Summer “adventure parks” can be found at ski and snowboard resorts all over the West, crammed full of rides, challenges and just plain fun. And the granddaddy of them all may well by the Utah Olympic Park just down the road from Park City Mountain Resort.
Built around the competitive venues of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah, the year-round park gives thrill-seekers a chance to get the authentic “Olympic feel” similar to the actual events held at the same venue 17 years ago.
Here's a look at some of what's in store if you venture to Utah Olympic Park this summer:
Bobsled. Running down the same track that hosted the luge, skeleton and bobsled events in 2002, visitors hurtle down the track at 60 mph. The one-minute ride is piloted by professional bobsled driver with three riders on sleds retrofitted with wheels to “slide” down the concrete course.
Airbag jump. This feature at the Olympic Park allows guests to feel with it’s like to step off into space before landing safely into the inflatable landing zone. Platforms at five, 10 and 15 feet increase the thrill. Elite freestyle skiers and riders hone their acrobatic skills on the same venue.
Extreme tubing. Set on the landing hill of the Olympic ski jump, the tubing runs reach nearly 50 mph. A progression from 64-meter hill to 90-meter hill helps riders get acquainted with the high speeds.
Ziplines. While not an Olympic sport, whizzing down a steel cable at breakneck speeds resembles many of the risks that Olympians take – particularly since the Olympic ski jumps are right there. There's a warmup freestyle zip to get you comfortable before taking on the Extreme Zipline that mimics taking off the 120-meter Olympic ski jump and boasts the second-steepest zipline section in the world.
Drop Tower. This advanced-level adventure tests thrill-seekers' courage with a 377-foot long zip line high above the treetops that finishes at the 65-foot high Drop Tower – where the only way down is to step off the platform for a 65-foot free fall.