Cottonwood Canyons to close for several hours each day this coming week

Posted at 7:28 PM, Apr 08, 2023

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah — Anyone hoping to hit the Salt Lake area's ski slopes over the next several days will need to plan their travels carefully.

Little Cottonwood Canyon and Big Cottonwood Canyon have both seen hours-long closures (or even multiple days) over the past week due to avalanches — both naturally occurring slides and avalanche mitigation work.

The Utah Department of Transportation announced Saturday that State Route 190 (Big Cottonwood) will close for several hours mid-day due to avalanche danger. From Sunday through Thursday, SR-190 will close from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. between the mouth of the canyon and Cardiff Fork, which is about 11 miles up the canyon and 3 miles west of Solitude. Travel will still be permitted during those hours between Cardiff and the end of the canyon.

Starting at 7 p.m. Saturday, S.R. 210 (Little Cottonwood) is open to downhill travel only until 10 p.m. It will then close overnight. UDOT plans to reopen the canyon in both directions Sunday morning from 6-9 a.m. After 9 a.m., the road will once again close until 7 p.m. UDOT also said there is a chance that "prolonged closures" — possibly even multiple days — could begin Monday.

"Current unprecedented conditions warrant extreme caution as deep snowpack and rising temperatures culminate to create extremely unpredictable avalanche scenarios," a press release from UDOT read.

Those planning to venture into either canyon are advised to check the "UDOT Cottonwood Canyons" Twitter account for any changes to the plans listed above.