An Olympic Skier’s Guide to Park City with Shannon Bahrke Happe

Olympic medalist Shannon Bahrke Happe gives us the inside track on the best of Park City
Olympic medalist Shannon Bahrke Happe gives us the inside track on the best of Park City | Courtesy of Shannon Bahrke Happe
Alicia Miller

For the top slopeside stays and the coolest après haunts, check out our insider’s guide to the best ski and snowboarding resorts in Utah.

A two-time Olympic medalist, freestyle skier Shannon Bahrke Happe won silver in moguls in the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and bronze in Vancouver in 2010. Now a successful speaker and a Ski Champion at Deer Valley Resort, she knows the best places in Park City for dining, wining and – of course – downhill skiing. In between blasts on the black runs, we sat down with the decorated Olympian to get the inside track on the best slaloms, ski-rental shops and snow-dusted wine cellars…

1. Deer Valley Resort

Resort

Two skiers hit the high powder of Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah
Courtesy of Deer Valley Resort / Expedia.com
“Deer Valley is a special place for me because it’s where I won my silver medal. I’m still skiing there now and not just because the snow is amazing. I’m one of the resort’s Ski Champions, which is basically a slopeside companion. By skiing behind an Olympian, you learn by example and that’s helpful whether you’re a beginner or an expert. Deer Valley is great for groups of mixed abilities, as everyone can ski the same areas, just in a slightly different way. That’s part of what makes it unique.”

2. Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley

Spa Hotel, Hotel, Apartment, Luxury

The luxurious outdoor pool and jacuzzi area of Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley set in the mountains
Courtesy of Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley / Expedia.com

“This high-end hotel is named after one of the all-time greatest skiers. It’s got a bit of a rustic feel to it, with lots of wood – I call it mountain-chic. But it has the best ski-in, ski-out experience in Park City, and the ski valets really know what they’re doing. You get a good sense from them what’s happening on the hill before you even set out. The brunch, which you can only have if you’re staying, is another reason to book. The maple bacon is famous.”

3. The Viking Yurt

Restaurant, American, Vegetarian

“The food scene in Park City is great, but this place is really special. It’s a traditional, cozy yurt tucked up on the mountain which you get to by sleigh. The menu is five courses and, because the chef is amazing, everything is delicious. It’s intimate and romantic, with music playing. You can look outside and see the snow falling – so great if you’re a couple. And despite the completely unique experience, it costs about the same as the upscale restaurants on Main Street.”

4. Montage Deer Valley

Spa Hotel, Hotel, Luxury

The mountain-chic Après Lounge set in a yurt at Montage Deer Valley
Courtesy of Montage Deer Valley / Expedia.com

“If you’re really a skier, this hotel has the best location in Park City. It’s the highest on the mountain, so after it snows you can step out and get to the powder first. You don’t have to fight for the lifts, like the people staying at the bottom of the mountain. There’s a bowling alley and pool overlooking the peaks, too. And just like other Montage hotels – there are several in the US – everything about the place just feels luxurious.”

5. Gorsuch

Store

“If you’re looking for the best-of-the-best ski equipment, Gorsuch on Main Street sells the highest-end stuff, from goggles to jackets. But I also love using Skis on the Run, which is a delivery service. They don’t have a physical location, but you select what you want on their website, tell them your level and they will make recommendations. Traffic is not always lovable in Park City, so it’s much easier ordering from there, rather than getting my little kids in and out of the car to go to the ski shop.”

6. Old Town Cellars

Bar, Wine

The rustic-chic wood bar counter and stone walls of Old Town Cellars
Courtesy of Old Town Cellars

“This Main Street bar says it’s the official location of après ski. And it’s certainly a great space to drink wine. They even make their own. It’s a great low-key place to go after a hard day’s skiing, where you can just have a charcuterie board, relax and appreciate the photography on the walls – you won’t find anyone dancing on the tables. It’s close to everything, so you can go shopping afterwards. Or to another bar – like No Name Saloon, which does get a bit wild. I’ve definitely danced on the tables there before.”

7. Woodward Park City

Sports Center

Snowboarder jumping against blue sky
© Homydesign / Depositphotos.com

“My children are young, and when I want to take them skiing I head to Woodward, about a 20-25 minute drive from downtown. It’s not just skiing; they have sledding, too, and lots of indoor activities, so little ones won’t get bored. You can stick around to watch some of the best athletes in the world as they train here – or just head off to nearby Dolly’s Bookstore, which has an excellent kids’ section and delicious hot chocolates.”

8. Five5eeds

Restaurant, American

A spinach, chorizo and halloumi waffle, crumbed chicken breast and sriracha aioli at Five5eeds, Park City
Courtesy of Five5eeds

“Want a breakfast or lunch spot that’s off the tourist trail? Locals love Five5eeds. It has a real farm-to-table feel and a fun atmosphere where people chat with one another; it’s a place to connect the community together. My favorite dish is the poke bowl, but they do amazing avocado and toast and coffee, too. It’s especially good in winter, because it’s off Main Street, which gets quite busy, and you can get in and out easily.”

9. Washington School House

Boutique Hotel, Hotel, Luxury

The elegant high-ceilinged lounge in shades of white, silver and gold with a fireplace at the Washington School House
Courtesy of Washington School House / Expedia

“If you want a stay in a location that lets you really take advantage of Park City’s nightlife, Washington School House is it. You can do your après-ski right there, and then restaurant and bar-hop all along Main Street afterwards – say, to Grappa, an Italian restaurant which has melt-in-your-mouth gnocchi. The hotel is really small, too, so the service is top-notch. And it’s either a walk or a super-short shuttle ride to the skiing.”

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