If you've every watched Olympians sliding down a bobsled track at 90 miles an hour and wondered if you could do it, or you've been curious if you've the guts to slide down a nordic ski jump, visit the Utah Olympic Park located just outside Park City, Utah. At this playground for adventurous travelers, which is open summer and winter, you can ride in a bobsled moving at 4- to 5 Gs, take an extreme zipline ride -- or simply learn more about the 2002 Winter Olympic Games on a tour while your friends challenge themselves in these special sporting venues.
Photo credit: Utah Olympic Park
Visitors can take a bobsled ride in the summer or winter -- if you're prepared to fly down the track at 70 or 80 miles an hour with 4- to 5 Gs of force pushing against you during the less-than one-minute ride.
Even if you've already been on ziplines elsewhere in the world, the Xtreme and Ulta Ziplines will give you a thrill. The Xtreme Zip is reportedly the world's steepest zipline and it takes you right over the K-120 ski jump hill. These lines are open in late spring, summer and fall.
What a way to cool off in the summertime. You can beat the heat for a few minutes while speeding down this narrow course, which ends at the base of the K-64 ski jump.
Utah Olympic Parks freestyle training pool is a summertime destination for many world-class athletes and freestylers on the developmental teams. In the summer, the Flying Aces put on a colorful aerial and freestyle show on Saturdays for the public.
Make reservations ahead of time. Seats are limited for this very popular show.
Visitors can take regularly scheduled tours of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games competition sites. The tours are a combination of walking and riding on shuttle buses to the nordic ski jumps, and the top of the bobsled, skeleton and luge track. Admission includes entrance to the Olympic Museum.
The Olympic Museum is home to the George Eccles Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum and the Alf Engen Ski Museum, which includes the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame. It's a fascinating tour of Olympic winter sports and of winter sports in the region, with lots of interactive displays.
The Snow Zone, a winter playground open to anyone age three and older, gives you as much sliding on tubes and head-first air boards as you can enjoy for a flat price. The Gravity Zone, open to summertime visitors, has two ziplines, the Quicksilver alpine slide, a playground and a picnic area.
The Utah Olympic Park offers a variety of introductory sports camps and programs for freestyle skiing and riding, skeleton and ski jumping. Programs are available for all ages and abilities.
You can spend a few hours here, or most of a day if you try one of the zipline rides, let the kids play in the snow park or adventure park (depending upon what time of year you are visiting) and watch films of some of the 2002 Olympic competitions in the museum. Summer Saturdays are a prime time to visit, because of the Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding shows.