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Planning a visit to Park City? You must visit the Park City Mountain Resort! But which is better, the famous Alpine Slide or Alpine Coaster? Read on to find out which is worth it.
Park City is a Utah town famous for world-class skiing. Ski buffs flock to the slopes to enjoy the light, powdery snow Utah is known for in winter time, but what does the resort do during summer months?
When no snow is to be found, Park City Mountain Resort turns into an extreme sports playground. Ski runs become mountain bike trails when dry and a series of rides are open at the resort’s base. The two most famous rides- the Alpine Slide and Alpine Coaster- take riders on journeys through the Alpine trees with beautiful views of the surrounding area.
But which one is better?
Here’s everything you need to know about the Alpine Slide and Alpine Coaster in Park City, Utah!
Park City Mountain Resort
The Park City Mountain Resort is the main reason tourists and visitors flock to Park City at all seasons of the year.
The gorgeous mountains offer world-class snow in the winter months for snowboarding and skiing. The resort complex also features shops, restaurants, classes, and is continually adding to a play zone at the base of the mountain.
The same mountains are a favorite for mountain bikers in dryer months. The Park City Resort has a play zone which features a mini golf course, playground, rock climbing wall, trampoline high jump, and, of course, the now famous Alpine Slide and Alpine Coaster (two of the longest rides in the world.)
After years of hearing about the incredible Alpine Slide and Alpine Coaster, we decided we were finally ready to fork over the dough to put the matter to rest: Are the rides really worth it, and which is better?
The Alpine Coaster Park City Experience
- $25/ person (over 52″ tall)
- $10/ passenger (between 42″ and 52″ tall)
- Alpine Coaster takes 5 minutes to automatically pull the rider up the mountain
- Rider has control over the Park City Alpine Coaster speed as it hurls on the downward track
An employee gave us a very thorough explanation before we set off on the Park City Alpine Coaster. He explained that the car has hand brakes, but that we shouldn’t use them. They run each car 80′ apart, but if the car in front were to use their brakes too often the car in back could catch up and create a dangerous bumper cars situation.
I was hesitant to leave the car at full-force with just a 3-point seat belt, but the attendant also made a clear point that, though it may feel as if you’re riding out of control, the cars have never run off the track.
Riding the Alpine Coaster to the top of the mountain was as enjoyable as the race down, to be honest. I enjoy the solitary beauty of nature, and this was an unexpected opportunity to relax and unwind.
Over the course of 5 minutes my car was automatically brought through a narrow clearing of Alpine trees that had just started to turn colors. The air was crisp on this late September day but the sun was high and warm, creating 5 minutes of comfort and beauty. Thanks, Park City!
It didn’t matter that my head was in the clouds- an attendant at the top of the Alpine Coaster was available to warn me to pull my hand brakes down (releasing them) when the time was right.
At that moment 2 minutes of insanity broke out.
The track circled and re-doubled on itself to make the ride down last longer, and the twists and turns tended to feel a bit unsafe. I perpetually felt that I would derail, and repeated the many assurances of safety from the attendants to myself.
I really enjoyed it, though! Nevertheless, I’m sure there are Adidas-shaped imprints on the foot holds of my coaster car!
The Alpine Slide Park City Experience
- $8/ person if added to your Alpine Coaster ticket
- $17/ person if only riding the Alpine Slide
- Ticket upgrades can be made any time by showing original receipt of either the Park City Alpine Slide or Alpine Coaster
- Rider takes the chair lift to Alpine Slide entrance, then sits on a special seat to slide down the mountain
We had to wander the (sort of boring. Sorry for saying) Park City Mountain Resort for over an hour waiting for the Alpine Slide to sufficiently dry off from a recent rain. Once given the ok, we brought our Alpine Coaster ticket receipts to the ticket counter and adjusted it to become a Double Combo Pass.
This made the additional ride only $8/ person ($17 if you only ride the Slide.)
You take a chair lift to the top of the Park City Alpine Slide area, which was beautiful, relaxing (though I prefer the slow ascent of the Alpine Coaster), and can be done in groups.
Once at the top attendants instruct you to pick up a yellow plastic sled to roll to the Alpine Slide entrance. The walk is more uncomfortable than expected, since the sled wheels aren’t amazing.
A new attendant showed us how to put the sled on the slide and explained how to use the hand brake. As opposed to the Alpine Coaster, the Alpine Slide has only narrow edges and no guard rails so riders are encouraged to be more careful and use the brake liberally at their discretion, since someone derails “at least once a day.”
Well… That got my attention! Ben and Whit were more comfortable going fast, but I was not interested in derailing so I chose to take my time. Hey, I still had fun!
So which is better: Alpine Slide or Alpine Coaster?
For me, the winner was obvious: The Alpine Coaster.
I loved the solitary, scenic ascent, and the ease and thrill of coasting down as fast as possible.
The Alpine Slide, however, required a more uncomfortable walk to the top, and the admonition to use my hand brake lest I fall out made me too nervous to enjoy myself as fully.
For the same reasons Ben and Whit actually preferred the Alpine Slide; they liked being in control and the danger of potentially falling. Boys!
Have you been? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Related: Try dinner at a yurt while in Utah!
Planning a vacation to Park City, Utah soon?
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*Our trip to Park City to ride the Alpine Coaster and Alpine Slide was NOT sponsored by the Park City Mountain Resort. We paid for our tickets and all opinions are our own.*