One Of The US' Prettiest Mountain Towns Is This Western Treasure That Looks Like Europe's Alps

Mountains draw travelers in for a variety of activities year-round. Some even seem to define a region. Take, for example, the Alps — an iconic range that traverses western Europe. Similarly, a section of western America is blessed with the massive Rocky Mountains, natural wonders that span 3,000 miles across Canada and through several U.S. states. On the lower part of the Rockies, travelers will discover Park City, Utah, a gem that sparkles year-round in the Wasatch Mountains.


Located about a 45-minute drive from the state capital, Salt Lake City, Park City is an easy jaunt for a day trip or an extended stay. Like the most well-known peaks in Europe, it offers ski resorts, majestic views, summer hiking, and mountain biking trails. Additionally, it served as the home to the 2002 Winter Olympics and hosts the Sundance Film Festival each January. These features merely scratch the surface of Park City's charms.

Enjoy the splendor of Park City during every season

It may not surprise you that the state would host such a spectacular treasure, especially considering Utah features five national parks you can visit in a single, unforgettable road trip, including the dangerous Maze hike at Canyonlands National Park that appears on many bucket lists. With all this natural beauty, a town cocooned between mountain peaks seems like a natural fit. During the winter, the snowy rooftops and surrounding slopes conjure images of the Italian Dolomites and iconic Swiss villages. During the spring, the wildflowers bloom, and summer offers the ideal weather to mountain bike or hike one of the 400 miles of trails.


At the same time, Park City has a history as a silver mining community. The historic Main Street features the Park City Museum, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at the region. The facades also house a blend of boutique shops, spas, art galleries, restaurants, and bars. While traversing back and forth from the slopes to the town, visitors can catch a ride using a ubiquitous form of transport also found in Europe — lifts and gondolas. It's an efficient way to get to the ski resorts or the hiking and ski areas in the mountains while providing spectacular views not accessible from the valley floor.

Outdoor adventures in Park City

There's a reason Park City was chosen as a location for the Olympics, and the two world-class ski resorts that straddle it, Park City Mountain Resort and the Deer Valley Resort, prove the point. Plus, the entire family can enjoy a day at the Utah Olympic Park, which features bobsledding, a slide and airbag jump for youngsters, an alpine slide, a suspended obstacle course, tubing, ziplining, and more.


Even if you simply want to take in the view without climbing or riding to the peaks, you'll find plenty to do in this mountain town. Check out one of the many golf courses, such as Park City Golf Homes, Promontory, Tuhaye, Glenwild, Marcella, Victory Ranch, and Red Ledges. The community calendar is also stuffed with activities ranging from live outdoor music to a selection of festivals. Watch for the eye-catching Autumn Aloft Hot Air Balloon Festival and immerse yourself in an outdoor gallery at The Park City Kimball Arts Festival. Plus, the town celebrates culinary delights during The Park City Food and Wine Classic.

Whether you want amazing food, a wellness retreat, a walk amongst wildflowers, or a day on the slopes, the pretty town of Park City has got you covered. Although it provides much of the European Alps' highlight reel without a passport requirement, if you want to see the Alps in person, consider the trail that made writer and travel guide Rick Steves fall in love with hiking.