Hit the Road
Summer is the perfect time to experience the Park City area's natural beauty by auto tour.
Photograph: Willie Holdman
Summer is the perfect time to experience the Park City area’s natural beauty by auto tour. These close-by scenic drives are worth the trip.
Mirror Lake Highway / Chalk Creek Loop
Drive time: 5 hours*
The Mirror Lake Highway offers spectacular scenery as it climbs to 10,687 feet and winds around peaks, lakes, and forests. Take I-80 east to Coalville, turn left on Main Street and right on Chalk Creek Road. This two-lane byway winds through a gorgeous river valley up and around the northwest shoulder of the Uinta Range, eventually dropping into the high plains of Wyoming where it junctions with Hwy 150. Turn south toward the mountains and complete the loop. Roads are paved and well-maintained. A small access fee is required.
Guardsman Pass / Big Cottonwood Canyon
Drive time: 2 hours*
Take Marsac Avenue to Guardsman Pass Road and up to the breathtaking views from the summit. Drop down into Big Cottonwood Canyon for a 14-mile scenic drive with beautiful peaks, picnic areas, campgrounds, and access to numerous hiking trails. The ski resorts of Solitude and Brighton are at the top of the canyon with restaurants and restrooms available. Though paved most of the way, the pass is a maintained dirt road and can be a bit rough. Still, 4WD is not necessary.
Sundance / Alpine Loop
Drive time: 3 hours*
Spectacular in summer and especially so in fall, this route travels through heavy forests surrounded by awe-inspiring peaks. Take Hwy 40 from Park City to Heber City, and turn right on Hwy 189 into Provo Canyon. Three miles later, turn right onto SR 92, also known as the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway. The road is paved but narrow and twisting. Linger at Sundance Resort or take the tour of Timpanogos Caves (must book in advance). This road eventually pops out into populated Utah Valley, where you reverse course.
Guardsman Pass / Cascade Springs
Drive time: 2.5 hours*
Amazing viewpoints and vistas await you along the way to Cascade Springs. Take Marsac Avenue to Guardsman Pass Road and on to the summit. Enjoy the breathtaking views, then turn around and head back, taking your first right onto Pine Canyon Dr. At Wasatch Mountain State Park golf course, turn right onto Snake Creek Drive. Climb for several miles then turn left onto Cummings Parkway/Cascade Springs Drive. This loops down to Soldier Hollow Golf Course. Continue downhill to Center Street in Midway, and head north on River Road to Hwy 40 and back to Park City. This route includes sections of rutted dirt road – 4WD is not necessary but take a high clearance vehicle.
Jeremy Ranch / Weber River Canyon
Drive time: 3 hours*
This trip provides scenery including picturesque farms and rural townships, winding canyons, reservoirs, and mountain peaks. Take I-80 west, exit at Jeremy Ranch and access Jeremy Ranch Road at the golf course. Once through the neighborhood, this becomes a maintained gravel road that follows a creek to Hwy 65, where you continue north. At the far end of East Canyon Reservoir, turn left onto Hwy 66. At I-84, head east and continue to I-80 west. Thirteen miles along I-80, exit onto Hwy 32 at Wanship. This two-lane road meanders along the base of the Uinta Mountains, eventually intersecting Hwy 40 near Heber City. Head north back to Park City.
* Drive times are estimates for travellers who are not in a hurry but also do not make frequent or long stops. For those who like to enjoy the views or want to picnic or drop into a local cafe for lunch, please plan accordingly.