Head to Utah and follow our advice on where to swim, bike, run and more in this active mountain town.
Within 35 minutes from an international airport (Salt Lake City), you can get to the perfect altitude training destination of Park City. Elite-level athletes such as cyclist Peter Sagan and runner Shalene Flanagan have both done training stints in the ski city before big events, and it’s easy to understand why. This friendly mountain town sits just under 7,000 feet—that’s 1,500 feet higher than Boulder for those counting—and boasts 400 miles of trails, sunny days with low humidity, and a welcoming, athletic culture. Visit in summer or early fall to experience the best of this under-the-radar training hub.
Local lodging experts Stay Park City make it easy to find accommodations, whether you’re looking for a lux hotel or comfy vacation condo. Plus, the company sponsors a local cycling group—so clearly they have good taste.
You can find lap swim and masters groups in Park City year round, but summertime means all the outdoor pools are open for workouts. Check out the offerings at Park City MARC, Silver Mountain, Basin Recreation, and Ecker Hills Aquatics Center.
Sync up with the aforementioned Stay Park City Cycling Club for one of their weekly group road or mountain bike rides. Head to Ritual Chocolate on Sunday at 10 a.m. for a 40–45 mile group ride open to both locals and visitors, divided into three groups by ability level. “A core principle of our club is ‘all-inclusive,’ from weekend warriors to CAT 1 racers and folks just passing through town,” says club president Jason Linder. One of his consistent favorites is this 28-mile loop to Kamas from Park City. “It takes you out of town on wide roads, with no stops, some good climbs, and beautiful views,” he says. If you’re looking to climb your heart out, copy the challenging Suffertational route to ascend some of Park City’s toughest hills.
With 400 miles of continuous trails throughout Park City, you won’t run out of options for run training. “The Mid Mountain Trail is a classic trail run [or mountain bike ride], consisting of 20-plus miles of single track hovering around 8,000 feet,” Linder says. For a flat, mostly paved route, the Rail Trail extends for nearly 30 miles from the center of town.
If your ideal recovery snack is avocado toast, you must try Harvest or Five5eeds, two Australian-influenced cafés with colorful breakfast dishes and solid coffee. Get your second caffeine hit of the day of the day at STOKED Roasters at the top of Main Street, owned by accomplished ultra-runner Jax Mariash. After a long training day, treat yourself to burgers and a milkshake at the Montage Deer Valley’s Burgers & Bourbon. (Insider tip: Head to the Montage fire pits around 8 p.m. in the summer months for gourmet s’mores.)
Park City has a strong Olympic heritage, as evidenced by the caliber of local athletes and sports facilities in town. The Intermountain Healthcare LiVe Well Center features a state-of-the-art sports performance arm overseen by Dr. Max Testa—a 30-year Tour de France doctor—and offers a slew of testing from Vo2 Max, lactate threshold, gait analysis and much more.
Tackle the sprint or Olympic-distance of the Jordanelle Triathlon in August, featuring a clear reservoir swim, mountain-backdrop bike and a run along partial single track through a nature preserve. Test your uphill running prowess at one of the Triple Trail Challenge events—the 16-mile June routes races up to the 10,000-foot Jupiter Peak.