There are a lot of things that set Park City apart from every other ski town in America. There’s the award-winning food, this historic charm of an old silver-mining town, the world-class snow, the perfect bluebird days. And the best part of all of that? The accessibility. When you plan your trip to Park City, no matter what time of year, you can have everything: the food, the scenery, the nightlife, and the culture without ever having to get behind the steering wheel.
In fact, if you are one of the lucky few that get to call Park City ‘home’, you probably could get away with driving less too.
Think about just a few of the most obvious benefits to leaving the car parked in the garage or skipping the rental car:
- You lessen your environmental impact.
- You don’t have to find a place to park.
- If you have a couple drinks at dinner, you can safely get home without worrying.
- You can turn your commute into a time to relax with a book or even get some extra work done on the way to and from the office.
- You get dropped off right at the base of the ski resorts. No more schlepping your gear all the way from the bottom of the parking lot.
- You can save money. The Park City buses are free!
Take the bus.
Park City has a free bus system that covers the whole area between Deer Valley and Kimball Junction. In the warmer months, you can throw your bike into the rack on the front and in the winter, there’s room for skis and snowboards. On top of that, the buses get priority to skip through traffic so with a little bit of trip planning, you’ll get where you’re going faster and with less frustration.
The transit center located on Swede Alley (behind Main Street) is the hub of the entire system so any bus you jump on will get you right into the heart of the action. This makes the bus system the best option for special events and a regular evening out in Old Town for shows, dinner, drinks, gallery strolls, and shopping.
Visitors to Park City have the bus system figured out. Tourists have been using the free bus system and loving it, but most locals are still not jumping on board (pun totally intended). I promise, not only is it easier to use than you might think, you just might even find it enjoyable.
If any of you have ever lived in a big city where using public transit is the norm, you’ll know how nice using the bus can be once you get into the habit. Bring a book, listen to music, or (starting in 2017) use the free wifi on your commute.
Ok, I gave you some good reasons for using the bus and I can still hear the objections from here. And I get it. It’s true; sometimes the bus is just not a feasible option. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways you can reduce your carbon footprint.
Walk or bike commute.
If you’re lucky enough to live close to where you work, try biking or walking even just one day a week to start. I’ve started doing this myself and my 20-mile round trip bike ride means I don’t feel like I have to go to the gym before work and even better than that, I’m happier when I get home after a long day.
If you’re figuring out logistics for your trip to Park City, add rental bikes to your plan. There are great trails and bike paths throughout Park City that will get you wherever you need to go. It’s a fun way to acquaint yourself with a new city and see areas that you might never see otherwise. Especially in an historic town like Park City where many of the old, mining homes and buildings have been preserved, there’s always something to look at. A bike ride will give you more time to explore.
One more option for locals to reduce their carbon footprint: trip chaining. For those days when you just need to get stuff done. A lot of stuff. Waiting for the bus between each errand isn’t going to work. Piling 2x4s, groceries, and kids on your bike might also not be the best or safest option. In those cases, link as many errands together and plan your route so you don’t cover as many miles.
Go green, Park City.
Park City is a town full of people, locals and visitors alike, who love the mountains, bluebird days, and miles and miles of singletrack trails. It only makes sense that we’d be a town full of people who want to protect our environment so we can continue to enjoy it for years to come. So figure out a way to be in the driver’s seat less and on the chairlift more this year.
Want more great info on how you can help? Check out Ride On.