OUTDOORS + RECREATION

Canyons reopen to major traffic jams as powder hounds return

Feb 9, 2020, 11:49 AM

Wasatch Blvd at 7800 South

  • Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons both experienced traffic jams after a major storm this week

  • Parking lots are already full; take public transit to reach Alta or Snowbird

SALT LAKE VALLEY — On the first full day of skiing and snowboarding after a 2.5 day closure of Little Cottonwood Canyon, traffic jams overwhelmed two canyons – Little, and its neighbor to the north, Big Cottonwood Canyon.

A number of powder hounds flocked to Big Cottonwood Canyon to get their powder on while Little Cottonwood was closed.  But the increased volume of cars on SR 190 completely overwhelmed the roadway and forced police to close that canyon for a while on Saturday as well.

The Unified Police Department says there were public safety issues due to the extreme traffic congestion in both canyons.  All traffic was closed at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon at 10 a.m.  Officials initially hoped to open it by noon, but did not until 1 p.m.

Sunday became the first full day Little Cottonwood Canyon was open, after more than two feet of snow fell late Wednesday and Thursday, and three natural avalanches covered SR-210.  And skiers and snowboarders swarmed the resorts when they could finally go back.

Delays were an hour, or more, by 8:30 a.m. on both Wasatch Boulevard and 9400 South leading to the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon.  And by 10 a.m., the resorts tweeted their parking lots were full.  Anyone still trying to get to Alta or Snowbird would need to take public transportation.

Congestion into Little Cottonwood Canyon finally cleared out around 10:50 a.m.

Related: 

Sign up for alerts on traffic in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons

Avalanche danger closes Little Cottonwood Canyon for another day

How does lake effect snow work? A primer

Avalanche in Little Cottonwood Canyon pushes car off road

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Outdoors + Recreation

Search and rescue crews braced Friday for a potentially busy Memorial Day weekend as they urged peo...

Andrew Adams, KSL TV

Rescuers prepare for what could be a busy Memorial Day weekend

Search and rescue crews braced Friday for a potentially busy Memorial Day weekend as they urged people to prepare for the elements.

18 hours ago

The KSL Greenhouse show host Taun Beddes shares why lawns might turn brown and how to treat those l...

Taun Beddes, The KSL Greenhouse Show

Taun Beddes: Reasons why your lawn is suddenly turning brown

The KSL Greenhouse show host Taun Beddes shares why some lawns turn brown and how to treat the problem if that happens to you.

20 hours ago

The Department of Public Safety helicopter was called to support Lone Peak avalanche rescue operati...

Esme Sanchez Estevez

Update: Lone Peak Canyon avalanche search and rescue information

With possible exposure to possible avalanches, rescuers worked hard on complicated mission. Here are more in detail information of the research and rescue.

2 days ago

A lake seen in Utah with beachgoers ahead of the time to learn about Memorial Day safety....

Kennedy Camarena

How to stay safe on the water during Memorial Day weekend

This weekend is considered to be the unofficial start of summer and boating season. When's a better time to learn about water safety?

2 days ago

Multi-directional sprinkler system (canva)...

Mitchell von Puttkammer

Water conservation in your Utah garden

Water conservation in a Utah garden can include installing smart sprinkler systems. And the state can help defray the cost!

2 days ago

Suicide Rock in Parley's Canyon in 2023, before the myrtle spurge was sprayed with treatment....

Lindsay Aerts, KSL TV

Roundup sprayed via drone in Millcreek, Parley’s canyons to kill invasive weed. DWR says it’s needed

In an attempt to kill weeds, the Department of Wildlife Resources sprayed pesticides in the foothills of Millcreek and Parley’s canyons.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Canyons reopen to major traffic jams as powder hounds return