Summit County, found entirely in the Uinta Mountains, receives its name from the many
mountain summits that are found within the county borders. For thousands of years, the area
was a traditional hunting ground for the Shoshone and Ute tribes. In 1846 the ill-fated Donner-Reed party were the first to take "a shorter route" on their way to California. They traveled down Echo Canyon and beyond.
The group built a trail, part of which was later used by the Mormon pioneers on their way to
the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. The area became a mining district around 1860 when coal was
found in the city now known as Coalville, the county seat. Mining the land near Park City began to produce silver, lead, and zinc. While
the city produced mining products for over 50 years the city almost became a ghost town in
the 1950's when mining became too expensive. The skiing industry came to the rescue in
the 1960's when Park City became known as a ski town. In 1957 the town of Rockport was
purchased by the national government to build the Wanship dam. After building the dam the
town of Rockport was flooded to create Rockport Reservoir that still is in use today.
During the 2002 Winter Olympics, Park City was home to many events including the Bobsled, Luge, Skeleton, Nordic Jumps, and Snowboarding. The Utah Olympic Park and the Park City Mountain Resort are open to visitors who want to see where the events took place or even try out the sports. Each January the streets of Park City are filled with stars, people from Hollywood, during the annual Sundance Film Festival that brings thousands of visitors to Park City to see the newest independently made films. Park City has made more money as a ski resort community than it ever did in mining. There are many things to do year round in Summit County. While recreation has provided much economically for Summit County, many farms and lakes still dot the land and are equally important to the state.
More information for Summit County can be found at the following sites:
- Ghost Towns in Summit
- Go-Utah - Uinta Mountains
- Park City Visitors Bureau
- Summit County Historical Society
- Utah.com - Park City
- Utah Counties Profile - Summit County
- Utah History Encyclopedia - Summit County
- Utah History for Kids - Summit County
- U.S. Census Quickfacts - Summit County
- Visit Utah - Kamas
- Visit Utah - Park City