If you’re visiting Park City Mountain Resort, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of of its Quicksilver Gondola.
At a mountain with over 40 different chairlifts, the Quicksilver Gondola just might be the flagship lift. And that’s saying something!
What makes this gondola so famous?
In this post, we’ll cover everything from its history to the present day experience, with all sorts of wild stats and FAQs and in between.
- What is the Quicksivler Gondola?
- Quicksilver Gondola POV
- Quicksilver Gondola Stats
- What makes Quicksilver so special?
- A Skier’s Thoughts on the New Gondola
- FAQs about the Quicksilver Gondola
What is the Quicksivler Gondola?
The Quicksilver Gondola is a huge, high-speed gondola at Park City Mountain Resort. By distance, it is the longest chairlift at Park City. The gondola connects the Park City side of the resort to the Canyons side, spanning 1.5 miles up and over a large valley to do so.
Skiers can find the gondola at the bottom of the Silverlode Express lift on the Park City side of the mountain, or near the Flat Iron & Iron Mountain lifts on the Canyons side.
The gondola fits 8 people in each cabin, and the total ride time lasts 8-1/2 minutes.
Quicksilver Gondola POV
Check out SlopeLab.com’s timelapse video of the ride! (During a crazy late-season trip that saw a ton of snow melt!)
Quicksilver Gondola Stats
- Year Built: 2015
- Manufacturer: Doppelmayr
- Cabin Size: 8-person
- Length: 7,767 ft. / 1.47 miles
- Vertical Rise: 1,686 ft.
- Ride Time: 8.5 minutes
What makes Quicksilver so special?
To put it shortly, the installation of the Quicksilver Gondola made Park City the largest ski resort in the United States.
You see, for roughly 50 years, the ski resort we know as Park City today actually existed as two separate mountains. In 1963, Park City Mountain Resort first opened to the public, and five years later in 1968, Canyons Resort opened up nextdoor.
Well, not directly nextdoor…
Despite continued expansion, the two mountains remained separated geographically by the large Pinecone Ridge / Thaynes Canyon area. And considering the two mountains had different owners and management teams, efforts to connect the two weren’t anybody’s priority.
Even as recently as 2014, you can see from the trail maps that Park City and Canyons remained completed separate.
Park City Trail Map, 2014:
Canyons Trail Map, 2014:
Then, following a crazy legal battle between Park City and Canyons, (Park City forgot to renew their lease from the Canyons owners, whoops!) Park City was sold to Vail Resorts for $182.5 million.
Vail, now in control of the Park City resort, also reached an agreement to lease the Canyons from its existing owners. And then, as the cherry on top, Vail proposed a $50 million transformation of the mountain which included, among other upgrades, a 1.5 mile interconnect gondola over Pinecone Ridge.
When Doppelmayr (the Quicksilver Gondola’s manufacturer) completed the project in 2015, Park City and Canyons were officially combined into one mega-resort. The mountain’s newly connected acreage totaled over 7,000 acres, making Park City (and the renamed “Canyons at Park City”) the largest ski resort in the United States.
Park City Trail Map, 2015:
A Skier’s Thoughts on the New Gondola
So, what’s the Quicksilver Gondola actually like, practically speaking? Was it worth the $50 million price tag?
I can’t answer that last question, since I’m a long ways from Vail’s CEO. (Maybe one day?)
But I can say that as a frequent visitor, the new gondola definitely transformed the mountain!
Thanks to Quicksilver, it is now possible to ski from one side of the mountain to the other in a single day, which gives Park City a true, mega-resort feel. As you travel over the Thanes Valley floor and up the Pinecone Ridge, you can see why this is one of the largest ski resorts in North America!
And practically speaking, the gondola means that whichever side of the mountain you’re staying as a visitor, you can traverse your way across the whole 7,000+ acres.
That said, it’s worth knowing how long of a trek that really is. And sometimes, the Gondola does get put on hold! I can remember a trip last year when we got to Gondola only to be told it was down for the day, which meant a very long trip back down to the Canyons base, where we had to catch a public bus back to our hotel in Park City. (That was a bit of a day-ender…)
All that to say, if you are using the gondola, be mindful of opening/closing times, and allow yourself plenty of time to get wherever you’re going.
But along the way, enjoy that awesome view from a true feat of modern egineering!
FAQs about the Quicksilver Gondola
How long is the Quicksilver Gondola?
The Quicksilver Gondola is 7,767 feet long, or approximately 1.5 miles. The total ride time lasts 8-1/2 minutes.
Is the Quicksilver Gondola open at Park City?
The Quicksilver Gondola has been operating every winter since 2015. You can check the current lift status on Park City’s Lift Status Page.
Does the Quicksilver Gondola run in the summer?
No, Park City doesn’t run the Quicksilver Gondola in the summer. (It’s located halfway up the mountain and would be quite the trek to get to.) You can see more info about Park City’s summer scenic lift rides here.