LOCAL NEWS

UDOT closing Little Cottonwood Canyon amid high avalanche danger

Dec 31, 2022, 9:59 PM

LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah — The Utah Department of Transportation planned to shut down Little Cottonwood Canyon for the second night in a row New Year’s Eve, amid a storm that was expected to dump feet of snow in the mountains and increase avalanche danger.

UDOT spokesperson John Gleason said Saturday that crews planned to close the canyon at 10 p.m. It wasn’t expected to reopen until approximately 8 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

The avalanche mitigation efforts came as skiers, snowboarders, hikers and sledders from near and far headed up the canyons to enjoy the final day of 2023.

“Oh, they’re just excited about the sledding,” said Darin Harris from Vineyard.

Harris was visiting Big Cottonwood Canyon with his children. They planned to hike up to Donut Falls to enjoy some sledding.

“It would be nice if it didn’t snow, but what can we do about it,” said Anna Voznyuk, who was visiting from California.

This is Voznyuk’s second time visiting to enjoy the view and the “energy of the forest.”

“We’re just getting dumped on in the canyons right now,” Gleason said.

And with all the extra snow in the mountains comes an added layer of risk of avalanches.

“It’s a great thing for those wanting to get up and enjoy the powder,” he said. “But it does mean that we have to be very vigilant.”

Little Cottonwood Canyon has 64 slide paths. Avalanches threaten more than half of the road — state Route 210 — that cuts through the canyon.

“Which makes it among the most challenging for avalanche control work,” Gleason said.

He said UDOT crews have been busy over the last couple of days. They closed the canyon Friday night and part of it again on Saturday “to make sure we’re bringing the slides down under our control.”

And to cut down the risk of avalanches while traffic is moving through, which Gleason said, “would be the worst-case scenario.”

By Saturday afternoon, crews had determined to close the canyon for a second night and work through midnight celebrations to keep people safe in the New Year.

“It speaks to the amount of snowfall that we’ve seen in the Cottonwood canyons,” he said. “We have to put peoples’ safety first.”

Gleason also said the traction law would likely be in effect through Monday. He urged drivers to come prepared with patience and the proper tires and equipment and to treat other drivers the way they want to be treated.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)...

Mark Jones

Police find no bomb after threat issued toward Provo bookstore

Provo police say they found no signs of a bomb following a bomb threat Saturday morning.

2 hours ago

Natalie Cline attends the monthly meeting for the Utah State Board of Education, the first since th...

Mark Jones

Natalie Cline loses reelection bid at Salt Lake County GOP Convention

Natalie Cline has lost in her reelction bid to remain on the Utah State Board of Education.

3 hours ago

Karl Stoss, Future Host Commission for the Olympic Winter Games chair, Colin Hilton, Olympic Legacy...

Lisa Riley Roche

IOC wraps up visit to Utah’s proposed 2034 Olympic venues

A pair of short track speedskating coaches at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns were eagerly waiting Friday for the arrival of the International Olympic Committee delegation in Utah visiting venues for a 2034 Winter Games, so they could catch up with a former teammate from China, who’s now an IOC member.

4 hours ago

In March, Amariah Jacobs was on a hike with her husband along the Oregon coast when she found a rar...

Paulina Aguilar, CNN

Preschool teacher finds rare fossil along Oregon coast

In March, Amariah Jacobs was on a hike with her husband along the Oregon coast when she found a rare fossil of an extinct animal.

8 hours ago

(Courtesy: Ogden Utah Fire Department) The aftermath of the fire...

Carlysle Price

Ogden mobile home fire claims lives of a cat and dog

A one-story mobile home caught fire Friday night near Wall Avenue, where four people and three pets were affected. 

8 hours ago

A man stands near what was discovered to be a well that opened up in a Spanish Fork man's Driveway....

Brianna Chavez

Spanish Fork homeowner finds old well under his driveway

After years of gradual change in one Spanish Fork homeowner's driveway, a well was discovered after part of the concrete caved in.

21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

UDOT closing Little Cottonwood Canyon amid high avalanche danger