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Park City Earns IMBA Gold

park-city-imba-gold-levelPark City’s vast network of trails earned it IMBA Gold-Level certification. Photo by Mike TittelIt offers more than 350 miles of singletrack, terrain suitable for everyone from beginners to pros, and because the town is only 30 minutes from Salt Lake City off an eight-lane highway, it’s accessible. Utahns have always thought of Park City as a great place to mountain bike in high summer when Moab is an inferno, but now the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) is saying Park City is the best town in the country to mountain bike.


IMBA recently awarded Park City with its first-ever Gold-Level Ride Center certification after deciding back in October that Park City fit the strict criteria imposed upon Ride Centers. “Certification is a big pat on the back to the Park City community as a whole,” says Scott House, communications director at local shop White Pine Touring. “The community here has been behind the trail system for years, and this is their due recognition for all the hard work, labor, money, and time they’ve put in.”


To earn a Gold-Level certification, a ride center must earn a score of at least 90 out of 100. Park City scored a 96 based on an extensive singletrack network linked by signs and trails. A wide range of options serving riders of all abilities also contributed to Park City’s gold status. Six ride centers earned accolades from IMBA, including one silver and five bronze destinations. (See the full list here.)


“The sheer miles of trails are fantastic, but what’s really important is that they function as a cohesive network, with signage and trail connections that create a model riding area,” IMBA Regional Director Ryan Schutz said in a statement. 


Park City’s 350-plus miles of singletrack accommodate just about every type of biker. Cross-country trails are abundant around town, there’s a vibrant bike park, and Deer Valley, Canyons, and Park City Mountain Resort feature some of the best lift-serviced downhill terrain in the country. Even on the ski areas there’s plenty of variety—beginners and intermediates can navigate the mellow switchbacks of the new “flow” trails.


If you’re more into cross-country riding, start with the Glenwild-Flying Dog network of trails. Because of the system’s south-facing exposure, they’re among the first local trails to open, offering great intermediate riding with the option to connect into the bike park.


House says the IMBA certification could boost the town’s economic profile in the summer season. Many outdoor companies in town make between 60 and 70 percent of their revenue during the winter, House says, but earning a top-tier distinction from IMBA could start to turn those tides. —Jake Bullinger


Click here for IMBA’s take on why Park City earned gold. If you go: Summer full-day lift prices are $15 for Canyons, $20 for Park City, and $36 for Deer Valley. Check out cross-country trail guides here.

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