Before skiing and Sundance, people flocked to Park City for a different reason: silver. In its heyday, Park City was one of the world’s greatest silver camps. But when mining went bust, prospectors cleared out, leaving the era’s equipment and buildings behind. You can still view mining ruins on these four in-town trails, but a note of caution: don’t explore inside these unstable structures.
Daly Canyon Trail
Distance: Approximately 2 miles
At the top of Main Street, signs marked “residents only” may make you feel unwelcome. Ignore them (sorry, folks!). Drive up Daly Avenue and park at the trailhead. Supposedly haunted by The Man in the Yellow Slicker, one of Park City’s most infamous ghosts, the hike reveals landmarks from the Daly-Judge mine. Follow the dirt road along a wildflower-lined creek to see aerial tram towers and dilapidated structures. Take Coco’s Bypass, then look left into the aspens for an iron bunker marked “Explosives.” Farther up, see the Judge Mining and Smelting Company Office, where workers changed clothing before and after shifts.
Montage Mining Trail
Distance: Up to 8 miles
Glimpse remnants of the Daly-Judge, Alliance, and Ontario mines on this hike created by The Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History. Beginning at the Montage Deer Valley and ending in Old Town, it overlaps Daly Canyon but adds a spur to abandoned miner’s shacks before connecting to Ontario Ridge Trail. Along the way, see tram towers and rusted-out cars dating back to the 1940s. Continue toward town, and peer into Ontario Tunnel Portal. The first of several tunnels built to drain groundwater from the mines, it was also used by workers to travel between town and the mountainside.
Bonanza Mine Trail
Distance: 2.5 miles
Once the silver rush subsided, United Park City Mines diversified by opening Treasure Mountain Resort (now Park City Mountain) on its old mining lands. Prominent mining buildings were preserved, and this trail through aspen groves, beginning at Sampson Ave and King Road, leads to the Silver King Mill and Shaft House. Towers remain from an aerial tramway that transported buckets of ore from the mine to town. Continue to Bonanza Lift to see water tanks and the Silver King Shaft House.
Distance: 3 miles
Over 1,200 miles of old mining tunnels wind through Park City’s hills, but only one was repurposed as the world’s first underground ski lift in the 1960s. Spy the Spiro Tunnel when beginning this hike at Silver Star Plaza. Then wind up through aspens, maples, and past chairlifts to views of town. Along the way, find unnamed, ramshackle mining-era structures, then loop back to the base on Dawn’s Trail.
For more info on these hikes, visit alltrails.com.