It’s no secret that Park City is home to world class mountain biking, and it doesn’t go away just because snow’s falling. While we can boast 450 miles of dirt single track in the dry months, we can still boast over 15 miles of groomed winter trails, a number that only goes up with ungroomed trail access. While that number seems much lower, there’s still plenty of options for those looking to get an aerobic workout in, or a safer way to recreate in the snow during the dangerous avalanche conditions we’re experiencing this year. Whatever your reason, here’s some tips to get you started.
What to Wear
Over heating and having your sweat freeze is one of the worst things that can happen when recreating outside in the winter. For this reason, wearing moisture wicking base layers like merino wool can help regulate your body temperature. At the very least avoiding fabrics like cotton can help go a long way. For mid layers and outer layers, we like to live by the motto of “be bold and start cold”. Wearing one less layer than you think you’ll need will help you not overheat while out on the trail. Breathable outer layers that can help cut wind and keep you insulated are also a great call. Lastly flat shoes that’ll help you still be able to feel the pedals and give you grip work great for those without clip ins.
Where to Go
We’re partial to Round Valley for it’s great grooming and spectacular views. However, there are plenty of trails accessible from all around Deer Valley and Park City areas. Our friends over at Mountain Trails have an incredible interactive map with daily updates on trail conditions around the Park City area, that is a huge help for trail selection. The new Bonanza Flat area is also a great idea if you don’t mind a mile of road biking to warm up.
What to Expect
We like to equate fat tire biking to running on sand. With the extra weight of the bike, and the addition of snow, everything can feel just THAT much harder compared to regular mountain biking. While you don’t necessarily need to be an avid mountain biker already, feeling comfortable on a bike will make the learning curve a bit less intense. Conditions are also crucial to consider when you’re thinking about going for a ride. Just like Goldilocks, the conditions need to be just right, especially to make it more enjoyable for beginner riders. If the there’s too much fresh snow, or if it turns to slush, conditions will prove to be more challenging. Morning rides when the snows packed down hard, especially as we’re starting to see spring conditions, are going to be much more enjoyable than the afternoons.
At the end of the day, fat tire biking is a great way to spend time outside soaking in some sunshine and getting your work out in!