I’ve never been a big fan of resolutions but the idea of using the new year as a reset button and an opportunity to create change is something I think we can all get behind. A new year brings with it new challenges and opportunities. Mountain Trails has had a long, 30-year history of overcoming challenges and embracing opportunities, all in the name of trails and human-powered recreation.
Our response to this lackluster start to winter is a great example of that ethos as we quickly shifted our focus to where the snow was- Bonanza Flat. Armed with a new, high-tech grooming cat, our team navigated a short learning curve and quickly ramped up daily grooming operations in Bonanza, providing the community with over 10 kilometers of Nordic and 5 miles of multi-use singletrack. Collaboratively, with the support of our amazing community partners, we were able to make some tasty lemonade when Mother Nature handed us a frozen lemon.
Like our winter trails program, our summer operations continue to evolve. Establishing meaningful connections, enhancing safety, improving navigation, educating through creative etiquette messaging, and addressing the needs of ALL non-motorized trail users are at the core of our yearly strategic planning process. This year’s project list is all over the map, literally and figuratively. In addition to our continued focus on maintenance, we hope to establish more directional and user-specific trails, repurpose some old-school trails, and collaborate on a long-awaited, multi-county connection. A few of these projects still need approvals, but we wanted to share them anyway. . . just in case.
Round Valley Doubletrack Restoration
- Improve upon existing trails by establishing a consistent 8-10 foot-wide, road-base, soft-surface pathway from the Quinn’s/Round Valley TH to Highland Drive via Round Valley Express
- Incorporate appropriate drainage features and minor reroutes to improve long-term sustainability.
- Enhance our ability to groom in low-snow conditions and improve the user-experience, year-round.
Kings Crown Area Trails Maintenance
- Year two of a comprehensive restoration-based project that includes some of the most heavily used trails at Park City Mountain
- Extensive maintenance on Jenni’s, lower CMG, Trestle and Steps, including tread repair, side-veg and drainage work
- Reworking Trestle and Loose Moose to establish an intermediate, bike-friendly, flow trail connecting the top of the Town Lift/Jenni’s to the base area, alleviating downhill traffic on Jenni’s and improving the multi use experience of Trestle.
- Improvements to Red Bull including reworks of dangerous intersections, minor reroutes and “roll-over” features along with a connection to Seldom Seen
Mid Mountain to Charlie’s 9K, Hike-Only Trail
- Hand-built, hike-only trail that would extend from the Mid Mountain trail near the Montage, up to the 9K near the Io trail.
- Easy access to the Io hiking trail (and Jupiter Peak), creating opportunities for upper elevation hiking loops from the Mid Mountain, Empire Pass, Bonanza Flat and Blood’s Lake trailheads
- Would be used as a standing volunteer project throughout the summer
Huntsman Hiking Loop
- Hand built, hike-only connection between Royal Street and the Lookout trail system.
- Creates a nice hiking loop under tree canopy
- Working with volunteers from the Park City Fire Dept
Silver Queen Extension
- Machine built, .60 mile continuation of Silver Queen from Mid Mountain down to the top of Jenni’s/Town Lift area.
- Provides a dedicated downhill bike route from the top of Crescent to Jenni’s
- Alleviates directional traffic on a dangerous section of Mid Mtn with many blind corners
Bonanza Multi-Use Loop (5 miles completed)
- Complete the last 0.6 mile of a 5.5 mile, high-alpine, multi-use loop, beginning and ending at the Bonanza Flat Trailhead
- First “bike-friendly” trail in Bonanza and will be directional (counterclockwise) for bikes, multi-directional for foot-traffic
Bonanza to WOW Connector- (In Collaboration with Wasatch Trails Foundation)
- 4-mile, high-alpine, multi-use connection between the Bonanza Multi-Use loop and the high point on the WOW trail.
- Creates multiple loop opportunities between Bonanza Flat and Wasatch State Park
- Brings to fruition the original intent of the WOW trail by establishing a multi-county connection between Wasatch and Summit Counties.
Round Valley Signage Overhaul (In Progress)
- Create a cohesive system of signage and maps that will enable trail users to navigate a complex web of trails efficiently and safely
- Clearly present pertinent information, best practices and etiquette messaging to maximize sustainability, function and fun.
There’s no getting around the fact that this is a super-ambitious project list. That said, we couldn’t do any of this without the support of our many community partners, local contractors and you, the local trails community. It takes a village to bring these projects to fruition and fortunately for us, we have some kick-ass villagers.
Let it snow!
Rick Fournier, Trails Manager