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Fall colors lead to record traffic in Cottonwood canyons

Little Cottonwood Canyon
Posted at 2:41 PM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 17:08:05-04

SANDY, Utah  — The spectacular fall colors in the Cottonwood canyons has led to a surge in traffic higher than even ski season, the Utah Department of Transportation told FOX 13.

PHOTOS: Autumn leaves changing colors in Utah

With fall colors, Oktoberfest, other events in the canyons, and even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' General Conference, UDOT recorded some of the highest volume of traffic its seen in the past year. Of the top 10 highest volume traffic days in 2021, six were in the last 10 days, UDOT said.

In Big Cottonwood Canyon, UDOT said it averaged 10,000 vehicles over the weekend where the highest ski season days are between 6,000 to 7,400.

Little Cottonwood Canyon recorded an average of 8,300 vehicles, where the highest ski days were between 5,800 to 7,700 vehicles.

"It’s an indicator that the Cottonwood canyons, it’s not only about skiing and snowboarding. There’s a strong interest in getting out and experiencing everything that Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon have to offer year round," said UDOT spokesman John Gleason.

He urged patience and to pay attention to road signs that indicate traffic jams and delays.

"This last weekend is a great indicator that there is a strong interest year round in the canyons," Gleason said. "We’re beefing up our communications efforts on a year-round basis not just solely focused on the winter season."