Park City’s 5 Best Trail Runs

Whether you’re already an off-road addict or a pavement pounder looking to mix it up, don’t miss these mountain jaunts.

By Jenny Willden June 25, 2019

Dawn's Trail—one of several potential return trails for runners ascending Armstrong—traverses wildflower-strewn ski runs as well as aspen groves as it switchbacks down to the Silver Star starting point. 

Image: Jane Gendron

Four-hundred-plus miles of singletrack make trail running at altitude one of Park City’s most accessible outdoor pursuits. Bounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Uinta and Wasatch mountain ranges, the area’s scenic trails come with sweeping views and challenging terrain as well as easier, undulating paths at lower elevation. Here are five of our all-time favorite routes for newbies as well as advanced runners.

Jenni’s Trail

Distance: 5 miles

Beginning at the base of Park City Mountain Resort, Lower Jenni's Trail is popular among runners who love tough steep climbs and exhilarating descents. Pass through scrubby shrubs and aspen stands while winding underneath ski lifts and up to the Jenni’s Trail sign at a fork in the trail. From here, continue up or speed downhill back to the base, winding through the forest as you hear the screams of Alpine Coaster riders racing down the mountain. Starting at 6,900 feet and topping out at 8,200 feet, this trail can be run uphill or down, but be aware that the path is shared with uphill mountain bikers.

Jenni's Trail has all the trappings of alpine adventure, including stunning—and shady—aspens.

Image: Jenny Willden

Armstrong Trail

Distance: 6 miles

Find fantastic views of town and moderate climbs on this dirt trail above Silver Star Café. It’s also an uphill-only mountain bike trail, so you won’t have to worry about speeding cyclists crashing into you during your ascent. Park at Silver Star and follow the signs leading to Armstrong for a three-mile run. Continue to HAM and Spiro Trails for a roughly six-mile loop, ending back in the parking lot. Or, if you're running out of daylight and just need a short 3-miler, turn off of Armstrong after 1.5 miles (before you reach HAM) and loop down Dawn's Trail. After your run, imbibe or dine at Silver Star Café’s outdoor patio. 

Round Valley

Distance: 30 miles of trails

The rolling hills and valleys of this preserved open space northeast of Old Town make it a go-to for locals. With over 30 miles of trails spread over 700 acres, there are soft dirt doubletrack and flowing singletrack paths for every skill level. For easy access, start and end at Quinn’s Trailhead--near bustling Kearns Boulevard. Thanks to its lower 6,500’ elevation, Round Valley is the best place for early spring and late fall trail runs if you’re looking to avoid muddy, snowy slogs. Of note: the area is popular with mountain bikers and off-leash pups are welcome and abundant. 

Historic Rail Trail

Distance: 28 miles

During Park City’s silver mining boom, a Union Pacific railroad line connecting Coalville to Park City was used to transport coal and ore. But when the boom went bust, the railroad was abandoned and fell into disuse. In the 1990s, an ambitious project was proposed to turn it into Utah’s first non-motorized rail trail. Today, this unpaved, historic path welcomes runners, cyclists, and hikers on its 28 miles as it passes through Park City, along the river, and to active farmlands and tiny towns before ending at Echo Reservoir—an idyllic place for a post-run swim. 

Start in Park City and cruise down the two-percent grade along Silver Creek, or run from the trail’s many designated parking areas. Stop to catch your breath at markers showcasing Mormon history, Ice Age excavation sites, and historical town events.  

Summer trail running is rivaled only by the patchwork colors of fall. 

Image: Jenny Willden

Mid-Mountain Trail

Distance: 26 miles

The iconic Mid Mountain Trail bisects Deer Valley and both sides of Park City Mountain at an elevation of 8,000 feet, and it isn’t just for the mountain biking crowd. Head out on foot, running through fir forest and aspen stands with views of mountains and town below. The best starting point for an out-and-back run is Deer Valley’s Silver Lake Lodge. Head down the mountain just right of the Sterling Express Lift to catch the trail and run until you’re ready to turn back.

Or access the trail with a beautiful ride up the Canyons Village Gondola or the Town Lift. One great option for skipping a shuttle or out-and-back is starting at Deer Valley, running to Park City Mountain Resort, then running or taking the Town Lift back to Main Street.

For more off-road options, check out the Mountain Trails Foundation map, available at local retailers and online. 


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