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  1. #1
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    Potential move to SLC or Park City

    Hey Utah Riders! I am potentially moving to the SLC or Park City area next summer for my job and am hoping to get some advice on where to live in order to have the best access to riding.

    I am a road and mountain biker who rides about 5 days a week and I tend to gravitate to whichever is easier to access. With that being said, I do prefer the single track to the road. My ideal location would be where I can ride my mountain bike out of the garage and access single track without having to drive anywhere. A 3-4 mile ride to the trail head isn't a big deal. Also, I want to be able to access great road riding from the house without having to drive.

    I will be working at the SLC airport, so my primary requirement is being within about 30-35 minutes to the airport. I have a family, so I'm looking for a descent size house in an established neighborhood. I realize in PC I can't be super picky but in SLC I can be a bit more picky in terms of the neighborhood. In the SLC area I've been exploring the market in the Cottonwood Heights, Holladay, and Mt Olympus areas. I've also looked at the Avenues and Sugar Creek.

    Oh yea, and I want to be able to hit the ski slopes in the winter on my off days with minimal effort. That's why I'm focusing on Park City or the East bench of SLC. Thoughts? Lets hear your ideal location to live for riding from the house!

  2. #2
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    Park City, it's my second home. You can always drive down to the city, it's like LA... fun to visit at times but sucks to live there

  3. #3
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    SLC is not like LA. SLC is a perfectly fine place to live. One argument against SLC is the freaking winter inversion.
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    Cottonwood Heights is not bad. I am living in an apartment here now. Close to both Cottonwood Canyons, but not close enough imo to ride your mountain bike to trails. Road riding all over the place here and people training in this area too. It would not be that far to the airport either from Cottonwood Heights. Not true downtown SLC, but really not that far if you want to go down to eat or whatever.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Potential move to SLC or Park City

    Quote Originally Posted by Mookie View Post
    SLC is not like LA. SLC is a perfectly fine place to live. One argument against SLC is the freaking winter inversion.
    It was a metaphor, SLC is not nearly as ugly as LA, just big city life compared to living in Park City . You can always move to Happy Valley!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by waveslayer View Post
    It was a metaphor, SLC is not nearly as ugly as LA, just big city life compared to living in Park City . You can always move to Happy Valley!
    I get your point but you still said that it would suck to live in SLC and that simply isn't true. If you wanted a more effective comparison you should have left the sucking part out.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flash29r View Post
    Cottonwood Heights is not bad. I am living in an apartment here now. Close to both Cottonwood Canyons, but not close enough imo to ride your mountain bike to trails. Road riding all over the place here and people training in this area too. It would not be that far to the airport either from Cottonwood Heights. Not true downtown SLC, but really not that far if you want to go down to eat or whatever.
    If you are living in Cottonwood Heights, what is your mountain bike life like? Do you shuttle up the canyons to ride single track down? Or do you have to drive elsewhere to find the goods?

    Also, where are people road riding? Do lots of rides go up and down the canyons or are guys stringing big loops around the city?

  8. #8
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    Re: Potential move to SLC or Park City

    Do you really want to drive up and down Parley's Canyon everyday? Then ALL the way across town to the airport? In SLC traffic?

    Sounds like the fast track to Suicideville. I would look north toward Bountiful or something.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgw2jr View Post
    Do you really want to drive up and down Parley's Canyon everyday? Then ALL the way across town to the airport? In SLC traffic?

    Sounds like the fast track to Suicideville. I would look north toward Bountiful or something.
    I'll only be driving to/from the airport about 4-5 days per month so living in an area that I want to live in for family and recreational purposes would take precedence over being very close to the airport. The reason I haven't really looked North is because it seems like it wouldn't be as easy to zip right up to the ski hill in a powder day. Unless I was all the way north towards powder mtn.

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    Really depends on priorities. Park City is hard to beat for out the door access to truly world class trails. I'm guessing by your handle and airport commute you work in the airline business. Lots of pilots and other aviation folks in PC, so finding car pool partners to the airport would be easy. That said, the biking season up there is pretty short and the skiing doesn't hold a candle to the Cottonwoods. Housing is also pretty expensive. If you are looking to buy, $500k is entry level in the Park City market.

    I lived in the Sugarhouse/9th and 9th area for years. Good access to the Shoreline trail, lots of options for road rides (Emigration Canyon to Big Mountain is a SLC classic) easy commute to the airport/ski areas and being close to downtown for city stuff is fun. Housing stock is older and smaller than other areas of the valley. If you are looking for a big, newer house with a three car garage, you will likely be out of luck.

    Down south Draper is another option. Great access to the trail system in Corner Canyon and a quick drive to Alta and Snowbird. The drive time to the airport would be similar as coming from Park City, without the Parleys Canyon hassle. The area is suburban and can be VERY socially conservative/LDS. Never bothered me much, but drives some people crazy.

    The sleeper option would be up north in Ogden. They are doing a bunch of trail building up there and has potential to be pretty awesome in few years. Access to Snowbasin (winter skiing, summer riding) is less than 30 minutes if you live on the east side of town. Home prices are less than most desirable areas in SLC and has a pretty cool little downtown area. The commute to the airport would be longer, but if you are only doing that a few times a month, might be doable. If I ever move back to Utah, Ogden would be high on my list of places to land.

    Good luck on the move and feel free to PM me if you have other questions.

  11. #11
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    There are really so many great options around the SLC area that I think it'd be hard to go wrong. I'd focus on finding the perfect house and then go from there. All of us on here live in different areas and we all love biking and (mostly) skiing/snowboarding. I don't think any of us are hurting for access. Yes, we all have more optimal areas but we make it work and are generally happy(?).

    If you make it in to town to check out homes, give me a PM and I'd be very happy to spend the day with you showing you around to all of our local trail access points.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

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    First of all, don't move here. We have enough riders. Go to Denver. That's a really cool town.

    If you're stuck on Utah...then read on. ( but really don't, we will treat you like crap and put tacks in your driveway so you get flats everytime you go for a ride) I definitely like living in cottonwood heights, but wish I could ride to dirt. If you can, I would look at PC, either Jeremy Ranch, Pinebrook, Kimball or out by 40. Ogden is definitely the alternative that could put you ahead of the curve...None of the city riding is as good or expansive as PC, but it has a much longer season which is another consideration. I'm a fan of easy highway access, which rules out Sugar House, Draper and the U area, even though the riding opportunites are best there. North Aves maybe, ie: north of the capitol? You can get to the freeway via 6th North pretty easily, and can jump on the shoreline at city creek. Better than any trip up/down foothill or 13th.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcpunk View Post
    First of all, don't move here. We have enough riders. Go to Denver. That's a really cool town.

    If you're stuck on Utah...then read on. ( but really don't, we will treat you like crap and put tacks in your driveway so you get flats everytime you go for a ride) I definitely like living in cottonwood heights, but wish I could ride to dirt. If you can, I would look at PC, either Jeremy Ranch, Pinebrook, Kimball or out by 40. Ogden is definitely the alternative that could put you ahead of the curve...None of the city riding is as good or expansive as PC, but it has a much longer season which is another consideration. I'm a fan of easy highway access, which rules out Sugar House, Draper and the U area, even though the riding opportunites are best there. North Aves maybe, ie: north of the capitol? You can get to the freeway via 6th North pretty easily, and can jump on the shoreline at city creek. Better than any trip up/down foothill or 13th.
    Shhhh! We have enough people up here in O-town!

    Brigham City. Now that's where the OP should be looking
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  14. #14
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    Thanks for all the info! I'm hoping to get out there in January for a few days to do some looking around and skiing. I may end up PMing a couple of you if I have some time.

    How does the community feel/conservativeness of the Ogden area compare to SLC proper? Cottonwood Heights? Draper? My guess is Park City is the most liberal followed by SLC, and then the further north and south you would go from SLC the more conservative it becomes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyBoy View Post
    Thanks for all the info! I'm hoping to get out there in January for a few days to do some looking around and skiing. I may end up PMing a couple of you if I have some time.

    How does the community feel/conservativeness of the Ogden area compare to SLC proper? Cottonwood Heights? Draper? My guess is Park City is the most liberal followed by SLC, and then the further north and south you would go from SLC the more conservative it becomes?
    We're just a bunch of rootin', tootin' son of a guns up here in O-town lemme tell ya what! You can tell how conservative an area is by the number of coal rollin' diesel pick 'em up trucks you see cruising through town. By that measure, Ogden is the most conservative city on Earth.

    Park City is full of Biffs and Buffys. They could be cons or libs. Who knows? You can't tell until you actually talk to them or see what vehicle they leave the outlets or Whole Foods in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyBoy View Post
    Thanks for all the info! I'm hoping to get out there in January for a few days to do some looking around and skiing. I may end up PMing a couple of you if I have some time.

    How does the community feel/conservativeness of the Ogden area compare to SLC proper? Cottonwood Heights? Draper? My guess is Park City is the most liberal followed by SLC, and then the further north and south you would go from SLC the more conservative it becomes?
    That's fairly accurate. I've lived here 3 years and my impression is that anywhere outside of SLC/Park City is very conservative. I personally would never consider living anywhere outside of SLC or Park City for that reason, but if you like a bigger house in a more suburban setting you might like some of those other areas.

    I think SLC proper provides the best all-around trail access and riding season. Its centrally located so there are a lot of trails within 30min, whereas if you lived in PC you'd have to travel longer to hit some really great trail systems like Corner Canyon, which can be an issue since you won't have many dry trails to ride after November. But if you're into snow sports that may not be an issue and there are enough trails in PC that you probably won't be wanting for new trails to ride. Ultimately I think it comes down to whether or not you like living in a big or small town and how much money you have to spend on a home.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyBoy View Post
    If you are living in Cottonwood Heights, what is your mountain bike life like? Do you shuttle up the canyons to ride single track down? Or do you have to drive elsewhere to find the goods?

    Also, where are people road riding? Do lots of rides go up and down the canyons or are guys stringing big loops around the city?
    I don't shuttle at all. I am a believer in earning your downs by climbing up to get them. I'll be honest, I have been traveling to ride mountain unless I want to stay close and ride either Millcreek Canyon or trails up at Solitude.

    Road riding there is loops and some ride up the canyons. I have a ride I vary anywhere from 25 to 35 miles. I end up climbing no matter what way I leave my apartment. So I am getting used to that.
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    Cottonwood Heights is awesome for canyon access. Ski buddy of mine lives there, and it's just under 20 minutes from his house to the parking lot at Snowbird. I'd look elsewhere, however, if you are looking for ride from the house singletrack. Just not much down there.

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    Park City does have it charms and also its drawbacks but I will not go into them. We lived for 17 years in PC and really enjoyed living there. Five years ago we moved 15 miles to the south to Heber and like the choice we made. There are many miles of trails in the Heber Valley that we can ride our bikes to the trail heads and if we want to ride PC which we do at least once a week it is 15 to 20 minutes in a car. We really wanted to look at reducing our taxes and cost of living while staying close to PCMR (Vail worst thing to happen to PC) as I am now retired at age 54 and Heber fit what we wanted and our life style.
    Such a long long time to be gone, such a short time to be.

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    I live in Cottonwood Heights, and have for almost 20 years. I love it here. The beauty is I'm 20 minutes from pretty much anything in the Valley, including the airport. My commute is under 10 minutes.

    For riding, I can't ride to anything (I CAN, but it's easy enough to load up the car), but nothing is far away. I only like the "local to me" rides in the early and late season. The close rides are short and rather boring if you do them too regularly. Corner Canyon is ok, but after you do it 10x you start looking for some strange. I don't like Draper, it's too far from anything except for CC, which gets old fast IMO.

    Since I can be in Park City in 25 minutes, why do I need to live up there? I can enjoy what PC offers without the cost of living up there. Yes the inversion is one main difference of the 2 places. If I lived up there, I wouldn't be saving any driving because of all the soccer practices that I'd have to attend down in the Valley anyways (3 kids that play comp). But don't get me wrong, PC is incredible. I also think Heber is fantastic, most here in SLC don't even know about that place.

    Here I don't have a "regular ride". I decide where to go, then go there. In an hour I've got a LOT of World Class options; Park City (more trails than you can count), American Fork, Snowbasin/Ogden, etc etc. If things need some changing up I'm in Moab in under 4hrs. I've even driven to Moab in the morning, done a couple rides, then driven home in the evening.

    I can't remember, but I think I also have 11 ski areas within 1:15 too. And though SLC is a "city", it is a rather small one in the grand scheme of things.

    There's a lot to do here, but if you sit on the couch and wait for them to come knocking at your door, you'll be sitting there a long time waiting. If you get after it there is a ton to do. I don't even road bike nor rock climb, but those are 2 things that are all over the place here. Snow Mobiling? Boating? World Class hang gliding? So many choices.

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    I recently moved from downtown SLC to Cottonwood Heights.

    Only real trail I can ride to is LCC/Temple Quarry. But in about 20, maybe 30 minutes of easy driving, I can drive to a ton of trails.

    Drive time to Snowbird/Alta is about 15-20 minutes, more in bad weather. Solitude and Brighton take a bit longer, due to being further up their respective canyon.

    Downtown SLC is about a 20 minute drive. Though if you were to head to the Univ of Utah during rush hour, it would be worse.

    Airport drive is under 30 minutes, nearly all interstate driving. And unless you hit rush hour at the worst time possible, shouldn't get much worse.


    Park City would be nice, to get away from the inversion and to literally have trails in your back yard. But the cost of living, the commute time (I currently work in Sandy), and the lack luster ski resorts compared to the Cottonwoods, is reason enough to not live there.

    Edit: Oh and there is a metric sh!t ton of road bikers around here.

  22. #22
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    A little Ogden area riding info here. Bonneville Shoreline Trail specifically.

    South of Weber Canyon (Thurston Peak "range", cities of Layton, Kaysville) the slope up the hill is more gradual and I've found the trails to consist of dirt mostly (the kind that becomes muddy) and some sand. Some riding into and out of canyons that can get icy. Seems to get more snow than the foothills further north. In other words, short riding season.

    North of Weber Canyon (Mt. Ogden "range", cities of Uintah, South Ogden, Ogden proper) the slope up the hill is steep. The trails consist of gravel, sand, rock and some clay on the Birdsong Trail. The range faces west mostly, with canyons that face north and can become very icy. Riding season is long but intermittent due to ice hazards.

    North of Ogden Canyon/12th Street (Lewis Peak "range", cities of Ogden, North Ogden) the slope up the hill is steep. You'll recognize this range by its distinct quartzite canyon wall appearance. No riding into or out of canyons. The range faces southwest mostly and bathes in sunlight all day (HOT in summer, pleasant in winter). The trail consists of sand, gravel, and rock. And more rock. If you ever ride north of Jumpoff Canyon you'll see what I mean. Riding season pretty much year round.

    North of North Ogden Divide (Ben Lomond "range", cities of North Ogden, Pleasant View) the slope up the hill is moderate. The trails consist of sand, gravel, dirt, and rock. The dirt sections are short and usually mixed in with rock, but could get muddy in places. The slope faces south so it gets plenty of sun year round. No riding into or out of canyons. Riding season is long but intermittent due to snow.

    If any of the options above can't be ridden, there's always Antelope Island.

    Ogden is a pretty small town really. No matter where you are in town, you are only 5 minutes drive from a trail head. It's crazy. I'm spoiled. I think the guys/gals from ENVE, Universal Cycles, and QBP have group rides up here too. These companies also help maintain the trails in the area.

    Dang, Ogden may be the biggest cycling town no one's ever heard of!

    PS If you saw our Christmas Village downtown right now, you'd probably crap yourself.
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    Side note: If I only had to go to work 4 or 5 times a month, I'd live in Cedar City.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgw2jr View Post
    A little Ogden area riding info here. Bonneville Shoreline Trail specifically.

    South of Weber Canyon (Thurston Peak "range", cities of Layton, Kaysville) the slope up the hill is more gradual and I've found the trails to consist of dirt mostly (the kind that becomes muddy) and some sand. Some riding into and out of canyons that can get icy. Seems to get more snow than the foothills further north. In other words, short riding season.

    North of Weber Canyon (Mt. Ogden "range", cities of Uintah, South Ogden, Ogden proper) the slope up the hill is steep. The trails consist of gravel, sand, rock and some clay on the Birdsong Trail. The range faces west mostly, with canyons that face north and can become very icy. Riding season is long but intermittent due to ice hazards.

    North of Ogden Canyon/12th Street (Lewis Peak "range", cities of Ogden, North Ogden) the slope up the hill is steep. You'll recognize this range by its distinct quartzite canyon wall appearance. No riding into or out of canyons. The range faces southwest mostly and bathes in sunlight all day (HOT in summer, pleasant in winter). The trail consists of sand, gravel, and rock. And more rock. If you ever ride north of Jumpoff Canyon you'll see what I mean. Riding season pretty much year round.

    North of North Ogden Divide (Ben Lomond "range", cities of North Ogden, Pleasant View) the slope up the hill is moderate. The trails consist of sand, gravel, dirt, and rock. The dirt sections are short and usually mixed in with rock, but could get muddy in places. The slope faces south so it gets plenty of sun year round. No riding into or out of canyons. Riding season is long but intermittent due to snow.

    If any of the options above can't be ridden, there's always Antelope Island.

    Ogden is a pretty small town really. No matter where you are in town, you are only 5 minutes drive from a trail head. It's crazy. I'm spoiled. I think the guys/gals from ENVE, Universal Cycles, and QBP have group rides up here too. These companies also help maintain the trails in the area.

    Dang, Ogden may be the biggest cycling town no one's ever heard of!

    PS If you saw our Christmas Village downtown right now, you'd probably crap yourself.
    Ogden is not quite as liberal as SLC or PC, but it's not as conservative as most areas; it's a good mix of different people. I'm from CT, and have lived all over. I love it here. We (Ogden Trails, with ENVE support) just built the new "PBR" trail which is uphill directional. Weber Pathways is connecting the North Ogden BST to the Ogden Trails Network which will increase the length to 28 continuous miles (longest BST section in Utah). Nordic Valley is building a bunch of new trails for next year, and Powder has already built a bunch of new stuff. I can ride a ton ride outside my door year round (including fattys). Check out our link: https://www.facebook.com/OgdenTrailsNetwork

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    If you can make it work avoid the valley.....the inversion and ozone in the summer really is horrible. Best place I lived while in Utah over 10 years was in Big Cottonwood Canyon in Silver Fork. Could walk up to the quad at Solitude to ski and could ride from my front door in the summer with access to PC via puke hill and the crest.

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    I live in the park city area, moved here from Holladay 4 years ago. I absolutely love it. I can ride on trails right out my back door, or catch the free bus and ride all day in the mountains and then ride home. When we lived at the base of big cottonwood we drove to the trailhead ( often in Park City) or rode 23 miles up the canyon to the dirt. I work in the airport area and it is a very easy commute, 35 min for 35 miles. Only a few days each winter that snow is much of an issue. Fat bikes are a real choice here too, Ski powder then ride snowpacked singletracks when the snow has "set".

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    I was actually going to ask about that next. With the shorter riding season in PC, does the fat bike scene make more of an appearance in the winter? I don't own one, but it seems like a mandatory purchase if I do end up in PC.

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    Also, are there any areas on the east bench of SLC that rise above the inversion? Or do you have to get on the other side of the range to get out of it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyBoy View Post
    Also, are there any areas on the east bench of SLC that rise above the inversion? Or do you have to get on the other side of the range to get out of it?
    Generally speaking, no. Most winters the inversion layer sets up around 6000 feet (give or take 500'). Not much housing available at those elevations on the western side of the Wasatch. That said, the higher you go the better. I lived in Olympus cove for a while and the smog up there was often thinner than lower in the valley.

  30. #30
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    There is a ton of fatbiking in PC, you move here, you will want a fatbike (plus a bunch of different skis!) But keep in mind we can ride until November pretty often, and start riding again in April. The season for, say, the Crest is pretty short some years but the lower elevation rides in the basin aren't the same at all - ~6.5k feet vs 10k feet makes a huge difference.

    -Walt

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    Rad, I'm stoked to get out there and check out the area.

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    If you don't like conservative areas avoid the periphery outside of SLC (downtown, sugarhouse, 9th and 9th, avenues are all good) Plenty of riding real close. Ogden is a good riding place but a little more provincial. Those other areas are walkable in some places that makes it nice.

    I love it here. Can't go wrong. Look at the Strava heat maps.

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    Ok, to take it a step further, where would be the best location to live in PC to ride dirt from the house? Jeremy Ranch seems like it has a descent trail system surrounding it with extremely close access to other trails in the area. With so many trails in PC does it really matter?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyBoy View Post
    Ok, to take it a step further, where would be the best location to live in PC to ride dirt from the house? Jeremy Ranch seems like it has a descent trail system surrounding it with extremely close access to other trails in the area. With so many trails in PC does it really matter?
    It doesn't really matter beyond what part of town you like, but Jeremy Ranch, Kimball Junction, Summit Park are all close to the highway, which makes it convenient to get down to SLC. The Glenwild trail system is really nice (especially Flying Dog & Bob's Basin), and it stays rideable for more of the year. If it were me I would probably look in those areas, but I also work in Kimball Junction.

  35. #35
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    We live in Jeremy because of 1) the shorter commute to SLC for my wife, and 2) a bit longer riding season on the trails out the door. There is a TON (I'd estimate 75 miles of singletrack?) that you can hit without any significant pavement time. Much of it is less-traveled, too, so as long as you stay off Flying Dog on Saturday mornings, you can have the place to yourself.

    -Walt

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    There are lots of great options that are convenient to ride trail from your door. We live in Highland Estates, East of Kimball Junction. It is an older blue collar area with larger lots and less restrictions. We are very close to the Trailside bike park, Round Valley and Glenwild areas, We can also load our bikes on the (free) bus right behind our house and take that all the way to Empire pass, then ride home however we want, on the big part of the mountain. The best summertime riding is in the Park City proper area but access is easy. Pinebrook has a lot of trails which used to all be private for their own residents. Now some are public trails and that will spread as they use public trail maintenence to repair them. Sun peak near Canyons resort might be a good option also. When you get to talking with a realtor make sure they know your needs. It should not be an unusual request in this town.
    Blackstone and Spring Creek are other options north of I-80 by the glenwild trails.
    It all depends on what you want in a house.
    Last edited by mactweek; 12-18-2014 at 05:49 PM.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyBoy View Post
    I'll only be driving to/from the airport about 4-5 days per month so living in an area that I want to live in for family and recreational purposes would take precedence over being very close to the airport. The reason I haven't really looked North is because it seems like it wouldn't be as easy to zip right up to the ski hill in a powder day. Unless I was all the way north towards powder mtn.
    I never ran into the problem when I was living in Park City, but take into consideration that I-80 will close every once in a while during the winter. If your commuter clause doesn't cover driving, or if you're not based in SLC, scheduling might not be happy about that phone call.

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