By Dan Webb, Age 17
(Published Feb., 2002, Utah Outdoors magazine)
Gorgoza Park offers a unique way to enjoy Park City Mountain Resort. The main attraction is tubing, getting on an inflated piece of rubber and riding a mountain. The runways come in two variations: a moderate course for children and a longer, steeper runway for those better suited for high velocity.
Now, what sets this resort apart from other tubing facilities is the lack of work needed to have fun. No more climbing up the hills to reach your preferred starting point. At Gorgoza Park, all you have to do is sit down on your tube and let a tow cable pull you to the top of the mountain. That made if a lot easier for my group to enjoy the park. The smooth ride up the hill was fast and enjoyable; the rest it provided made it as pleasurable as the ride down the slope. The only required work is standing up and walking back to the beginning of the tow-ride.
Gorgoza Park also offers a child's snowmobile ride. For children 5-12 (under 110 pounds), the cost for the ride is $6 for six laps. For the cold, stiff, and soaked park goers, there is also a snack shack, where my group spent more time drinking hot chocolate and warming up than we did actually hurtling ourselves toward an icy death.
All tube and snow machine riders are required to fill out a disclosure, and those under age 18 need a legal guardian's signature.
It can be expensive finding a group activity that everyone enjoys, and often some people don't enjoy the activity as much as others. At Gorgoza Park, for a low cost we found more tubing than we could handle. For those with us who were hesitant to try downhill skiing, tubing provided an enjoyable alternative.
Finding Gorgoza Park is easier than keeping snow out of your shoes. From Salt Lake City drive east on I-80 to the Jeremy Ranch exit (#143), go right off the exit ramp, turn right onto Kilby Road and then drive 1/4 mile to the park. Easy - or at least it is for most people. Our driver wasn't paying attention and took a bad turn onto a ramp where a sign said, "Exit Only, Do Not Enter." We discovered that you can have quite an adventure if you miss the sign and enter anyway. We discovered that that if you swerve into a snow bank as you dodge trucks, you'll probably get stuck and have to dig out with your hands because you don't have a shovel with you, while park security officers sit in their warm Jeeps and laughed at you while you get frostbite.
But hey, it's all worth the hours of digging, when at last you get to Gorgoza Park. (At least your dates will think you're big, strong men). Oh, and one last piece of advice: When the men wearing "Park City Mountain Resort Security" suites tell you to not run, dragging your tube behind, you might want to listen and take it slow, because things get ugly when they have to tell you three times.
For adults and kids 7 years of age and older, costs are $6 for one trip down the hill, $17 for a two-hour pass and $21 for a four-hour pass. (Four hours is a lot of tubing.) For kids 3-6 years of age, the rates are $3, $10 and $14.