Park City’s Transportation History

Early Transportation by Wagon
Since Mormon Pioneers settled in the Salt Lake valley in the mid 1800s, Salt Lake City has been a hub for all types of transportation. Early mail routes servicing the wild west ran right through here, and the transcontinental railroad met at Promontory Point, further solidifying Utah as a center of travel. Nestled above Salt Lake City in Parley’s Canyon, Park City soon became a popular destination for the wide variety of people passing through the area.

Discovering Park City

Park City was Built on Silver Mines
The earliest settlers of the Salt Lake valley were more focused on survival than they were on amassing wealth, so they overlooked the precious metals found in our mountains in favor of developing agriculture and waterways. It wasn’t until soldiers in the Army, who were stationed here to protect the mail routes, began prospecting in the mountains that the rich silver stores in Park City were discovered. In those days, transportation to Park City was on horseback or on foot, through the rugged Parley’s canyon, but wagon trails would soon be blazed by hopeful prospectors.

Upscale From the Start

Although established as a mining town, Park City set out to be a center for culture and high-class right from the start. Millionaires were made here, back in a time when a million dollars could buy anything. Some of the earliest buildings erected here included a Grand Opera House, and this was one of the first buildings rebuilt after a fire destroyed the entire town in 1898.

Money was the lifeblood of the town back then, so it’s no surprise that the earliest automobiles could be found right here in Park City. The horseless carriage still took a back seat to the more sure footed horse and buggy when the snowy weather hit until modern roads were established in and out of the town. Now the 4×4 SUVs, like those driven by Peak Transportation, are a must-have for anyone looking to get in and out of the town when the snow is at its best.

Snow is Worth its Weight in Silver

Ski Trips in Park City
As other mining towns of the time began to dry up and die out, Park City found a way to stay ahead of the game: skiing. Miners had been using longboard snowshoes to navigate the mountain for years, and the trend caught on, quickly turning into a fun wintertime sport. As more and more people began flocking to Park City for skiing, Park
City transportation issues were more focused on how to get to the top of the mountain, so you could ski down again. One of the earliest ski lifts in the area was a modified mining cart, which transported skiers through pitch black mining tunnels until they popped out at the top of the mountain. It was soon rendered obsolete, however, by faster, less scary modern chair lifts.

From transportation to recreation, mining and skiing came together to produce a truly unique experience here at the edge of the Rocky Mountains, in Park City.