Bourbon, Brews, and Mountain Tops in the High West of Park City

For our summer trip, Carolyn booked us for a multi-day trip into Utah to some new areas that we had never been. We fly out of Phoenix on Father’s Day, yes my girls were a bit irritated and we were able to celebrate the Friday prior to leaving. It just so happened that in looking at available rooms many months ago, our week was chosen without noting what the day was.

We arrive in Salt Lake City Sunday morning, pick up a car and head to Park City. We check into the Doubletree (Hilton property) and what a great experience. The young man that checked us in was full of information and a great customer service representative. Park City was hoppin’ downtown with the streets closed for a summer street market event.

Our first stop is the High West Distillery located about 30 minutes NE of Park City where we have Father’s Day lunch and whiskey themed cocktails that were really good. The Distillery is located off of I 80 and is in a beautiful secluded location. They were not offering any tours due to Covid restrictions but the setup was still amazing. I had been to a High West tasting event in Phoenix in the spring of 2019 with my son in law James and we spent quite a long time with David Perkins who started High West in Park City and has since sold the business but at the time was doing promotional work for High West. He was very charismatic and fun to be around and since I have enjoyed their many varieties of whiskey, it was always a desire to visit the new distillery. Carolyn and I enjoyed the experience and would return.

After eating we decided to do a small hike on the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail that runs through the area along Silver Creek. The trail is mainly used by mountain bikers and runs for 28 miles. We return to Park City and take the bus downtownfor some walking around and end up at Butcher’s Chophouse and Bar. We were able to sit outside an enjoy a beautiful evening with a fantastic Kolsch style beer from Melvin Brewing in Wyoming–Killer Bees, a blonde ale brewed with honey. It is fantastic and I can honestly say that it is one of the best I have ever had. Light with just a touch of honey for a great summer sipper.The next morning after breakfast we grab our first brew of the day at the Silver King Coffee, Co. It is excellent and is just a small spot with a drive through and a walkup window. Loaded up with caffeine, we drive from Park City to Brighton Resort and begin our hike to Sunset Peak. The sun is shining and it is a beautiful warm day to hike to the summit of 10,670 gaining a total of 1900+ feet in the 6+ mile hike. The hike for the most part is fairly smooth and not real jarring on the joints. The trek towards Sunset Peak is exposed with lots of sunshine on top of you. The views are stunning of the Wasatch Mountain Range and you can see the Uinta Mountain range to the Northeast. At the very beginning, we hike along the ski slopes and turn to hike past several lakes. We added mileage by hiking off our main trail to see the water at some of the lakes. As we continued our climb there were a few areas of snow. No animals and few humans on the trail. The trail took us past several lakes and streams that were quite peaceful and beautiful. On our journey to the top, we met several friendly hikers that pointed out various peaks in the distance. I love the fact that you be away from people and experience some fantastic areas with limited human contact. It was a strenuous journey for this old guy and after 3.5 hours of hiking, I was ready to head back to Park City and a craft beer from Utah.

Coming down from Sunset Peak

We walk from the Doubletree to Squatters Roadhouse Grill for a round of draft craft including the Juicy IPA and the Chasing Tail, summer ale. We ate dinner out on the patio and the place was packed. To drink beer in Utah, you have to got to understand the rules. No draft beer can be more than 5% but they can sell any % beer in cans or bottles. It is just a bit odd so oftentimes the selections are limited. Squatters refers to Wasatch Brewing Company as a “Sister” brewery. They know how to have some fun with their beer names and play on the Utah themed drinks.

After dinner and a beer we jump on the bus and head downtown for another round of High West at the High West Saloon. This place is quite trendy and hard to get in for dinner but we managed to be sat on the bar side for some signature cocktails. This place was quite a treat for us.

Tuesday morning has arrived and after breakfast and more coffee at Silver King, we check out of the Doubletree and head back into the mountains for more hiking and more adventure. It is sunny and hot by Park City standards when we begin our trek to the 10420 Peak. Parking is at the Bloods Lake Trailhead. There are plenty of cars and plenty of hikers on the first part of our journey that takes us to Bloods Lake after 1.5 miles. This is a beautiful mountain lake with many people that hike to this area. After our time at the lake we get back on our trek to 10420 Peak. Carolyn and I decided on 10420 instead of the close by Clayton Peak that is about 200 feet higher but more of a rocky climb over a longer stretch. The trail is over rocks and it is a bit of a scramble but nothing that I would consider hard or real dangerous. At the top, the views are fantastic. One can look in all directions to get great views of area lakes and other peaks. We were joined at the summit by a couple from Ogden Utah who were avid hikers. Most hikers are very friendly and fun to talk with. We were able to get some pictures together and took their picture as well.

On our return trip, we stopped by Lackawaxen Lake that added some distance to our hiking day. Very few folks encountered on our trip from Bloods Lake so few people and very enjoyable. On the return, we went back to the trailhead on a different trail and once again we were glad we did since the number of people encountered on that return section was less than five. No animals, few humans, and time alone walking in the forest. We hike for a total of 6 miles with 1250+ elevation gains. The return section was very exposed to the sun so it was hot but doable.

Our stay at the Doubletree was great. Staff was fantastic and even though an older property, the place was as clean as they come. Well taken care of and would love to return. Since my rates were not available, we had booked our next two nights at the Sunset Lodge by Hilton Grand Vacations. After checking in, we take the shuttle van to Red Rock Brewing Co and enjoy our dinner and drinks. For our return to the lodge, we walk about 4 miles back to get even more exercise.

Our final day in Park City includes a run to Kimball Junction and Park City Coffee Roaster for our morning cup of Joe. We later jump on the bus to downtown Park City for our final brew stop and dinner at Wasatch Brewery. We have meatloaf and mashed potatoes to go along with a pitcher of strawberry blonde. Wasatch is known for their Polygamy Porter but we went with lighter beer. Good stuff and a great time. Our time in Park City has ended and next stop will be Moab, UT.

About timfruth

Longtime public educator who retired. Love the outdoors and rapidly adjusting to a new me.
This entry was posted in Craft Beer, Craft Breweries, Hiking, Marriage, Relationships, Road Trip, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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