The Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail State Park is a 28-mile, high-elevation trail that follows Interstate 80, from the charming streets of Park City through the smaller communities of Wanship and Coalville to Echo Reservoir. From a starting elevation of approximately 6,800 feet in Park City, you can cruise down the gentle 2% grade along Silver Creek for 14 miles through a narrow volcanic canyon. As the scenery transitions to wetlands and farms near Wanship and Silver Creek Canyon, a menagerie of wildlifeincluding fox, bald eagles, herons, moose, deer and beaveroften appears near the trail. The trail surface is primarily gravel, except for 3 miles from Park City north and a 0.5-mile section in Wanship. These asphalt sections are suitable for wheelchairs and in-line skaters.
After passing through the outskirts of Coalville, visitors will emerge at the bottom of Echo Reservoir, a Summit County water source and hotspot for recreational boating and fishing. Not only does the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail State Park showcase the environmental diversity of this area, it helps celebrate the region's rich history.
The rail-trail follows the route of a historical railroad line that transported coal and silver ore during the region's mining heyday in the 1860s. To help commemorate this heritage, Summit County's Restaurant Tax Grant Committee provided the Mountain Trails Foundation with funds to place 16 plaques along the trail. These markers highlight the early Mormon settlers and ill-fated Donner family wagon train, the trail's intersection with the once-influential Lincoln Highway and the excavation site of Ice Age mammoths, among other historical sites and events.
The pathway may be relatively new, yet recreation has been the name of the game in Park City for decades, and the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail serves as a connector to several hundred miles of technical mountain bike trails, single-track paths requiring more skill that zigzag throughout the area.
Parking and Trail Access
Parking and access is available in Park City; along Silver Creek Drive (Exit 2 East off US 40); in Wanship; in Coalville and at Echo Reservoir.