Google Maps suggests Guardsman Pass? Check yourself before you wreck yourself

Aug 14, 2021, 6:35 PM | Updated: 6:46 pm
guardsman pass google maps...
Motorists drive on Guardsman Pass in Big Cottonwood Canyon on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. The pass is not suitable to high profile vehicles, including tractor-trailers. Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Drivers looking to avoid Parleys Canyon because of a fire burning along I-80 on Saturday may be tempted to check out Google Maps or another smartphone map app to skirt the traffic troubles, which may suggest Guardsman Pass as the better way to go.

But if you drive an oversize vehicle, those services could very well steer you wrong. 

Google Maps says Guardsman Pass? Pass, if you’re in a big truck

Google Maps, Siri and other electronic services sometime suggests Guardsman Pass, a narrow road that crosses from Park City to Big Cottonwood Canyon, as an alternative to I-80. If you’re in a passenger vehicle and you’re driving during fair weather, that advice might work out just fine. 

However, if you drive a tractor-trailer or other oversized vehicle, Google Maps’ advice to take Guardsman Pass will cause you trouble. The narrow, winding, high elevation pass also includes sharp switchbacks virtually guaranteed to cause a semi to jackknife. 

Instead, the Utah Department of Transportation advises taking I-84 through Weber Canyon or US 189 as alternatives to I-80 while the fire impacts traffic. 

You can also get KSL NewsRadio traffic updates on your radio, smart speaker or via the KSL NewsRadio app

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Google Maps suggests Guardsman Pass? Check yourself before you wreck yourself