It’s that time of year again. The temperatures are dropping, we’ve already had our first snow of the year and the hiking in Park City is better than ever. Autumn is almost here in Summit County. Luckily for us, we live in one of the most beautiful places in America to enjoy the fall colors and brisk afternoon hikes. Soon, the hills of Park City will be covered in reds, oranges, and golds; with that in mind, here are our favorite fall hikes to take in all of the colors.
If you are in search of a mellow, family-friendly hike, look no further than the Farm Trail. This paved pathway stretches 2-miles alongside Highway 224 and has phenomenal views of Iron and Quarry Mountains, as well as the iconic McPolin Barn. The Farm Trail also connects with the McPolin nature trail which winds through a beautiful aspen grove, offering up some of the best fall colors in all of Park City. This trail is perfect for beginning hikers or cyclists, as well as families who don’t want to drag the little ones up strenuous switchbacks to get beautiful views of Park City’s autumn colors.
Type: Paved Pathway
Located in the Prospector area, the Freemason Trail is an easy 1.5-mile hike with roughly 300 feet of elevation gain. Built by the Mountain Trails Foundation as a connector-route for cyclists and hikers looking for an easier way to access the Lost Prospector Loop, Freemason is still a great option on its own. The single track trail is well maintained and has great views of Old Town and Park City Mountain. Freemason takes about 45 minutes to complete and is partly shaded throughout the first half of the trail, but becomes more exposed as you make your way around the hill. Parking is located at either Prospector Park or the Rail Trail, and you can stop at one of the many restaurants for a quick bite on your way back to the car.
Type: Single Track
Bloods Lake Trail
Mountain Trails recently renovated this 1.4-mile hike only trail that includes spectacular views of Bonanza Flat and ends with a beautiful alpine lake. This trail is a little more strenuous than the other trails we have listed, but is completely worth the extra effort. Enveloped by a canopy of aspens and pine trees, the first three-quarters of the hike is flat and easy. The last push includes about a half-mile of steep switchbacks ending at the beautiful Bloods Lake. The lake is swimmer friendly, but the temperatures are usually very cold, so keep that in mind before you jump in.
Type: Hike Only
Dogs Allowed On Both Trail/Lake
Empire Lodge Area Trails
Deer Valley’s Empire Lodge area has a ton of great trails, all located in close proximity to the Empire Lodge parking lot. One of our favorites is the Mid Mountain Trail which is in the heart of the trees, and has great alpine views any way you look. There are two length options: a quick 0.8-mile route that is perfect for trail runners, or someone looking for a quick hike after work. The second is a 2.1-mile hike that is rated as an intermediate level single track. Another great option in the Empire Lodge area is the Tour de Suds Trail which is more suited for someone looking for a difficult hike. It is a short 0.7-mile trail, but can be connected to a myriad of other intermediate or expert level trails, like the 1.9-mile Boulder Trail that includes a few steep switchbacks.
Type: Single Track
These trails are just a small sampling of the great hiking that can be done in Park City during the fall. For more information on Park City’s trail system, as well as a look at trail conditions, head over to the Mountain Trails Foundation website. Now get out there and start hiking!