Top Four Summer Experiences at Utah Olympic Park
I know Park City brings images of snow covered mountains with skiers gracefully speeding down the slopes. I had my hesitations about visiting Utah Olympic Park in the off season, but this stop turned out to be one of the best on the trip. It held all of the adventure with none of the crowds.
After an already amazing morning hiking to Diamond Fork Hot Springs which you can read about here, we headed to Utah Olympic Park. Built for the 2002 winter Olympics, the facilities have two seasons, winter and summer. While winter is the more popular time to visit, the summer season was worth the stop.
We purchased an unlimited day pass for each of us and headed out for an adrenaline rush. With few other people in the park, we were able to get onto each activity with no wait. I can see how if the park was crowded, the price of the pass might seem a little steep, but with no wait, we were able to do each activity numerous times until the park closed. Below are the four must do activities at Utah Olympic Park.
A relaxing chairlift ride to the top of the mountain built the anticipation for the extreme zipline. Four people can race at one time, but since it was just me and Geoff, we only raced each other. Like a horse behind the gate at the Kentucky Derby, we waited for the door to open and the race to begin.
After ziplinig and rock climbing the day before which you can read about here, I found the “extreme zipline” to be more fun than thrilling. Sitting in the sling made it a much more comfortable ride than the previous day where I felt like I had a perpetual harness wedgie. The slower pace allowed for me to take in my surroundings more easily than I did the day before. This is the perfect zipline for first timers.
After jumping on the same chairlift, we rode to the same exit point as the extreme zipline. Instead of the a right, we headed left for the alpine slide adventure. The alpine slide is basically a sled that runs on an aluminum track in which you control how fast or slow you go.
As I flew around corners, hoping not to flip my sled, I imagined myself in the luge going 60mph. In reality, I was probably going like 15mph.
The controlled free fall is adjacent to the ropes course. We were feeling a little too tired to complete the ropes course by the end of the day, so we asked to be led directly to the free fall. This involved walking down a path to a zipline that took us directly the free fall platform. No fewer that three times were we each told that once we go to the free fall platform, the only way off was down. Do not attempt this if you are even slightly fearful of heights. I wasn’t before tackling the free fall, but after, I think I might have found my threshold for adrenaline seeking.
As I stood on the edge of the platform, my brain kept telling my feet not to move. Why was I jumping off of perfectly solid ground again? So instead of just taking a step off the platform like the attendant said, I decided to dive off. A nice purple bruise on my arm was the souvenir I took back to Florida. The best part of the this adventure is my scream as I leave the platform. Watch the video below, and you can experience my pure terror as well.
While the drop tower was terrifying, the extreme tubing was exhilarating. I guess if you can’t ski down the Nordic jumps in the summer, why not send tubes hurtling down them at speeds topping out at 50mph.
We were required to do the K40 before progressing on to the higher jumps. The K40 was fun, but the K64 was thrilling. There was no greater sensation that standing at the top of that ski jump and not being able to see over the hill to the bottom.
I sat in the tube and the attendant flung me down. I slid over the artificial turf just like a tube over snow. Circling and speeding toward the bottom left me without any control as the wind smacked my cheeks. And 5 seconds later, it was over, and we were hopping on the chairlift to hit the jump one more time.
The Extreme Tubing closes 1 hour before the rest of the park, so save some of the other attractions for during that time. I would have gladly paid admission for another day just to ride in the tube over and over again.
The park offers so much that we weren’t able to experience it all in the half day that we were there. I would recommend spending an entire day here, especially if it is busy. While not for the faint of heart, your more timid traveler can watch ski jumpers practicing into the pool or peruse the museum. I personally can’t wait to get back, maybe next time to try the winter offerings.