Sweeney's Switchbacks and John's Trail

Park City and Deer Valley

A mountain run that starts from Park City’s Main Street, through aspen forest and alongside relics of the mining days.

Trail Running Difficult

Distance
10 km
Ascent
408 m
Descent
408 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
2.1 km
High Point
2.5 km
Gradient
Sweeney's Switchbacks and John's Trail Map

This is a great leg-burning workout that begins from Old Town Park City. The climb is quite sustained, but not super steep thanks to the switchbacks. It makes a stout challenge and will be a real ass-kicker if you’re not accustomed to the altitude here. Spend a few days running less-steep trails if you’ve just arrived from low elevation.

Description

As mapped, the run begins from the center of town, near the base of Town Lift. You can access it from other points, however, including the trailhead parking area at the south end of Main Street. It begins as a dirt road but soon turns to singletrack. You’ll start uphill right away, and the grade doesn’t lessen much until you reach the top. The trail has plenty of roots and rocks to keep things interesting, but for the most part, the surface is firm dirt. You’ll likely share it with mountain bikers, most of them riding in the downhill direction, but it’s not an especially high-traffic trail.

The lower section tends to be sunny and warm, with well-spaced trees and some open ski runs. Soon enough, you’ll enter a dense stand of aspen, and stay there pretty much all the way to the top. Sweeney’s feeds into John’s Trail (intersections are well marked), and John’s ends at the top of Bonanza Lift, in a clearing that gives quite a good view.

You’ll notice this mini-summit is nowhere near the top of the mountain, so you can keep running upward on other trails if you still have it in you. The historic Silver King Mine is just over the hill from this spot, so with a slight detour, you can see an impressive relic of Park City’s past. When you’re ready to go down, return the way you came (mapped) or make a loop with the ski run that follows the ridgeline.

Sources: https://www.trailsisters.net/2018/06/20/where-to-run-park-city-utah/

Difficulty

Difficult

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September, October, November

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area