Snow, slick roads make canyon travel difficult on first day of Spring

Posted at 8:05 PM, Mar 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-20 22:05:34-04

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah — The first day of Spring brought snow and slick roads, mainly in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons on Sunday.

John Gleason, a spokesman with the Utah Department of Transportation, said they saw conditions get worse late Sunday morning as the snow began to pick up.

In Little Cottonwood Canyon, near White Pines, Gleason says the wintry weather led to a four-vehicle accident.

"Almost all of the cars just unfortunately didn't have the proper tire, tire treads, to be up there," he said. "So when it started snowing and the conditions got slick, you know, unfortunately we've seen a few slide-offs and vehicles that probably shouldn't be in the canyon."

Gleason says the Traction Law went into effect at 10 a.m. on Sunday for SR-190 and SR-210. Those roads go through Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, respectively.

Under the law, drivers are required to have tire chains, snow socks, tire studs, or 3 peak mountain snow flake (3PMSF) snow tires on their vehicle. 

It was eventually lifted at 6:35 p.m.

WATCH: Today's forecast with Utah's Weather Authority

FOX 13 News caught up with a family from Maui, Hawaii, who made it up to Solitude Mountain Resort on Sunday.  

They say their trip up Big Cottonwood during the morning went smoothly.  However, Margi Calder said they planned to take things a little slower on their way back down.

"We are going to take it slow, very cautious, because I'm very scared of getting stuck in snow," said Calder.

Gleason says UDOT crews have been out pretreating and plowing the roads. He says they will do that throughout the night, before picking things back up Monday around 4 or 5 a.m.

The National Weather Service has issued warnings and advisories in southern Utah that last from Sunday evening through Monday afternoon. They advised drivers to expect wind gusts of up to 65 miles per hour in some areas, including a stretch of I-15 between St. George and Cedar City.