LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON (ABC4 News) – Skiers and snowboarders heading up to the resorts for fresh powder faced major traffic delays Wednesday morning, typical for days of fresh snowfall and weekends.
A line of headlights snaking up the canyon in the mornings can mean a snails pace up to Alta and Snowbird, sometimes 10 minutes per mile for 12-mile trip.
“You’re sittin’ for possibly two hours just in traffic,” Skier Cole Gonsalves said. “Yeah, that’s no fun. You get frustrated by the time you’re up to go skiing…Everybody wants to go up at the same time to hit the powder.”
“You get an hour to two-hour wait sometimes,” Nancy Gonsalves added. “It’s congested, but you want to go ski so you go.”
The Utah Department of Transportation is teaming up with the Utah Transit Authority and the U.S. Forest Service to figure out ways to improve the situation, including possibly adding more lanes to State Route 210 which runs from Wasatch Boulevard up to Alta.
“Widening the roads could be an idea but I know that people have concerns about preserving the natural land and all that but something’s gotta change,” Cole said. “People are gonna keep wanting to go ski the powder. we’re hungry for it.”
But hungry enough to pay? Another suggestion is charging a toll on SR-210.
“I would pay the toll,” one man told ABC4 News. “I wouldn’t be happy about it but I’d do it.”
“I would take the shuttle because I already have to pay a toll and then gas goin’ up would be pricey,” another skier said.
UTA Ski Bus service ended for the season on Saturday, April 6, so now the only way to get up to the resorts is either to drive or hitchhike or take an Uber.
For more information go to https://www.udot.utah.gov/littlecottonwoodeis.