Eric Porter, 33, is one of the most versatile pro mountain bikers around, as comfortable on his cross-country bike as he is back-flipping a huge jump. On the pro circuit for 10 years, the collegiate downhill and dual slalom national champion has won regional slopestyle contests and placed second at the Crankworx Slopestyle and fourth at Red Bull Freezeride. Often venturing on worldwide backcountry bike trips, he always returns to his beloved home in the Park City, Utah, area and his hometown resort of Canyons, where he lives with his wife, Megan, and two sons, Milo and Owen. “There’s amazing year-round recreation here, and it also has very easy travel access,” says Porter, adding that his favorite activities are mountain biking, fly fishing and hiking-which he does as much as possible with his family in tow.
Here are a few of his favorite things about Canyons:
Aspect of the region in the off-season: As a pro mountain biker the winter is my off-season and I spend a ton of time snowboarding at Canyons Resort. It’s great training for bike season because it keeps my legs strong and my mind sharp. And in the summer the possibilities for recreation are truly endless.
Place to mountain bike: My new favorite place to ride mountain bikes is at Canyons Bike Park. It’s the first place in Park City with big jumps built for mountain bikes.
Place to road ride: There are a lot of great road rides in the Park City area. One of my favorites is out to Kamas and then back through Brown’s Canyon.
Place to ride with the family: Trailside Park off of Highway 40 is a great place to take the family. From one parking lot you have a playground, skatepark, bike paths, singletrack, pumptrack, and a beginner and intermediate jump trail.
Place to paddle (flatwater): I like going to Deer Creek Reservoir for its view of Mount Timpanogos, which is absolutely beautiful. It also has great fishing, which both I and my kids like.
Place to paddle (whitewater): The Weber River is the best whitewater in the area. It’s close, and great for kayaking or tubing.
Place to paddle with the family: Jordanelle Reservoir is the closest place to Park City for a good lake paddle, but if you want to get away from everyone head up the Mirror Lake highway from Kamas (Hwy. 150) and there are lots of high alpine lakes you can have all to yourself.
Place to re-fuel: Backdoor Deli in Park City is the best place to get a coffee and sandwich to pack for the day. Hands down the best Mexican food in the area is Tarahumara in Midway. It’s a great place to grab some food after a long day of riding. For sushi/Asian fusion definitely go to Shabu in Park City.
Place for a beer afterwards: The No Name Saloon is my favorite place to grab a beer; they also happen to have great buffalo burgers. It has a really cool atmosphere and is always full of good people.
Photos courtesy Justin Olsen