Herd of elk causes delays on roads near Parleys Canyon; 2 hit, killed by vehicles

Feb 1, 2023, 9:22 AM | Updated: 12:49 pm

A herd of elk cross I-80 near the mouth of Parleys Canyon on Feb. 1, 2023. (UDOT)...

A herd of elk cross I-80 near the mouth of Parleys Canyon on Feb. 1, 2023. (UDOT)


SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — The Utah Department of Transportation warned drivers to be on the lookout as dozens of elk crossed roads near the mouth of Parleys Canyon.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spokesperson Faith Jolley said the group of roughly 20-30 elk broke off from the main herd, which consists of 60-70 elk, and moved toward Interstate 80 and 215 Wednesday morning.

“There is a chance people will encounter elk in areas where there isn’t traffic control currently” while the herd remains in the Salt Lake Valley, UDOT crews said.

Traffic controls were in place until 9:30 a.m. when DWR biologists herded the elk across I-215 and I-80 above Foothill Drive. The animals then continued to the top of the mountains.

“We are unaware if there are stragglers, so continue to be cautious,” UDOT tweeted.

Two of the elk were hit and killed by vehicles. Two others were injured and were euthanized by DWR crews. Jolley said the elk that were euthanized will be donated to Utahns through the Game Meat Donation program, so the meat doesn’t go to waste.

The majority of the elk are on the nearby Salt Lake Country Club golf course, according to Jolley.

The herd caused traffic delays over the weekend as they entered the Salt Lake Valley. Jolley said the elk have come down to lower elevations to escape deep snow and to find food in the valleys.

“It is common for elk, deer and moose to migrate to lower elevations during the winter months when their food sources are covered by snow in the mountains. Due to the significant snowfall this winter, we are seeing an increase in the number of big game animals migrating into cities,” Jolley said.

The elk are “skittish,” and the DWR and other agencies are monitoring the situation. It hasn’t been feasible to herd them all back up into the mountains, Jolley said Wednesday.

“For now, we are trying to keep them on the golf course and away from the roadways. With temperatures increasing in the next week, we are hopeful they will naturally migrate back into the foothills to find natural food sources,” she said.

Over the weekend, DWR biologists posted some tips for residents and commuters in the area:

  • Please use caution and decrease your speed if driving in this area. Elk and other big game animals on roadways present a serious safety hazard for motorists. Wildlife can be especially active during low-light conditions and are difficult to see on the roadway.
  • Drive alert and keep an eye out for elk or other wildlife on or near the roads. Big game animals cross many roadways throughout Utah during migration and in search of less snow and food sources.
  • Do not approach the elk if you see them. It is unsafe and can cause the animals to move into roads and other problematic areas.
  • Don’t feed the elk or other big game animals, due to safety concerns, disease concerns and the potential harm to the animals from introducing foods not in their diets, particularly during winter months. We have implemented emergency feeding for deer in parts of Summit and Rich counties and will continue to monitor the body fat conditions of big game and winter conditions in other parts of the state, as well.

“We ask for tolerance and patience from local residents and drivers in the area while the elk are here,” Jolley said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

People in one Hyde Park neighborhood are urging everyone to be careful this Pioneer Day, after flam...

Mike Anderson

Hyde Park residents urging caution after brush fire gets dangerously close to homes

People in one Hyde Park neighborhood are urging everyone to be careful this Pioneer Day, after flames came within feet of several homes.

10 minutes ago

Deathrow inmate Taberone Honie appeared before State Board of Pardons and Parole, asking them to sp...

Brian Carlson

Honie makes a final plea for mercy before execution date

Making a final plea for mercy Tuesday inside the Utah State Prison, death row inmate Taberone Honie appeared before the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole, his attorneys asking them to spare his life.

36 minutes ago

FILE — Police lights. (KSL TV)...

Carlysle Price

Girl died after golf cart crash, police plead with parents

A 13-year-old girl died from injuries after she fell out of a golf cart on July 3, police plead with parents to keep kids safe.

2 hours ago

FILE: A Summit County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle. (KSL TV)...

Carlysle Price

Man assaulted wife and fled, located in Montana

A man police said assaulted his wife and fled Monday was located in Montana Tuesday morning.

3 hours ago

As we head into a big, busy day with an Olympic announcement and hopeful celebration, marathon, and...

Karah Brackin

With a spike in deadly crashes this summer, officials urging drivers to use caution

As we head into a big, busy day with an Olympic announcement and hopeful celebration, marathon, and a holiday on top of all that, Utah officials are urging everyone to pay attention behind the wheel.

4 hours ago

A small hydrothermal explosion damaged a boardwalk near the Biscuit Basin thermal area, July 23, 20...

Carlysle Price

Hydrothermal explosion closes basin at Yellowstone National Park

Biscuit Basin in Yellowstone National Park temporarily closed, after a "small hydrothermal explosion" Monday morning.

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

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.

Herd of elk causes delays on roads near Parleys Canyon; 2 hit, killed by vehicles