The Town Lift is like the road less traveled, or in this case the lift less ridden.
Correct me if I’m wrong (comment below) but aside from the Gondola at Telluride, Park City is the only town that has a lift which leaves from within the town and ascends to the slopes above. It seems all other resorts I know of have a base area that is separate from the town where lifts begin.
So it was that this past Monday found me headed to ski the afternoon at Park City Mountain Resort with family. Since they were already on the mountain I considered my options of how to meet up with them.
Since they were skiing the upper mountain area of Thaynes and McConkeys and said that Payday was quite busy in addition to the parking lots looking full, I schemed up a plan.
I had the idea to try the Town Lift, the only lift of any of the three Park City area resorts (The Canyons, Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resort) that I had not ridden. I’d driven under the town bridge hundreds of times but never slid across it nor ridden above the houses of Old Town. Today would be the day.
Getting to the Town Lift is easy. You can walk if you’re fortunate to be staying in town, particularly if you’re at the Empire #1 3 bedroom home that sleeps 8 which is nearly ski in ski out to the town lift. If you’re elsewhere in the Park City area take one of the many free town buses that service all of the Utah Vacation Homes’ Park City lodging options. Or if you’re driving in like I was you could be lucky enough to score a great parking spot on Park Avenue just a block from the lift.
As I walked up the lower main street plaza there were a handful of skiers and snowboarders with a few more skiing across the bridge from the mountain. It felt like a private ski resort and the afternoon sun had many sitting on restaurant decks enjoying a respite from the skiing.
Rising above the streets and houses of Old Town, the Town Lift starts from lower Main Street and terminates near the bottom of the Bonanza Lift. It’s a “short cut” to the upper mountain for those in the know. At 10 minutes the ride goes by quickly enough to enjoy the unique vistas and old mining relics along the way.
When your day is done, head down the mountain on runs like Creole and Quit N’ Time which descend from the Payday area. They are east facing runs so on sunny days when the sun has set behind the hill they may be a little icy. On snowy days your chances are good that you’ll score one last powder run before sliding across the bridge into the plaza.