Passing through to Pay Day Lift you may think this doesn’t look too big at all. Well, catch your breath because you are only seeing about 20% of the total terrain. There are 3,300 acres of terrain in front of you, so do what I did and don’t waste a minute, get on the slopes early and come back and stroll the base area later.
The self-directed tours you can download from the Park City web site do work well. They even tell you the total vertical feet and mileage you cover if you follow the printout. The only caveat is to make sure you check the daily trail reports for closed trails that might be on your agenda and then substitute any trail that is not closed and you'll still be on track.
From the top of Pay Day Lift head over to the Bonanza Lift and from the top of Bonanza the choice is yours - about 360 degrees of whats your pleasure to meet your ability. Drop down and take McConkey’s Chair to catch some really awesome views from Pinyon Ridge. I got some really good pics here that are in the photo gallery. Some of the drop in lines around McConkey’s Bowl and up the Pinyon Ridge in Puma Bowl are sure to curl the tails on a lot of single tip skis.
Thaynes Lift Area
From the top of Bonanza you can head down several trails that feed to the Thaynes lift and see some remnants of the old mining operations. For the more adventurous, take Jupiter Access to the Jupiter Lift that brings you to a ridge line of double black shutes and bowls. I spotted a coupled who hiked up to Jupiter Peak and were holding court as to which direction they were intending – either way was down – and quickly down.<p>
King Con Ridge
After a leisurely lunch, I found the King Con Ridge line that led into a line of blue trails where you can spend the rest of the day cruising blues. Round tripping back up to the ridge off the King Con Quad is a great area to nurse tired legs or - if you still have some steam left - off the King Con lift, on the other side of the ridge, you'll find some black glades.
I have to mention that I was talked into pausing for a run on the Mountain’s Alpine Coaster - 4,000’ of curves, loops, and bends. The web site describes the experience as "a breath taking ride, just like your favorite roller coaster, but with beautiful mountain scenery." I took some nice pics on the slow tow up to the pinnacle and had planned to take more on the ride down, but within 5 seconds I forgot about the camera and was hanging on for dear life. It was a thriller, but I have to take the web site’s word on the beautiful scenery – all I saw was a blur - and at the bottom I was met by a group of kids clamoring to do it again!
A really neat experience for a lot of new skiers is skiing into town for lunch or to your lodging and then and taking the Town Lift back up the mountain. This brings you to a short hop over to the Bonanza Lift and you're right back in wonderland.
I skied a lot of great terrain at Park City Mountain - more than I had figured to on the mountain planner. I found nice bumps, nice trees (spaces between, that is), groomed cruisers and lots of varying steeps – some I skied, some I just looked over the edge but, hey, I love it when you can see somebody left first tracks on some real steeps.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary lift tickets for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.