Some days, you just have to beat the heat. When the sun threatens to boil your brain, you need an escape. Fortunately, Park City is a perfect place to stay when you want a cool summer getaway. Try some of our favorite summer activities when you need to stay cool in Park City.
Park City sits near two great rivers. Both Weber River and Provo River are frequent destinations for locals looking to cool off, especially during the peak of the season. Floating down the stream, taking in the beautiful scenery, catching glimpses of local fauna, and getting good and soaked is the perfect way to spend a toasty afternoon. If you want a more organized, guided experience, a rafting experience is the perfect choice. Those looking for more self-directed fun and feel more comfortable in the water should try a tubing trip. Each river has a different character. The Weber River experience has plenty of class II rapids, while the Provo River is a more sedate waterway. We suggest tackling the water during the hottest parts of the day to keep from getting too cool. Both rivers are fed by runoff from the winter snow pack, and get mighty chilly. For the budget-minded, tubing is the less expensive option, but families should stick to rafting for their watery adventure, as small bodies can’t tame the tubes as effectively. No matter how you decide to enjoy the river, make sure you’re wearing a life jacket at all times. It’s the law.
Of course, sitting in the water isn’t the only thing the rivers around Park City offer. Park City is a great fishing destination. Fly fishing is a popular activity nearly year-round. While hanging around the river in winter will have you shivering in your waders, summer is a great time to cool off in the great outdoors. Get waist deep in the refreshing water and angle for some of the beautiful, large fish swimming up and down the canyons. A bit of summer fishing is a great self-directed activity, but can also be enjoyed with any of the expert fishing guides operating out of Park City. Be advised that the Weber River is mostly private access, though many land owners have decided to opt into a walking access program that allows anglers to get to the water, you should still check to make sure that you are allowed to get to that prime fishing hole you have your heart set on. The Provo River is much easier to access, as most of it is public land.
Timp Cave Hike
Getting wet while basking under the sun in one way to stay cool. But if the heat is just too much to take, there are more extreme solutions, like heading underground. The Timpanogos Cave is located just an hour from Park City, and makes a great vacation day trip. If the sun is getting under your skin, get under the Earth’s skin with this fascinating guided hike. Marvel at the incredible processes that build intricate and beautiful caves, look at strange and unusual rock formations, and take a break from the summer sun at a much more manageable average of 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Getting to the cave requires a 1.5 mile hike up a fairly steep incline, so be prepared for that. Also, make life easier underground by bringing a light jacket and a small flashlight.
Maybe you don’t want to escape the heat in nature. Maybe you want to chill out in the comfort of one of man’s greatest achievements: air conditioning. Then maybe Park City’s Historic Main Street is the choice for you. There are more than 50 shops and boutiques lining Park City’s famous downtown thoroughfare, full of every conceivable assortment of merchandise and tchotchke, apparel and souvenir. The shops are a source of one-of-a-kind treasures and interesting relics in addition to your usual stock of t-shirts and mugs. Don’t forget to stop in for some original art from Park City’s premier talents at any of the galleries scattered throughout the downtown area.
Speaking of art, Park City is home to a monthly gallery stroll on the last Friday of each month. Take a stroll through the downtown galleries between 6:00 – 9:00 to not only cool off, but also take in cool local art. The techniques and tastes of these incredible artists run the gamut from the traditional to the avant-garde, and you’re sure to find something that speaks to you as you wind your way from one end of Main Street to the other, taking in every piece of culture along the way. Make sure to stop by for a meal or a drink while you are downtown. Some of Park City’s best fare lives right on/near Main.
Okay, you want to be indoors, but shopping and strolling isn’t your thing. Maybe a bit of indoor bouldering is in order. Park City happens to have an excellent bouldering gym in The Mine. Get all the exhilarating thrills of rock climbing, without the outdoor heat or the focus on safety equipment and rope management. Bouldering gives you the chance to focus on the climbing, with only a soft mat to catch you should you fall. The Mine offers plenty of walls for any skill level, with frequent changes to the holds, so you won’t tire of the same course on subsequent visits. For a bit of novelty, try the treadwall. Keep up as the holds keep coming for as long as you can hold on.
Going back to the water, Jordanelle State Park is the perfect destination for the visitor who wants to stay cool while playing with big toys. Boating on Jordanelle is a ton of fun, whether you just want to hang out onboard, or zip around behind a speeding boat, dangling from a rope on your choice of ski, board, tube, or even parachute. The reservoir isn’t limited to just boating, of course. There is plenty of camping to enjoy along the shore, and plenty of anglers dot the water’s edge, hoping for a nibble. Also, if you don’t have your own boat or other equipment to bring along, there are plenty of rental options for just about anything you’d like to enjoy.