Going for GOLD at Utah Olympic Park

Posted By Allison on Sep 8, 2016


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Hello!

We really wanted something fun to do on Labor Day. When I thought of all the fun things to do at Utah Olympic Park in Park City, I knew it would be perfect. I love that we live so close to these Olympic venues!

It was even better than expected. Colorful fall leaves had begun to show on the mountain behind the bobsled track, so our day was not just a farewell to summer, but also an enthusiastic “Welcome Fall!”

If you are considering a visit to Utah Olympic Park with your family, you have a lot of options to fit your budget and schedule.

Go for GOLD at Utah Olympic Park | Park City | zipline | extreme tubing | summer vacation | bobsled | ropes course

FREE Activities

You could spend a whole day at Utah Olympic Park without spending a dime. It’s an Olympic training facility, so you’ll likely have the chance to watch Olympic athletes and hopefuls train. On the morning of our visit, we saw a freestyle aerialist flip into the pool and Skeleton athletes practice their starts. There is often something interesting to see at the Olympic Park.

The Welcome Center has two free museums: The Alf Engen Ski Museum and the Winter Olympic Games Museum. The ski museum is a fun way to learn about the development of skiing in Utah, and why Utah has the “Greatest Snow on Earth.” It has lots of hands-on activities.

The Winter Olympic Games Museum is full of memorabilia from the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. I was a volunteer for those games, and this museum brought back a lot of fun memories. Both museums are small, but full of fun photo ops!

Go for GOLD at Utah Olympic Park | Park City | zipline | extreme tubing | summer vacation | bobsled | ropes course

At the top of the mountain, you can play on the Mountain Challenge course for free! Consider doing this first if you have tickets for any of the chair lift activities. Or you can hike up. If your family has aspiring Ninja Warriors, you won’t want to miss it.

Younger children will enjoy the Discovery Zone. It’s a free playground with a great view of the tubing hills and zip lines.

Pack a picnic! We liked the cafe with burgers, sandwiches and salads to go, but you can find picnic tables throughout the Olympic Park. They are generally located near the activities so you’ll have something fun to watch while you dine al fresco.

Gold Pass and a la carte activities

For adventurous families with older children and teens, I recommend the Gold Pass. You’ll get unlimited access to all the activities at the park except the Comet Bobsled and Guided Tour. If your time or budget is limited, you can just choose one or two of these activities and still make great memories.

I strongly recommend arriving early in the day. The Zip Lines, Alpine Slide, and Adventure Courses are slow loaders. We experienced hour-long waits after lunch.

Closed toe shoes are required for most activities. Wear comfortable clothing that lets you move. You will need to sign a liability waiver for most activities. Some activities have a minimum and maximum weight. They have scales and will weigh you!

Extreme Tubing

The “Extreme” in Extreme Tubing is no exaggeration. I had to do the kiddie hill behind the Welcome Center (K40) first, then watch my whole family and a bunch of other people go safely down the K64 ski jump hill. Then my son convinced me I could do it.

The K64 hill was 5 seconds of absolute terror, but I would do it again. The jury is still out on the bigger K90 hill. We ran out of time for it, so we’ll have to find out another day.

You can save a lot of time by skipping the lift line and hiking up to the tubing lines instead. The lift will drop you well above the Extreme Tubing line, making the hike down at least as long as the hike up.

Zip lines

I’m kind of afraid of heights, but the Extreme Zip Line is still my FAVORITE activity at the Olympic Park. It is the steepest zip line in the world, meant to imitate the ski jumping experience.

My husband convinced me to try a similar zip line a few summers ago, and I loved it! So, I was really excited to try it again at the Olympic Park. As hoped, the ride was smooth and not too intense. The seat felt comfortable and secure. I felt like I was flying.

For family members under 100 pounds or anyone who doesn’t want “Extreme”, try the shorter Freestyle Zip Line, which is open during the summer.

Go for GOLD at Utah Olympic Park | Park City | zipline | extreme tubing | summer vacation | bobsled | ropes course

Adventure Courses

The Adventure Courses were my kids’ favorite activities. Utah Olympic Park has three ropes courses where you work your way through a variety of challenging elements high off the ground.

We started our day on the Canyon Adventure Course for ages 7+. My 12-year-old completed both the Canyon and Summit courses, which are in the same location. My 9-year-old froze with fear early on the Canyon course and had to be helped through. After swearing he would never do anything like that again, he changed his mind fifteen minutes later and completed it with confidence!

At the end of the day, he easily completed the Discovery Course for ages 5+ on the other side of the park. This one was easier but still fun, and has a zip line at the end. He wished he had done this one first.

Alpine Slide

I enjoy alpine slides, and the slide at Utah Olympic Park is nice and long. It’s one of the few adventure activities at the Olympic Park for families with preschoolers.

Unfortunately, I only had time to ride it once and it was a disappointment. I waited with my 9-year-old son nearly an hour in line, and then he went so slowly down the track, I caught up with him and had to ride my brake for most of the ride. Not awesome.

Drop Tower

The Drop Tower didn’t look fun to me, but my kids did it three times. You take a zip line to a 65-foot tower and then walk off the edge. You are hooked to a special line that controls your fall so you land gently on your feet. The first step is the hardest and there is only one way down once you reach the top!

Go for GOLD at Utah Olympic Park | Park City | zipline | extreme tubing | summer vacation | bobsled | ropes course

Freestyle Shows

High flying freestyle aerialists entertain crowds at the Freestyle Pool on weekends from late June through early September. This activity is included in weekend Gold Passes. We missed it by one day! It would be fun for all ages.

Climbing Wall

The Olympic Park’s climbing wall is positioned over the Freestyle Pool, so you climb without a harness. Bring your swimsuit or a change of clothes if you’d like to try it. It is included in the Gold Pass and is open for ages 7+.

Guided Tour

We took a guided tour a few years ago, and it’s interesting and fun. You’ll ride a bus to get an up close look at the Olympic venues and training facilities and learn more about them. This is a good option for anyone who loves the Olympics.

Comet Bobsled

You can ride with a professional bobsled driver on an Olympic track! This is bucket list material for sure. We haven’t tried it, but never say never…

Disclosure: We received complimentary Gold Passes for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

Go for GOLD at Utah Olympic Park | Park City | zipline | extreme tubing | summer vacation | bobsled | ropes course

Good to Know

Where: 3419 Olympic Parkway, Park City. It’s just west of Highway 224, near Kimball Junction. The ski jump hills are easy to spot.

When: Year-round. Activities will vary depending on season. Most of these activities will be available during warm weather months.

How Much: No charge for admission or parking. Purchase activities individually, or get unlimited activities with the Gold Pass. At the time of our visit, there was a BOGO deal for the Gold Pass on Groupon.

How Long: One hour to one day, depending on your schedule and activities.

Amenities: gift shop, cafe, restrooms, water bottle filling station, free parking

Website: www.utaholympiclegacy.org/park

How else can we help?

Need a place to stay? There are lots of good options in Park City and Salt Lake City. Summer and fall are a great time to get off-season rates at the luxurious Montage Deer Valley. In Salt Lake City, I like the University Guest House, which has easy access to both downtown Salt Lake City and Park City. Read more reviews and check rates at TripAdvisor or Booking.com.

Want to save money on your Park City trip? Learn more about our FREE email deals club HERE.

Need a rental car? Save up to 35% at Budget when you use the Pay Now option.

Packing list

  • Every member of the family needs a sturdy pair of athletic shoes. Closed toe shoes are required for most activities. The Olympic Park is large, so you should expect to do plenty of walking or hiking, especially if you get the Gold Pass.
  • I bought a GoPro Hero+ camcorder especially for our day in Utah Olympic Park. If you ever plan to buy one, you’ll want it here.
  • Bring a jacket or hoodie. Even in the summer, you might want one for early or late in the day. The mountain air can be chilly.

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