Today marks the first day of summer, which means Deer Valley Resort summer operations are in full swing! We had the opportunity to chat with Deer Valley Resort Director of Mountain Operations, Steve Graff, for the inside scoop on hiking and biking in beautiful Deer Valley this summer season.
Steve has served at Deer Valley Resort for the past 25 years.
“So obviously, I love it!” he declared.
“It is the connectedness and sense of family that brings people back, employees and guests. It is the pride of what we do and who we are. I love working here. The people from the top down are all very approachable, and we all have the same goal in mind, to give the people who come here the best experience that we possibly can.”
Park City attracts visitors from around the world to experience the renowned hiking and biking opportunities. According to the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA), Park City was the very first Gold-Level Ride Center, meaning our community is truly a world-class mountain biking destination.
The Deer Valley trail maintenance team is currently hard at work constructing a brand new flow trail on Bald Eagle Mountain. Steve explained the difference between flow trails and traditional mountain biking.
Mountain biking has evolved over the years. Traditional mountain biking is considered “technical” and it is characterized by narrower trails and switchbacks. Riders navigate more natural elements like roots and rocks embedded in these trails. The new flow trails are shaped with large machinery. They are characterized by a more consistent smooth surface and large berm turns.
“The turns are big and banked, a different type of riding, and a lot of fun! They are incredibly popular. Tidal Wave feels like a dirt roller coaster.”
Tidal Wave is one of three flow trails at Deer Valley Resort, located on Bald Eagle Mountain. They are currently constructing a fourth. This fourth trail will mark the development of four flow trails developed over the course of four years.
“As it’s being completed and parts of [the new flow trail] become available, we’ll open it up over the course of the summer. It will be a really fun addition on our lower mountain.”
With the proximity to lift service and the high speeds generated on these steeper trails, most of the mountain biking on Bald Eagle Mountain is designated as downhill only.
Here’s a breakdown of the difficulty levels of the four flow trails:
“Overall, if you are looking for a lift-served, downhill experience, Bald Mountain is definitely where you want to be, off of the Sterling Chairlift. I would recommend starting out with Holy Roller. If you feel comfortable after that, then I would move to Nail Driver, which is a mix of flow and technical. It has elements of new school flow trails and also elements of traditional mountain biking. And then, you could work your way to the advanced intermediate trail,Tidal Wave. You keep working through that progression until you get up to Tsunami or Fire Swamp.”
If you prefer a more traditional mountain biking experience, Deer Valley Resort has a series of first-class interconnected trails to choose from.
“If you're into a more lift-served cross country experience, so more traditional mountain biking at a gentler pace, without all the climbing, you can take the chairlift up. I would recommend trails like Deer Camp, which is incredibly beautiful, Flagstaff Loop, Boulder, Tour de Suds, mainly on Flagstaff Mountain. Because you’re using the chairlfit, there’s never more than a hundred feet or so of climbing at a time, creating more of a cross country experience, kind of rolling up and down with some pedaling.”
The Flagstaff Mountain trails are generally not as steep or fast as those on Bald Mountain, so most of them, including Flagstaff Loop, Boulder, and Tour De Suds, are all multi-use and multi-directional. Hikers and bikers alike can enjoy these trails in either direction.
“We are trying to create good experiences for everyone. Hikers and bikers can co-exist on the trails that tend to meander more.”
There are plenty of multi-directional trails to choose from, as well as four hiking only trails- Sultan, Silverlake Trail, Ontario Canyon, and Red Cloud.
“There are a lot of options. My personal favorite is Silverlake. It is steep, just over two miles long, and gains 14 hundred feet in elevation. I love it because it starts at Silverlake, and it wraps around Bald Mountain to the East. It has pine forest, open meadows with amazing views of the Uintas and Jordanelle, woods, and the last half is exposed on the back side of the mountain with great views of Wasatch Mountain State Park and Timpanogos. Then, when you summit at the top of Bald Mountain, you can enjoy a complimentary lift ride down on Sterling.”
All the Deer Valley Resort trails are free and open to the public. Even the new high-speed downhill flow trails are free. Bikers would just need to ride up on a multi-directional Flagstaff trail, then cross over to descend Bald Mountain trails.
For those staying here at Stein Eriksen Lodge looking for a fun, easy hike, Steve suggested a multi-trail hike that begins right in our backyard!
The whole loop is approximately four miles, but only about 900 feet of elevation gain over the course of the whole hike.
Whether you’re a professional mountain biker eager to take on more advanced trails, a beginner excited to experience a new sport, or a hiker seeking the best views, Deer Valley Resort has something for everyone.
For more information on the trail systems, mountain biking lessons, hiking trail guides, and more, visit the Deer Valley Resort website here.
As always, our Concierge is happy to help plan your next adventure: 435-645-6460
Additionally our Stein Eriksen Sport team is knowledgeable and fully equipped to outfit you in the latest gear: 435-658-0680
Get out there and experience all Deer Valley has to offer this beautiful summer season!