During the Sundance Film Festival, Hollywood’s elite can be found on slopes when they’re not on the red carpet or at a hot premiere. But they don’t always opt for skis or boards. Some pick tubes.
“Steve Carell was here last year,” says Tom Butz, manager at Gorgoza Park, where locals and visitors to Park City go tubing each winter. “And Will Smith has even rented out the park.”
Of course, you don’t have to be famous to ride Gorgoza’s snowy hills.
“We get families, school groups, church groups and a lot of tourists,” Butz says.
Gorgoza Park, owned by Park City Mountain Resort, is just off I-80 in Parley’s Canyon. With seven lanes for tubing—four 1,000-foot lanes high up and three below that are half the length—the park is a hot spot for chilling out in the winter months.
A conveyer belt lift, similar to moving walkways at airports, takes riders to the lower lanes where they can either slide down or switch to the lift that ascends to the upper lanes. “Tubing is good for people who might be intimidated by snow sports and just want to play in the snow,” Butz says. But he recommends that you dress the part. “We’ve had some people in sneakers and even high heels out here—not the best attire.”
Upper-lane riders must be 42 inches or taller—roughly, kindergarten age—and lower-lane riders need to be at least three years old. Gorgoza also has younger kids covered with the park’s Fort Frosty, which includes a tube carousel and shorter lanes toddlers and preschoolers can ride with mom or dad.
The park also has mini snowmobiles for ages 5 to 12, ski and snowboard rentals for kids, a snack shack and a heated yurt that can be rented out for parties. Last year, Gorgoza started offering ski and snowboard rentals for kids. Adults are welcome to bring their own equipment to go skiing or boarding.
Visit gorgozapark.com for more info.
Tubing experts, Cameron and Cooper Iacobelli
Ask the experts
Cameron and big bro, Cooper Iacobelli, ages 8 and 11, have been tubing Gorgoza for years and love the cool wind on their faces as they zip down the hill.
The Lacobelli family skis Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley every year, but with two boys, a love for tubing bloomed amid the snow. Now, it’s pretty common for the brothers to race down in separate lanes. Who wins? “Me,” Cooper says. “Well, Cameron’s won once or twice.”
Here, the brothers offer their tips for tubing at Gorgoza.
To go really fast, get a running head start and then jump on your tube with your stomach.
You can have people spin or push you down as you go, and it makes you go really fast.
Don’t sit on top of the tube. Sit in the tube. Otherwise, you’ll fly out and get trampled by everyone.
If it’s your first time, go down the small hill. When you get comfortable, go down the bigger hill.
Go down in big groups, like nine people. That makes you go faster and you fly at the end.
Slide for Free
For the cost of your own tube, slide down these snowy hills without an entrance fee:
Sugar House Park
1300 E. 2100 South, SLC
296 E. Murray Street, Murray
Mueller Park Jr. High School
955 E. 1800 South, Bountiful
Mountain Dell Golf Course
I-80 Exit 134, Parley’s Canyon
9th Avenue and M Street, SLC