Park City, Utah: Gorgoza Park With Preschoolers
Gorgoza Park: A Great Side Trip From Park City
Park City is a ski resort the entire family can enjoy. Located just 8 miles from Park City Mountain Resort, Gorgoza Park offers a welcome diversion for families with children of all ages. Adults and older children will love the four upper tubing lanes, which offer an exciting ride. Three lower lanes are designated for children who are under 42" in height (but at least three years of age). The lanes are lit after dark, allowing the fun to extend into the evening hours, after the daytime ski lifts have closed.
Parents with small children will rejoice at the opportunities offered to preschoolers and elementary school aged children: Fort Frosty offers a tube carousel for riders too small for the tubing lanes, while miniature snowmobiles thrill elementary school aged children.
Fort Frosty at Gorgoza Park
Fort Frosty is a small play area for children under age 8. This area is to the left of the tubing lanes and offers three themed activities for young children. The admission to Fort Frosty is included for any person purchasing a 2-4 hour tubing lift ticket. Preschoolers may play in Fort Frosty for a nominal fee, without the purchase of a lift ticket. Check the Gorgoza Park Website for current rates and fees (in 2011, the fee to play in Fort Frosty was $10 without the purchase of a tubing lift ticket).
The Fort Frosty Blocks
Enormous foam blocks are available for children to play with in the Fort Frosty area. These blocks are lightweight and can be made into houses, forts, or anything else in a young child's imagination. There is no seating for parents in the immediate area, so the long, rectangular blocks can create an impromptu bench when the grown-ups begin to tire out. Many children like to jump on the blocks and create large towers to topple over. As with all other Fort Frosty attractions, the foam blocks are limited to those under the age of 9 years and their parents.
The Fort Frosty Carousel
A carousel made of tubes connected to rotating poles sits at the center of the Fort Frosty play area of Gorgoza Park. Children sit in the tubes, and enjoy a very gentle ride as the tubes are pulled in a circle. This attraction is limited to children under the age of nine years, and older kids may find the ride rather slow. For children who are too young to ride the main tubing lanes, however, the ride is an exciting introduction to tubing! This ride is safe for young toddlers and preschoolers.
The Fort Frosty Tubing Lanes
Children must be at least three years old to ride the lower tubing lanes. The Fort Frosty area contains a very small tubing track that may be used by children too young for the main lanes. This little hill is appropriate for young toddlers and preschoolers who are too young (under 3 years of age) or too timid for the main tubing area.The Fort Frosty tubing hill has a very small "Magic Carpet" lift, and an operator will gladly assist parents with getting the little ones to the top of the small hill.
Tubing at Gorgoza Park
Children must be 42" tall to ride the upper tubing lanes. While some older preschoolers may meet the height requirement, the ride to the top includes two different lifts and an extremely fast ride down the tubing lanes. The lower section of the tubing hill (approximately 390') is reserved for children under 42" tall. Children must be three years old to ride the lower conveyor ("magic carpet").
Tubes come in two sizes: one for adults and older children, and smaller tubes to fit preschoolers. Each tube has a handle and a rope to make pulling the tubes easy. In addition, the handles allow people to go down the tubing lanes in a group, increasing the overall speed and thrill factor.
Snowmobiling at Gorgoza Park
Children between the ages of 5-12 may ride miniature snowmobiles around a circular track. Snowmobiling requires a separate admission from the Fort Frosty and tubing areas: in 2011, the tickets were $10 for 10 laps around the track. The maximum weight allowed on the snowmobiles is 110 pounds, so heavier (and older) children may exceed the weight requirement for the equipment. While most preschoolers will not be able to enjoy this experience, some 5 year old Pre-K or Kindergarten aged children will love the experience. The snowmobiles operate exactly like the "real" versions, and take some coordination to operate (the acceleration is handled by one control handle, and the brake by another).
Getting to Gorgoza Park
From the Park City area, take I-80 West and exit at Jeremy Ranch Road (Exit 141). Turn left at the exit, then right at the 4-way stop onto Kilby Road.
For families vacationing in the Park City area, Gorgoza Park offers an excellent tubing experience. Preschoolers will love the ability to play in the snow with pint-sized activities while their older siblings are riding the steep tubing lanes (or are skiing the day away).