18. April 2015 · Comments Off on Utah Discoveries 6: Spring Break in Utah, Driving Westward · Categories: Uncategorized
Park City is a lovely mountain town. It's worth visiting...

Park City is a beautiful, classy mountain town. It’s worth visiting…

Thanks to some last minute planning on my part, we were unable to get lodging for some Spring Break skiing within Colorado, but we were able to get a condo in Park City, Utah. While it may seem strange that we travelled all the way to Utah for skiing that might have been no better than in Colorado, we realized there are some other things worth seeing in Utah and we were looking forward to that. I’d never been to Park City, and for those who know me well, you know that I’m always game to check out new places in our great country.

For the drive westward, Dave and I elected to go off the beaten path a little and see some of the more remote parts of Colorado and Utah. It was interesting to say the least. Below I’ve included a map of the westward route we took, which took us to such places as Rangely and Dinosaur, Colorado. You should be able to zoom in, zoom out, and pan around this map.

Rangely was particularly interesting because it’s a very busy oil field, owned and operated by a division of Chevron.

I had no idea the field was there. It dominates the northwest corner of Colorado, and it appeared that everything in the area was designed to support the oil well operations. The field produces about 11,000 barrels of crude oil per day, on part with other domestic drilling operations. The town of Rangely itself is small, but sufficient enough that trips to “nearby” Grand Junction (nearly 100 miles away) could be few and far between.

Learn more about the geography of the Rangely fields here.

Once we crossed into Utah, we spent the rest of the drive traveling into and out of Native American Reservation lands, although, unlike in Arizona last summer, there was nothing indicating with certainty whose land we were in. The drive was long…and the kids were restless from the drive. Most of the route was a two-lane highway, and we were often behind RVs and semitrailer trucks.

However, once we came into Park City, we were greeted with an absolutely gorgeous mountain town, although we noticed right away that the Park City Ski Resort was devoid of snow, except for just a few runs.

We stayed at the Skiers Lodge, which was sufficient for our purposes: it was clean, warm, and spacious. But we quickly realized that our condo complex was very old compared to the other ones surrounding us.

We didn’t have this much snow when we were at Skier’s Lodge, but you get the idea.

This wasn't our condo, but the kitchen/eating area looked like this.

This wasn’t our condo, but the kitchen/eating area looked like this. Old? Yes. Clean and warm? Also yes.

Upon our arrival, we took a walk around town and the base of the ski area.


You can see that there’s plenty of snow at the base, but it was being brought in every evening from further up the mountain. Can you see the huge competition ski jumps just over Dave’s head? That lodge behind him is really nice too, designed to look like a an old stamp mill.


Note the lack of snow behind the boys. Park City has night skiing, so we were able to hang out at the base even after sunset.



This is in town. Note the quickly melting snow. This is called the “Town Lift”…skiiers can come straight into and out of Park City’s downtown area for meals or their condos. There’s a ticket counter at the base of this lift too. However, when the snow is this low, only the better skiers can navigate the trails down into town.

Stay tuned for my posts about skiing at Park City and Alta, as well as our day trip to the Golden Spike National Monument.