Canyons vs. PCMR (vs. Deer Valley?)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Canyons vs. PCMR (vs. Deer Valley?)

    I'm sure this thread has been done a bunch of times, but I couldn't find one.

    What are your thoughts on a comparison b/t these 2 parks? - I will be there to ride mid-June - hopefully everything will be open! I will probably only be able to do 1 day at a park, so looking for some opinions / comments.

    I am not a hardcore DH rider or anything, but I do like to air it out and really like fast, flowy trails with berms - I like technical as well, but since I am usually on my burly AM bike (suped-up Mojo HD), I tend to not want to ride technical stuff all day.

    Thanks!

    Edit: Just noticed that Deer Valley has riding as well so may as well throw that one into the mix as well

  2. #2
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    To the best of my knowledge (unless something has changed since last season), PCMR doesn't have any park riding. I believe you can take your bike on the lift, but no built up Whistler like trails. Canyons are built up, but short and it is typically faster to ride up than take the lift, and DV is more technical trails, but nothing that is really incredibly maintained. There are tons of good rides in the area, but not much DH.

  3. #3
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    It's not at one of the ski resorts, so there's no lift, but check out Trailside Park. I think Canyons is the only one of the ski resorts that has a park. Deer Valley is lift served and has a bunch of trails, but I don't recall a park as such. And of course there's cross country trails everywhere. Pick up a map at one of the local shops to see all of the trails in the area.

  4. #4
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    OK got it - I just assumed there was a park at all these places b/c they are listed as parks under the bike parks section on this site and they have lift access on the website - but it sounds like PCMR and DV are basically just left-served XC-type trails? - are they worth riding?

    Thanks!

  5. #5
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    Park City has a great trail system. but, it's not just at the ski areas, it's all over the place. I would look at the descriptions of trails on Utah Mountain Biking. com and look at Mountain Trails Foundation for maps. I would then talk to some people at the local shops such as jans or White pine Touring and tell them what you like to ride. I'm sure they can steer you the right way.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyno View Post
    OK got it - I just assumed there was a park at all these places b/c they are listed as parks under the bike parks section on this site and they have lift access on the website - but it sounds like PCMR and DV are basically just left-served XC-type trails? - are they worth riding?

    Thanks!
    Deer Valley and PCMR both have varying amounts of stuff that would qualify as techy DH in addition to pure XC. Canyons has been doing a nice job building up some lift-served bike park stuff. All of them are fun, and they all connect. For example, you could ride up or grab a lift ride up at Deer Valley or PCMR, then ride to Canyons and descend through the bike park, and grab a ride back to town on the free bus.

    Trailside Park has built-up features. So does Bob's Basin and Road to Arcylon. They are all on the northern edge of town and are not lift-served. They'd be a ton of fun on the Mojo HD.

  7. #7
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    "I am not a hardcore DH rider or anything, but I do like to air it out and really like fast, flowy trails with berms - I like technical as well, but since I am usually on my burly AM bike (suped-up Mojo HD), I tend to not want to ride technical stuff all day."

    Given what you've said, I think you'd like Deer Valley. Fast flowy trails with berms aren't what I'd call a park. As said, Trailside fits that bill. But DV has lift served, fast flowy trails and some fun downhilling that sounds like it's in line with what you're describing.

  8. #8
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    Canyons is the only "real" bike park. That said, the lifts are ultra slow, the trails are super short, and you will be bored very quickly. I think an intermediate rider who isn't too impatient with the lifts can have fun for a couple of hours but I probably wouldn't pay for it, and I like gravity riding quite a bit.

    PC is not much of a destination for lift served riding, unfortunately. The earn-your-turns riding more than makes up for it, though.

    -Walt

  9. #9
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    Canyons has pretty buffed out jumps, DV has more technical riding (site of Norba national DH riding for years), and PCMR is lift accessed XC riding. There's some hidden little gems (read: pirate) and a couple of public parks/runs like Trailside and Road to Arcylon but Park City is simply not a destination for DH riding. If you're going to be in the area with a bike hit it up but it's not a destination for DH at this time. If you're traveling just for DH, go to CO.
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    I really like Canyons

    I have ridden at Canyons many times in the past. They are currently working on their first DH trail. They mostly have freeride trails. Here is a recent article about that bike park.

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    I agree with ButterBacon above. I love their newest trail called "Split Decision". It's got jumps, wood ladder drops, berms etc...Expert rating. It's true, the trails are relatively short, but totally packed with features. And, like ButterBacon says above, they are developing a natural tech-DH trail. Another notable BlackDiamond trail is called "Rally Cat" with some pretty big features throughout to test free ride skills. 2-3 days in the Bike Park at Canyons is probably good to get your fill. Bring your All-mtn/lite free ride rig or DH. The link from ButterBacon says it all with pics & video. Cheers!

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the replies - this is good info!

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    Just my opinion but i love riding at the canyons and can't wait for it to open. Dropkick is probably my favorite run. It's super fast in some sections, flowy and fun with jumps that are perfect for the speed of the trail. You can also do split decision which is full of some bigger wood features. You can ride big jumps, little jumps, wood park stuff, huge drops, little drops, and the xc/dh, call it what you will, trail holly's which bypass's the gondola and takes you to the bottom of the resort is fun. I can't wait to see what they've got in store for 2014. I ride an aluminum santa cruz bronson and it is plenty of bike for the resort. A full on DH rig would be more plush and fun perhaps, but is not needed.

    I'm also eager to see what Snowbird has to offer this year. I haven't heard much since i snowboarded there with a friend of mine who works there but he said they were going to be putting in some DH worthy stuff. The mountain is super steep and has tons of potential, hopefully they pull through.

    Good luck, and have fun.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harv379 View Post
    Just my opinion but i love riding at the canyons and can't wait for it to open. Dropkick is probably my favorite run. It's super fast in some sections, flowy and fun with jumps that are perfect for the speed of the trail. You can also do split decision which is full of some bigger wood features. You can ride big jumps, little jumps, wood park stuff, huge drops, little drops, and the xc/dh, call it what you will, trail holly's which bypass's the gondola and takes you to the bottom of the resort is fun. I can't wait to see what they've got in store for 2014. I ride an aluminum santa cruz bronson and it is plenty of bike for the resort. A full on DH rig would be more plush and fun perhaps, but is not needed.

    I'm also eager to see what Snowbird has to offer this year. I haven't heard much since i snowboarded there with a friend of mine who works there but he said they were going to be putting in some DH worthy stuff. The mountain is super steep and has tons of potential, hopefully they pull through.

    Good luck, and have fun.
    Thanks! Based on this description, Canyons sounds right up my alley! I'm assuming the dirt will be really dry, dusty & loose? - helpful for getting the right tires

  15. #15
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    I would hit both Deer Valley and the Canyons.

    I actually like DV. It is more old school DH with natural trails, rocks, roots and such versus a bike park (with wooden features and man made tables and such). The difficulty rating basically adds steepness, sharper switch backs, more drops, exposure, and looser scree towards the top. The NCS course has been pretty beat up the past few years. Its definitely rough and steep in places.

    The blue trails and single blacks can be ridden pretty comfortably on an all mountain bike. If you get into the double blacks like fire swamp or the NCS course a full DH bike helps but at a minimum would recommend double wall tires due to lots of sharp rocks. Some of the newer trails on the Empire canyon side actually flow pretty well and can be ridden with a longer travel xc bike or am bike. Takes a little pedaling (5 min) from the lift for those but worth trying for a few runs).



    Also pretty much never crowded.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by string View Post
    I would hit both Deer Valley and the Canyons.

    I actually like DV. It is more old school DH with natural trails, rocks, roots and such versus a bike park (with wooden features and man made tables and such). The difficulty rating basically adds steepness, sharper switch backs, more drops, exposure, and looser scree towards the top. The NCS course has been pretty beat up the past few years. Its definitely rough and steep in places.

    The blue trails and single blacks can be ridden pretty comfortably on an all mountain bike. If you get into the double blacks like fire swamp or the NCS course a full DH bike helps but at a minimum would recommend double wall tires due to lots of sharp rocks. Some of the newer trails on the Empire canyon side actually flow pretty well and can be ridden with a longer travel xc bike or am bike. Takes a little pedaling (5 min) from the lift for those but worth trying for a few runs).



    Also pretty much never crowded.
    I agree with string. I like both places, but they are different. Check out some of the youtube videos of the canyons and Deer valley. If you want mostly natural terrain then do DV. If you want more free ride then do the Canyons.

    I expect that it will be dry and dusty. I rode up to mid-mountain trail today and it's super dry and dusty for this early in the season.

  17. #17
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    I'll agree with what others have said. Canyons is fun enough for park style riding as long as your expectations are in check -- it isn't Northstar or Trestle or anything like that. I'll go up there for 4 or 5 days a year and ride for the afternoon and have fun. Your bike will be plenty for Canyons, too -- I ride my Enduro there. Canyons has lots more features, berms, tables, stuff like that. FWIW, I've never had a lot of dust at Canyons, even in August.

    Deer Valley is more trails in their natural state. Rocks, ruts, speed bumps, not many features or built jumps.
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  18. #18
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    +1 What others have said.

    Canyons = Flow/Jump lines. Short but fun.
    Deer Valley = Old school DH tech lines. Think 1995 World Cup.
    PCMR = Only good to get you further up the hill. Also good for mini-golf and pony rides but I'd advise people serious about riding to go elsewhere or pedal up.

    More on this topic at Park City Lift-Served Mountain Biking Options | Park City Mountain Biking

  19. #19
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    OK - getting ready to leave for my trip to come ride out there from California and just re-read this thread - thanks again for all the input! - I also checked the weather and resort websites - it must be storming pretty good there b/c it looks like resorts were closed due to weather

    I am looking to ride on Thurs and Fri. - based on the weather you've had, does anybody want to make a recommendation on where I should ride? Hopefully by thurs it will be hero dirt?

    Also, just throwin' this out there - if any locals want to ride & show me the goods, I'm buying the beer & burgers! and I will gladly return the favor and show you some local world class stuff in Santa Cruz if you ever come visit (in the winter for example when it's 65 degrees and hero dirt!)

  20. #20
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    I think you might be hosed. Some stuff might be dry by Friday down low (ie Round Valley, Glenwild) but if the resorts got hit like I'm guessing they did, they will not be running the lifts until at least the weekend. Rain is forecast for today, too.

    I could be wrong, but I think the hero dirt is not going to happen for another 5-7 days up high.

    -Walt

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    I think you may have some problems riding Thursday, if not Friday. I live on the north side of PC, near Round Valley, and we have a good inch of snow/slush on the ground, and still no hint of sun and 36F. I gotta believe that higher up on the mountains, they got pounded even harder. Hope it works out for you, but you may want to look towards SLC and lower elevation rides for the next couple of days. And this moisture is good, because we had the exact opposite of hero dirt before it happened.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BullSCit View Post
    you may want to look towards SLC and lower elevation rides for the next couple of days.
    Thanks for the update! Any recommendations for lower elevation rides? Last year I hit Sundance (will probably also be unrideable?) & Corner Canyon, which was fun and I could easily go back, but if somebody else has a different recommendation for trails that will be rideable, I'd greatly appreciate the info! Staying in Orem, but I will travel wherever in the area for good riding

    And the beers offer still stands!

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    Wish I could take you up on your offer, but I have a date with a shovel and a paint brush this weekend. But I rode Round Valley tonight, and it was definitely good. No mud anywhere, but it definitely is a more sand based trail. Even spots that are notoriously muddy during the early Spring were mud free. I would figure that the full Glenwyld loop (except maybe at the summit when starting to go downhill going CW) would be good tomorrow afternoon along with the Bob's Basin rides. And Flying Dog could be good by Friday, if it gets fairly warm and sunny tomorrow. But it has some higher elevation Northern exposure sections that could be bad. Looking at the Canyons right now, the snow line looks to go to about the top of the gondola, which is where the built up bike trails are. Best of luck, and let us know what you find.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyno View Post
    Thanks for the update! Any recommendations for lower elevation rides? Last year I hit Sundance (will probably also be unrideable?) & Corner Canyon, which was fun and I could easily go back, but if somebody else has a different recommendation for trails that will be rideable, I'd greatly appreciate the info! Staying in Orem, but I will travel wherever in the area for good riding

    And the beers offer still stands!
    A quick call to one of the bike shops in PC will get you some good info usually. Jans and White Pine are pretty good about getting out and knowing the trail conditions, might not hurt to give them a call. Things have dried out pretty well since Tuesday, I wouldn't be too surprised to have most of the trails in good shape even today.
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  25. #25
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    I ended up riding Thurs all day at Glenwild (did most of the trails), then Fri all day at Canyons - both a ton of fun and both in almost perfect shape - Canyons trails were a bit muddy in spots but overall excellent; Glenwild was hero dirt

    Unfortunately I did bust my rear rim at Canyons mid-day - this is of course after taking all the rock / ladder drops / rock gardens and hucking all the features - then I break the rim trying to bunny hop a little stream and casing the other side on something hard, probably a rock - after damaging the rim, I was still rolling, but no longer felt comfortable hitting features, so I explored the XC trails for the rest of the day - ended up doing some serious pedaling - glad I had an AM bike! - I have to say I almost had more fun on those trails than on all the FR stuff - those trails were totally empty and in such perfect shape and they are so fast just ripping through the Aspens - good times! Thanks for all the help planning this great trip - now to try to find a new rim!

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