Tooele County to begin charging toll for use of Middle Canyon

Apr 24, 2018, 6:18 PM | Updated: Apr 25, 2018, 1:23 am

TOOELE, Utah – When bikers, hikers, and campers head into Middle Canyon in Tooele County this summer, they’ll be charged a fee for the first time.

The county plans to use the funds to clean up the popular Oquirrh Mountain canyon and make it safer at night. Canyon users we talked to are ready to pay for a cleaner canyon.

“People don’t respect it. They tag the rocks with graffiti. They paint on the road. They throw their garbage everywhere. They don’t take care of it like they should.”

“It’s beautiful,” said Kevin Buckway who lives a few miles from Middle Canyon and regularly enjoys riding his four-wheeler there.

He especially likes the views from the top of the canyon.

When he first heard about the plan for a fee, he didn’t like the idea of paying for this slice of wilderness.

“It’s unfortunate,” he said. “But, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

He says the garbage, the illegal camping, and frightening criminal behavior have gotten out of hand.

“People don’t respect it,” said Buckway. “They tag the rocks with graffiti. They paint on the road. They throw their garbage everywhere. They don’t take care of it like they should.”

Right now, the canyon is gated for the winter at the mouth of the canyon.  When it opens for the season around Memorial Day, there will be a new toll booth at the mouth of the canyon, open from 7 AM until 8 PM.  Otherwise, the gate will be locked.

The County Commission voted this month to install a toll booth at the canyon’s mouth, and a pay station where the paved road ends further up in the canyon to catch traffic that comes through Butterfield Canyon on the Salt Lake County side.

Middle Canyon will cost $3 for day use, $35 for a season pass. A $50 pass will include nearby Settlement Canyon. There are 43 improved campsites in Middle Canyon that already cost $10 per night. The gates will allow people to exit the canyon at any time.

“The real objective is nighttime safety,” said Dave Brown, canyons and trails coordinator for Tooele County.

Tooele County has begun charging a toll for bikers and hikers using Middle Canyon in the Oquirrh Mountains this summer.

He said the biggest problems are garbage dumping, gang activity, drug and alcohol use, and loud racing on the road.

“I don’t want somebody to die up here if I can help it,” Brown said.

Even worse, he’s had several frightening encounters in recent years.

“I had a guy dressed up as a clown point a gun at me – and, I’ve rolled up onto a makeshift altar where an animal was sacrificed,” he said.

Brown said they’ve cleaned up a lot of the worst activity. Now, they want to restore the serenity of the canyon. The money collected from the fees will be put back into maintenance and improvements in the canyon.

“I want it to be clean,” he said. “I want it to be safe. I want you and your daughter and your wife to be able to camp and make memories.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Salt Lake City police arriving at the shooting scene on Sept. 16. (SLC PD)...
Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Brothers arrested in Salt Lake shooting investigation

Two brothers have been arrested in connection with a shooting in Salt Lake City earlier this month.
16 hours ago
(KSL TV)...
Casey Scott, KSL TV

Exploring the benefits of stretching with Casey Scott

We all know it's important to stretch before any kind of workout, but there are a lot more benefits than just preventing injury.
16 hours ago
Ashley Moser

Utah mom encourages others to look for signs of strokes after her 3-month recovery

A Utah mother is grateful she followed her gut and had her family call 911 after waking up in the middle of the night partially paralyzed.
16 hours ago
FILE: Highland High School in Salt Lake City is pictured on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. (Kristin Murphy/...
Josh Ellis

2 Highland students detained after guns found in bags; alert lifted

Police say two students at Highland High School were detained after two guns were recovered on campus Monday.
16 hours ago
Jerrod William Baum, 42, appears for a preliminary hearing in 4th District Court in Provo on Wednes...
Eliza Pace

Man convicted of murder of two Utah teens requests retrial

Jerrod Baum, a man convicted of murder for the killings of Breezy Otteson and Riley Powell, has requested a retrial. 
16 hours ago
(Utah Highway Patrol)...
Eliza Pace

Third-generation Utah Highway Patrol officer sworn in for the first time in history

Kollin Robertson was sworn in as a third-generation Utah Highway Patrol Trooper, the first third-generation trooper in Utah history. 
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
Tooele County to begin charging toll for use of Middle Canyon