When Vail Resorts purchased Utah’s Park City Mountain Resort in 2014, skiers and riders knew significant changes were in store for PCMR and Canyons Resort. Those changes came in the form of the two resorts being merged into one, Park City Mountain, with two base/village areas and the new Quicksilver Gondola connecting the resorts for the 2015/2016 season. With an expansive amount of terrain, I’ve picked out my favorite black and double black ski runs for advanced skiers visiting Park City.
1. East Face – Park City Base Area
For a big mountain, out-of-bounds experience with the safety of ski-patrol managed avalanche control, East Face is the run for you. It won’t come easy though as you’ll be required to earn your turns with a manageable hike to the top of 9,998′ Jupiter Peak. Make sure to choose your line carefully so that you don’t inadvertently send it off one of the many cliffs.
2. Red Pine Chutes – Park City Canyons Village
Take Ninety-Nine 90 Express up to 9,990′ and strap up for a real leg burner. Far skier’s left through Red Pine Bowl you’ll find the Red Pine Chutes. Get through this and in the gully below another double black and black await before getting to Red Pine Road which takes you right to Red Pine Lodge if you need a break.
3. Molly’s – Park City Base Area
Off of McConkey’s Express, head skier’s right along the ridge, past the open McConkey’s Bowl and you’ll find the gladed run called Molly’s. This evergreen-filled run will surely get the blood pumping with pitches so steep you’ll see old school skiers throwing down jump turns.
4. Grande – Park City Canyons Village
The Tombstone lift has a lot of fun terrain but through the inbound Deschutes gate awaits a favorite. Navigating left through the gate Grande will reveal a pocket field of powder hidden in the evergreens. Stashes can commonly be found late on powder days for those who don’t make it to first chair.
5. Indicator – Park City Base Area
While resorts are quick to brag about shiny new chairlifts, there’s something to be said for an old fixed two-person lift that reminds skiers of days past. Jupiter is an iconic lift that transports skiers to double black-only terrain. My suggestion to find the best snow is to go skier’s right, skate up along the ridge (some work required) until you get an Indicator to drop in above treeline to a fantastic forested run.
6. The Abyss – Park City Canyons Village
Hollywood it by ripping through the moguls under the Peak 5 lift, then dip skier’s left into The Abyss. The evergreen forest funnels skiers down into the black diamond Talus Garden run leading riders back to the lifts.
Locals Tip: With proper backcountry safety gear, there is an access gate for additional vertical feet of powder fields and glade skiing.
7. Murdock Bowl – Park City Canyons Village
You’ll find the best open bowl skiing on Park City off the Super Condor Express lift. A boot pack hike up the ridgeline will take you to higher than 9,600′ with views of the entire resort. Link some big, fast Super-G turns together for a big mountain approach or decorate the mountain with a best friend and some figure eights. Murdock Bowl is your canvas.
8. Fools Paradise – Park City Canyons Village
With blues on both sides of the Dreamcatcher lift, the move for advanced skiers is to stick close to the lift. Skier’s left you can ride down Specter which has open alleys between aspens that beg you to jump into them before reaching Fools Paradise. This run is a dream on a powder day with a steep but moderate pitch that stockpiles snow.
9. The Hoist – Park City Base Area
When the snow is falling, powder hounds will primarily flock to McConkey’s and Jupiter but locals know that Thaynes offers some of the best powder skiing on the mountain. Off of Thaynes, a fixed two-person chair, go skier’s right to The Hoist which has spaced out evergreens and holds powder for days due to the lack of traffic and traditional chairlifts.
10. The Aspens – Park City Canyons Village
On a powder day, The Aspens are a fantastic warm-up for an active and advanced skier. Up the bubble or gondola and you’re dropped off at the footsteps of The Aspens. Directly off the Saddleback lift is a grove of aspen trees that are spaced perfectly, creating moments of zen as you weave in and out of them.