Ski First Tracks with The Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History
— Posted by Snow Reporter on March 7, 2017
Alright, history buffs, it’s time to wax your boards and skis! Park City’s mining history runs just as deep as the powder. A guided Historic Mountain Tour meets daily at 10:00am in the Park City Base Area near the Eagle Statue and 1:00pm near the Trail Map near the top of Bonanza Express chairlift and allows skiers and boarders to uncover the mountain’s hidden gems.
If you have visited Park City Mountain before, there is no doubt you have already seen many of these artifacts scattered about the mountain. Park City’s mining history began when silver was first discovered in the 1860s. Word spread quickly and miners from around the world began settling the area.
About half of the mines are located within the boundaries of Park City Mountain. The most famous of which was the Silver King Mine. The large structure located next to the base of the Bonanza lift was once the headframe of the Silver King Mine, housing the hoist that reaches a 1,400 ft. depth into the mountain. That shaft connects to miles of tunnels below the slopes of Park City Mountain. Other notable structures include the Thaynes Mine hoist house and conveyor, the Jupiter Mine ore bin, the King Con Mine ore bin and counter wieght, and the California-Comstock Mine mill.
The Silver King Mine ceased operation in 1953 after years of hardship and the continued decline in the price of silver. The miner’s turned away from their mining history and began to explore other opportunities. Treasure Mountain was developed as a way to save the town and was opened in 1963. Treasure Mountain would become the Park City Mountain that we know and love today.
The remaining structures sit in various states of disrepair, but a local group has made it their mission to restore and preserve these structures for future generations to enjoy. The Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History have a plan to keep these structures standing and they need your help! Any amount goes towards the future of preserving Park City Mountain's unique mining history, but with a $1,000 donation you will join the Miner's Club and enjoy two days of first tracks at Park City Mountain for 2 people during the 2016-17 season. Lift tickets and coffee are included in the memorable morning of early ups.
The mines may be dormant but the mountain and weather certainly are not. So help us save these little remaining pieces of Park City’s heritage.
By: Grant Potter