OUTDOORS + RECREATION

UDOT expands Cottonwood Canyon sticker program

Nov 16, 2021, 1:11 PM
UDOT crews inspect a vehicle for tire quality and proper traction devices to obtain a Cottonwood Ca...
UDOT crews inspect a vehicle for tire quality and proper traction devices to obtain a Cottonwood Canyons safety sticker on November 16, 2021 Photo: Nick Wyatt, KSL NewsRadio

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is again offering its free Cottonwood Canyon sticker program. This winter, the agency is expanding the program.

The sticker program, now in its third year, aims to increase vehicle safety and preparedness in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons by pre-inspecting tires for winter driving conditions, according to UDOT’s website. In essence, a sticker in the corner of a driver’s windshield would allow them to be waved through by police or UDOT crews at the mouth of a canyon on a heavy snow day while other vehicles are being inspected for safety. A sticker does not guarantee it, but greatly increases the chances. 

“We want to make sure people are prepared to come up here,” says UDOT Roadway Operations Supervisor Jake Brown. “A lot of people will drive up the canyon and they’ll go as far as they can, and then they get stuck. They stop in the middle of the road, they decide to put their chains on, or they realize they don’t have good enough tires. So, the whole canyon comes to a stop.” 

As someone who regularly helps drivers get unstuck, Brown prefers to keep canyon stopping to a minimum. 

UDOT crews inspected cars at the agency’s maintenance shed in Cottonwood Heights Tuesday, looking for quality tires and traction devices.

The sticker requirements include: 

4WD/AWD Vehicles: 3PMSF or M+S tires with a tread depth of 5/32 minimum

2WD/FWD Vehicles: 3PMSF tires on all wheels with a tread depth of 5/32 minimum or proof of chains (chains must be in vehicle at time of inspection)

Getting a sticker at the maintenance shed is only an option today, but people with plans to frequent the canyons will have access to the stickers all season long. 

For the first time, UDOT is partnering with Burt Brothers Tire and Service to expand the sticker program. Anyone looking to have their vehicle inspected can visit any Burt Brothers location in the state to get their free canyons sticker. 

“We partnered with Burt Brothers this year to make sure that everybody could get a sticker…Sign up on our website, pick a Burt Brothers you like to go to, and that’s it. You pull in there, it’s no charge, they check your tires, and if you are within the requirements, they will give you a sticker and send you on your way,” Brown says. 

The agreement with Burt Brothers lasts through February 2022. Brown also points out that you’re already at a tire shop if your treads aren’t up to snuff. 

Many ski resorts planned to open this weekend, but most of them are holding off due to warm temperatures and a lack of snow. 

Regardless of when the ski season starts, Brown says safety is more important now with the canyons busier than ever. 

“To get more certified vehicles with the right type of tires in the canyon is beneficial for all,” he says. 

More information regarding the Cottonwood Canyon sticker program can be found here

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UDOT expands Cottonwood Canyon sticker program