Family Vacations in Utah: Utah Olympic Park
Visitors to this Park City attraction can test their mettle in some of the Olympic sports the venue hosted in 2002, including luge, bobsled, and ski jumping. They can also watch Olympic hopefuls train for the next winter games. The park is also a favorite with freestyle aerialist skiers, who train in the summer by landing from their flips, twists, and jumps in a 750,000-gallon splash pool. The 389-acre facility includes Nordic jumps of six different lengths; a 1,335-meter track with five start areas for bobsled, luge and skeleton; freestyle aerials training areas; and a lodge, a ski museum, and an Olympic Winter Games Museum.
During the summer, kids ages 6 through 12 can participate in a day camp to learn ski jumping. Other camps are available for kids ages 8 through 14 who want to test their skills at ice hockey, speed skating, luge, bobsled, ski jumping, freestyle skiing, biathlon, curling, and skeleton. Every Saturday during the summer, the Flying Ace All-Stars skiers and snowboarders present a 25-minute show, soaring up to 60 feet in the air and performing acrobatic feats before landing in the splash pool.
In winter, intermediate skiers can take a half-day Nordic ski-jumping lesson. By the end of the session, visitors will be soaring off the ten-kilometer jump -- quick learners can attempt an even longer one. Half-day slopeside ski-jumping lessons are also available for kids. There are luge and skeleton lessons for those 13 and older. Tours of the facility and the two museums are offered in summer and winter.
If you're just visiting for the day, there's still plenty to do. Try out the Quicksilver Alpine Slide, a state-of-the-art metal track that duplicates the narrow, twisting, downhill plummet of a bobsled run. Or you can ride on two different zip lines: The steel cables are set at the top of the 90- and 120-meter ski jumps, and a pulley system whisks riders down the steepest zip line track in the world. The lines run parallel to the ski jumping tracks -- and your trip may even take you alongside a ski jumper soaring through the air.
Utah's commitment to honoring the best is matched by its desire to do good. In the next article, you'll find out about the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, a unique place where animals are treated like gold.
Utah Olympic Park Information
Address: 3419 Olympic Pkwy
Park City, UT
Hours of Operation: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., daily
Admission: $8 adults; $6 kids
To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:
- Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
- Salt Lake City Guide: Find out where to stay, what to do, and where to eat when you visit The Holy City.
- Utah State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Utah, as well as other recreational activities.
- Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.