Skinning near the top
Summit Park Peak stands near the northern terminus of the central Wasatch, where the slopes drop rapidly to Parleys Canyon where Interstate 80 cuts the line between the central and northern Wasatch. Although Summit Park Peak is relatively low and easy to reach, it rewards you with what I think is one of the best views in the Wasatch. From its summit, you can see the central Wasatch ridges, the northern Wasatch, the Uintas, and on a clear day, some west Desert ranges like the Stansburys, Oquirrhs, and even Antelope Island on the Great Salt Lake.
"Summit Park Peak" is not offically named on USGS quads, but locals use this name. Officially, this is "Point 8618."
While Summit Park Peak makes a fun, easy hike in the summer, it really shines in the winter for ski touring and snowshoeing because it is relatively free of slopes that can produce avalanches. Note the "relatively" part of relatively free.
Skiing SP Peak
From anywhere in the universe, travel east of Salt Lake City on I-80 to Exit #140: "Parleys Summit." The Summit Park neighborhood is very confusing, so make sure you know where you are going, and bring a road map. There are three trailhead options:
Trailhead #1: Matterhorn Drive TH (7286'):
From the interstate you can only go south. Turn west onto Aspen Drive (frontage road), passing the gas station, and then take your first left (south) onto Parkview Drive. Stay on Parkview Drive as it meanders along this steep development, taking care not to turn off Parkview for any reason. When Parkview Drive climbs a very steep hill after a few miles, it will dead-end into a T intersection with Matterhorn Drive. This is the trailhead, and it is clearly marked with signs. Park off the road in designated spots. In winter, take special care to park off the road far enough to allow residents to get by.
Trailhead #2: Matterhorn Terrace TH (7534'):
From Trailhead #1, take a left at the T intersection of Parkview Drive and Matterhorn Drive, and drive 0.5 mile to a sharp right turn uphill on Matterhorn Terrace. Park at the small trailhead area where Matterhorn Terrace dead-ends. Do not park along Matterhorn Terrace in the winter if the trailhead has not been plowed.
Trailhead #3: Innsbruck Strausse Trailhead (7295'):
From the interstate, instead of turning at the first left (Parkview Drive), stay straight on the frontage road (Aspen Drive), until it starts to curve to the south. Here the name changes to Maple Drive. After about a half mile, the road name changes again briefly to Crestview Drive, and then turns into Innsbruck Strausse. Follow Innsbruck Strausse until it turns to dirt, and park on the dirt road near the trailhead sign. In winter, the road is plowed to the end of the pavement, and there is a small parking area. Do not park along the road or near private property.
Plowing these steep, dangerous roads in the winter is very difficult. Please respect both private property and the plow drivers by not parking along the roads here until the trailheads are plowed out after each storm. These drivers drive all night sometimes to keep our roads open -- don't interfere with their work.
Summit County Ordinance #309 states that trailheads and trails are open from dawn until dusk, year-round.
Motorized vehicles are strictly prohibited on all Summit County trails, including these.
Dogs are welcome on the Summit Park Peak trail system.
There are no campsites on the flanks of Summit Park Peak. As stated above, Summit County Ordinance #309 only allows travel on trails from dawn to dusk.
Point 8102' is to the northwest of Summit Park Peak, and can be climbed on its own or as a ridge run to the top of Summit Park Peak. The best way to access Point 8102' is from the Innsbruck Strausse trailhead (Trailhead #3).