It’s springtime in Park City! This time of year, lovingly referred to as Mud Season by locals, is often missed by tourists because they don’t know the telltale signs. We at Chin-MacQuoid-Fleming-Harris are, for the first time anywhere, going to reveal how long-time Parkites know when winter is over, but summer is nowhere to be seen just yet.
1. The best snow falls now
This may seem counter-intuitive to the PC newbie, but every long-term local knows the best snowstorms of the year come just as the resorts are about to close. Local folklore holds that this is Nature’s way of laughing at us for thinking that weather forecasts mean anything to her. She’ll dump six inches on your morning commute, crank it up to 60-degrees by 2:00, then freeze if all over night. Count on it – the very best storm of the year is always right around Mother’s Day.
2. Pond Skimming is on the calendar
Put a big, red star on April 7th when Park City Mountain will hold its 22nd Annual Pond Skimming Contest. It’s one of those must-attend PC traditions that was created out of poorly behaving die-hard skiers, and caught on like wildfire. Contestants dress in costume (the crazier the better) and attempt to cross a 100-foot pond on skis or a snowboard. Limited to the first 100 registrants, every competitor gets just one chance for glory. If you don’t have the guts to make the run, you’ll want to be in the spectator crowd – this is some of the best people watching all year! If you just can’t picture this, take a look at last year’s Pond Skimming contest here.
3. Locals fly south
Mud Season also sees the weekend mass migration of Parkites to Utah’s other coolest town, Moab. Nothing is better than breaking up your routine with a quick road trip four hours south and ten degrees warmer. The drive down is a trip through geologic time. As you turn off I-215 onto State Highway 6, the landscape begins to change rapidly until you find yourself surrounded by some of the grandest art in nature. Photographs of Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, and the La Sal Mountains have filled countless coffee table books with their breathtaking beauty. Moab is in the center of them all and is only a few minutes drive from each.
4. Two-fers in the Park Record
Early spring is a low point in Park City’s tourist business, but it is the high point for locals to fully immerse themselves in where they live … at a discount! We all eagerly await the appearance of 2-for-1 coupons in the Park Record to local restaurants, activities, and attractions. This is our time of year to revisit Main Street without jostling crowds, tour Swaner Nature Preserve to catch first-sightings of newborn wildlife, and linger at dinner because there’s no long line waiting for your table.
5. Fat is in
If there is one thing Parkites love as much as skiing, it’s mountain biking. The passion for mountain biking is so deep, in fact, that Storm Cycles, Jans, White Pine Touring and many other outfitters offer fat tire bike rentals year-round. Rain or shine, snow or dirt, grab the family, rent some fat tires and go get dirty on Park City’s legendary 300+ mile trail system. It’s the adult version of jumping into a giant puddle for the sake of getting muddy. It inspires the child inside to come out and play!
During these early weeks of spring our town is eerily quiet. This time of year is when we catch our breath and take a break between the peak tourist periods. We at Chin-MacQuoid-Fleming-Harris look forward to reconnecting with you at Pond Skimming or in Moab!