The Utah Olympic Park got a lot of attention during the 2002 games as the site for bobsledding, luge, skeleton, and ski jumping. While the park is still home for competition for all these winter sports, it’s become known in Utah as a year-round destination for all kinds of outdoor adventure. From rope courses and ziplines to the park’s signature thrill rides, you’ll find plenty of outdoor fun all summer long at the park. Here are nine of our favorite outdoor adventures to enjoy.
1. Summer Comet Bobsled
The park’s signature ride draws in folks who want to see just what it’s like to ride in a real bobsled down an Olympic track. Spoiler alert: Really fast. During the summer the bobsleds are modified to roll down the concrete track, and a trained pilot takes up to three passengers on the ride of their lives. Expect to reach speeds of up to 60 mph during the minute-long ride. You won’t be disappointed.
2. Hiking Trails
Some of the best things in life are free—including access to the hiking and biking trails at Utah Olympic Park. For hikers, you have several options when it comes to exploring the park (visit the trail map to get a good overview of your options). The Iron Bill Trail, which is also used by mountain bikers, features a large climb from the base of the Olympic Parkway to top of the ski jump. The new Moose Puddle and Yeti Trails, also open to mountain bikes, start near the bottom of the bobsled run. All three mountain bike trails connect to the Park City trail system and the Legacy Ridge Trail. This trail, for hikers only, loops around the top of the park offering excellent views of the ski jump and bobsled track. That trail is bisected by the Legacy Ridge Trail at the top of the mountain. The Nordic View Trail starts at the welcome center and goes it up to Peak Plaza and the top of the K120 ski jump. You’ll be even more impressed with the athletes who are able to take the flying leap from the top of the tower after completing this hike.
3. Biking Trails
While many of the trails in the park are reserved for hikers, the Iron Bill Trail is a notable (and fun) exception. The 1.9-mile intermediate trail features more than 600 feet of climbing from its base to the top of the mountain. From there, you can cross Bear Hollow Drive, leave the park, and hope on the extensive Park City Trail System, which features more than 400 miles of continuous, recreational trails for non-motorized traffic. From the trailhead on Bear Hollow Drive, you can hit the 2.1-mile intermediate Rob’s trail, from which you can reach, well, pretty much anywhere you want to go. You’ll quickly discover why Park City is one of the top mountain bike destinations in the country.
4. Ride the Alpine Slide
While not quite reaching the speeds of the bobsled run, the Alpine Slide still offers plenty of thrills. The wheeled sled offers a smooth ride down the mountain with 18 banked turns—and the sleds are easy to maneuver so you can control the speed yourself. It’s a good ride for all ages, and younger kids can ride with an adult.
5. Extreme Tubing
In extreme tubing, you can take a ride down the landing hill of the ski jump on an inflated inner tube. The plastic surface allows you to slide just like it on snow, and you can expect to reach speeds up to 50 mph.
Utah Olympic Park offers several zipline course to choose from, catering to a wide variety of experiences. The Extreme Zipline is big, steep, and long, taking riders from the edge of the K120 ski jump down the mountain at up to 50 mph. Two ziplines allow to you ride alongside a friend or family member. The Freestyle zipline is a shorter and features slower—but still fast—speeds. It’s a perfect start before moving up to the big one, and better for young children and those looking for a more leisurely ride. Whatever you choose, you’ll find unparalleled views of the area. For an additional thrill, consider taking on the Drop Tower, an advanced-level activity that starts with a 377-foot long zip line that ends at the 65-foot tall Drop Tower. From there, you’ll do a freefall rappel to the ground.
7. Rope Courses
You also have several options when it comes to exploring ropes courses. These manmade structures up to 55 feet in the air invite users to put on a harness, tie in, and test yourself on various obstacles. The advanced level Summit Adventure course includes wire traverses, swinging elements and acts of problem-solving. The intermediate level Canyon Course features a log traverse and other balancing challenges up to 25 feet in the air. The Discovery Course is designed for younger climbers and beginners to give them a taste of exploration without getting too high off the ground.
8. Mountain Challenge
Fans of American Ninja Warrior will enjoy this obstacle course that is tucked high above the park. No special gear is needed for this free activity, which invites users to test their strength and agility by completing the course without touching the ground. You’ll find a warped wall and all other manner of hanging and climbing obstacles to conquer.
9. Climbing Wall
This isn’t your ordinary climbing wall. This is "deep water soloing," which means that the wall is angled to hang over a deep pool of water. The climbers ascend without being roped in, and one false move and it’s in the pool. Of course, that’s part of the fun as well. Climbing shoes are available for rent—and bring your swimsuit.
Originally written for Utah Office of Tourism.