUP.

Eats at altitude

Pop into the Royal Street Express, Snowshoe Tommy’s, or Deer Valley Etc. for grab-and-go eats (ahem, the enormous ice cream cookie sandwich or the promise of an après beer will motivate even the most reluctant hiker). Or settle into a sumptuous alfresco scene on the deck of Royal Street Café or Deer Valley Grocery~Café.

Pairings are back!

On Tuesdays, check out the popular Hops on the Hill series on Stein Eriksen Lodge’s deck and adjacent lawn; Chef Zane Holmquist’s culinary creations are accompanied by local brews and bands. And new this summer, the Goldener Hirsch has partnered with Traeger Grills for “Friday Afternoon Club” (libations, smoked specialties, and live music), held on the hotel’s bridge, June 25 through Sept. 3.

Get your groove on

As far as concert venues go, Deer Valley is frankly unbeatable, thanks to its champagne-sipping-worthy grassy slope and stunning mountain backdrop. With the caveat that pandemic-wary protocols and capacity limits could be in place, the resort is “working to pull off its concerts” this summer, according to spokesperson Emily Summers. A trio of concert series will hopefully return to the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater for the 2021 Season: Utah Symphony’s Deer Valley Music Festival (postponed from last summer), the Deer Valley Concert Series (traditionally big-name acts), and the Wednesday night community concerts, presented by nonprofit Mountain Town Music. Check deervalley.com for updated concert details.

Pro tips

  • Posh, resort-side hotels offer an array of packages and discounts for summer getaways (or staycations), which often include activity discounts or resort credits. Check out the latest deals at Deer Valley Resort, Montage Deer Valley, Stein Eriksen Collection, and St. Regis Deer Valley.
  • Download the Deer Valley app to expedite grab-and-go food orders.
  • In the market for a season bike pass? Bike haul passes dropped in price this summer, from $450 to $400. If you bought your winter 2020-21 Season Ski Pass by October 2020, summer 2021 lift access is included.
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