Planning a trip to Park City but a little boggled about how to get there?
As someone who’s visited this mountain more than just about any other, I’m sharing all the helpful tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years.
We’ll share the pros and cons of all your options, along with some first hand experiences with each of the options.
- The Closest Airport to Park City
- How to Get from SLC to Park City (5 Best Ways)
- 1. Rent a car
- 2. Take an Uber or Lyft
- 3. Book a Taxi
- 4. Book a shuttle
- 5. Ride the Bus
- My First-Hand Experience Getting to Park City
- Final Thoughts on Getting to Park City
The Closest Airport to Park City
To go to Park City, you’ll fly into Salt Lake City International Airport. (SLC)
The airport is just 35-40 minutes to the town of Park City, where Park City Mountain Resort is located.
How to Get from SLC to Park City (5 Best Ways)
Park City’s close location to the airport, and the uniqueness of the destination itself, means that visitors have a few different options for how to get to the mountain.
1. Rent a car
This is the most obvious solution.
As a major international airport, Salt Lake City has the entire fleet of major rental car companies, and all the options that come along with that.
How is the drive from SLC to Park City?
For a mountain town, the drive to Park City is one of the easiest around.
The first 20 minutes of the drive is urban city driving. You’ll take a 4+ lane interstate around the outskirts of downtown Salt Lake. From there, you’ll head to I-80, which is mostly 6 lane highway (three in each direction with a median in between).
Do you need 4X4 or AWD to drive to Park City?
I-80 is pretty flat the entire time, and no single section gets very steep at all.
There’s a couple of curves in the road as you cross the initial mountain range and enter the Park City side of the valley, but these certainly aren’t switchbacks, and aside from mountain scenery on either side, these aren’t much different than what you’d find in many interstates around the country.
All in all, Park City is one of the few ski towns where you’re probably fine to roll with whatever car you happen to score in the rental car lottery.
(Of course, I’ll add the disclaimer that this is just my personal opinion and you should always monitor road conditions, drive safely, etc. etc…)
Do you need a car while in Park City?
This will mostly depend on where exactly you’re staying. But in general, Park City is one of the most walkable ski towns in America.
So, if you’re staying near main street (or even near any of the bus stops, including those farther out in Canyons Village or even Kimball Junction) then you should be totally fine without a car.
In fact, if staying near downtown Park City, the whole area is so walkable (and parking so inconvenient) that a rental car might actually be a nuisance.
2. Take an Uber or Lyft
Another surprise option that highlights the convenience of Park City’s location – to get to the mountain, you can always just take an Uber or Lyft!
There’s tons of these prowling around the Salt Lake City area.
Average cost to the mountain? About $60-$75.
The only thing to watch out for here is surge pricing… on a recent visit, I saw the price for a ride from SLC to Park City jump from $60 to $195 and then back to $60. All in less than 10 minutes!
It seems patience is the name of the game here. If prices start surging on you, give it a few minutes and they should come back down to earth.
Although taking an Uber or Lyft is usually my preferred option, the uncertainty can definitely make for a wild start to the trip!
3. Book a Taxi
If Uber or Lyft are surging, you can always try one of SLC’s airport taxis.
While their fare meters always seem to be a mystery, they should run about $95 from SLC to Park City, at least according to TaxiFareFinder.com.
4. Book a shuttle
If the uncertainty of rideshare and taxi pricing sounds a little stressful, you can pre-arrange transportation with several shuttle companies in the area.
Canyon Transportation seems to be the commonly used option. They will take you from the airport to the mountain for about $50-60 a person, or about $250 for a private SUV.
5. Ride the Bus
If all else fails, there’s always the bus!
The Salt Lake Express runs a direct route from SLC to Park City for just $20, although your departure times are limited to just once or twice per day. If your flight happens to line up with this schedule, then you can’t beat this cost.
If you need more options, you can take mass transit (either the Salt Lake Express or TRAX Green Line) from SLC to the Salt Lake Central Station. From there, the UTA Ski Bus has several routes to Kimball Junction, which is located just about 10 minutes from downtown Park City. (Kimball Junction also runs a frequent bus service to Canyons Village or downtown Park City.)
Tickets on the UTA Ski Bus cost just $5 each way, and are even free for IKON Pass holders. Although keep in mind that you’ll be adding two transfers to your journey. (SLC to Salt Lake Central Station, then Salt Lake Central Station to Kimball Junction Transit Center, and finally Kimball Junction Transit Center to your final stop in Park City.)
My First-Hand Experience Getting to Park City
At this point in my skiing career, I’ve flown into SLC more times than I can count thanks to several trips to Park City Mountain Resort.
For the first few trips, I rented cars, and then made the short and easy drive into the town of Park City.
But over the years, rental car prices at SLC seem to have crept up, which is when a friend with a couple extra years of experience skiing Park City let me know that he just grabs an Uber or Lyift each time.
The next trip, I followed his advance and grabbed a $65 Uber XL with no issues.
A year or two later, I had my first experience with the wild roller coaster of rideshare surge pricing.
When my plane landed, prices were again just $60 or so for either a Lyft XL or Uber XL from the airport to the mountain. After de-planing and grabbing my bags, it seems everyone had the same idea that I did, and the price of a ride shot up to $195!
I sat there scratching my head, and by the time I caved and decided to just pull the trigger, prices had fallen down to $90. I went to book, and they jumped to $160. Again, I paused, and quickly watched the price fall down to $67. I snatched it up, and then breathed a big sigh of relief.
(Returning from Park City to SLC, I experience a similar, but less dramatic swing in prices before eventually booking a ride for about $60.)
Final Thoughts on Getting to Park City
To sum it up:
- Uber and Lyft are usually the most convenient way to get to Park City, although surge pricing can be wild and stressful.
- If I was traveling by myself or a very small group and wanted something a little more stress free, it may be worth paying a premium to book a shuttle in advance, depending on your budget.
- For budget travelers who don’t mind a more complicated commute, you can’t beat the round trip price of the bus.
- And if I was staying somewhere farther away, not near any bus stops, then I’d go with a basic rental car.