If you've skied Jupiter, I'm sure you've heard the warning, "Beware of the lake! Make sure whichever way you go, you avoid that lake!"
During the summer, however, Shadow Lake is a beautifully enclosed area that isn't difficult to get to or to navigate out of. Plus, it's a nice way to see the scenery without having to bomb down a double black diamond run if you're not that comfortable on skis or a board.
Trails: Scott's Bypass and Shadow Lake Trail
Duration: Two hours of hiking round-trip
Make sure you bring:
Sturdy hiking shoes
A raincoat, if you accidentally do this in the rain like I did
To get to the trailhead, you need to drive all the way up Guardsman's Pass. This is just the continuation of Highway 224, and is very clearly labeled by road signs. The road eventually turns to dirt and gravel, but keep going until you reach the parking area that will be on the left. If you pull out your Mountain Trails Foundation Map, the parking area for the trailhead is easy to find in the upper right corner as "Guardsman's Pass Parking Area." The trailhead is to the right, across the street from the parking area, and up a small hill toward a gate.
As you begin Scott's Bypass, you can see great views of the Wasatch Mountains before the trail winds into a serene grove of aspens.
You'll eventually reach a fork in the trail, where you can either continue to the left on Scott's Bypass, or take a quick detour to Scott's Bowl Overlook. If you have some time, I'd recommend checking out the overlook. I did not, as I was getting rained on and just wanted some tree coverage so I wouldn't get soaked. (Clearly, a 30% chance of rain isn't something to take lightly.) Whenever you're done with the overlook, you can just turn around and walk back to that same fork to continue on Scott's Bypass.
The next fork you'll reach is a bit more complicated. I'm pretty sure there are about five different ways you could pick from, but you're going to take either the double track to your slight right, or the single track that is barely to the right of that. The double track is a continuation of Scott's Bypass and will eventually run into Shadow Lake Trail on your right. The single track is just a pretty steep shortcut through the trees that dead-ends into Shadow Lake Trail.
Once on Shadow Lake Trail, you'll get to enjoy the quiet serenity of the Jupiter Mountainzone. The single track runs underneath Jupiter Lift and circles Shadow Lake. Enjoy the peaceful air, and then take the same route back to your car.
By the way, you might not have noticed, but you walked downhill the entire way to Shadow Lake. Be prepared for an hour of climb on the way back!
Originally from the Pocono’s of Pennsylvania, Travis found his way to Park City three years ago and is now our grooming manager. When not in snowcat you can find him skiing or snowmobiling in the Utah backcountry or enjoying the skiing here at Park City Mountain Resort.