Over Easy Hike in Summit Park
Over Easy might very well be the best named trail that I have done! Who doesn’t like their eggs done “over easy”? But don’t let the name fool you- this hike is anything but easy. For starters, it is actually hard to find and the drive up Parkview Dr is very, very steep and I actually wouldn’t recommend it during or right after a snow storm even if you have a 4-wheel drive car. When Parkview dead ends at Matterhorn Drive, take a left and go about .5 to Matterhorn Terrace. Matterhorn Terrace terminates into a small parking lot and the TH is right at the end of the parking lot.
I had been to this spot 2 years ago with a buddy and we skinned almost to the top and skied down but I wanted to do it solo before the deep snow arrived so I could get my bearings straight. This is a great place to come for a quick backcountry tour if you are limited on time as you can get to the top in about 45 minutes and it is a short 5-10 min ski down plus the avalanche risk is relatively low given the modest grade and tight trees.
Park City had received about 3” of snow a few days before and since the Summit Park area is north facing, the trail was rather slick. Nonetheless, I managed to get up to the summit without having to put on my micro spikes. The trail starts off rather steep and several trails cross over each other at the bottom but when it doubt- just go up. It zigzags the first few hundred yards and if you are lucky you will see the propped up Over Easy trail sign against a tree.
After about a ¼ mile of hiking, you will get to a ridge and you will want to go right. The trail then intersects with Road to WOS, which is off to the right, but if you want to reach the summit, stay on Over Easy (straight) and continue up the ridge. The trail continues to meander along this ridge as it makes it way up the hill. This section is not as steeps as the bottom and it is always well shaded. You wrap around the ridge and then start the final push to the top. The summit is only at 8,600 but it offers some great views of Grandview Peak to the north and Murdock Peak to the south. I actually thought you could get to Murdock from this route so after reaching the summit I started to descend off the back (south) but there wasn’t much of a trail and you would have to descend a fair amount before going back up. I thought I would see how far I could go but I was startled by some rustling in the brush and I when I surveyed the terrain, I saw a mama moose standing her ground while her son ran down the hill. The moose was probably only 100 yards away and luckily my dog, Butter, didn’t hear, see or sniff the animal because he is not afraid to take off after any animal regardless of the size. In fact, he has been kicked by a moose on another occasion as he got too close and was barking at the bigger beast. With the moose blocking my path, I decided the bushwhacking adventure wasn’t worth it so I turned around.
When I got back up to the summit, another hiker had arrived and I noticed he was wearing his micro spikes so I asked his opinion of them and he swore by their value especially on this trail. Therefore, I decided it was a good idea to put mine on and it was a very wise decision. The spikes stuck to the snow like white on rice and I scampered down the hill without any slipping.
This was a quick and enjoyable summit but after further research, I discovered that you could get to Murdock Peak by taking the Toll Canyon (next to the Hoof It trail) and parking off St. Moritz Terrace. Add that to the list!