Drivers anxious to get to ski resorts after winter storm temporarily closes Cottonwood Canyons

Apr 4, 2023, 12:05 PM | Updated: 1:03 pm

FILE: Cars wait along state Route 190 in Big Cottonwood Canyon as crews clear a natural avalanche f...

FILE: Cars wait along state Route 190 in Big Cottonwood Canyon as crews clear a natural avalanche further up the road. (UDOT Cottonwood Canyons)

(UDOT Cottonwood Canyons)

BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON — Canyon closures backed up traffic and held up plans for Utahns Tuesday morning.

The Utah Department of Transportation announced Little Cottonwood Canyon would likely stay closed for a second day due to hazardous road conditions, avalanche danger and slides crossing the highway.

Big Cottonwood Canyon was reopened 9 a.m. Tuesday after delays due to ongoing avalanche mitigation work.

Drivers were anxious to get up the canyon and enjoy the fresh powder.

“I was hoping the canyon would be ready and open and I’d be able to just get up here in front of anybody, but no luck,” skier Travis Nelson said.

Some skiers and snowboarders got creative while they waited for canyon access.

“Sleeping because I got up so early,” Noah Sautebin said. “Hanging out, playing checkers.”

UDOT asked travelers to refrain from idling in intersections and blocking neighborhood access while they waited in line. The lane snaked past Wasatch Boulevard.

“I’ve seen that line go way down the road past the gravel pit at least a mile in both directions,” Nelson said.

Many drivers said they’d never seen this much snow in April.

“I’m actually blown away by this,” skier Sam Marino said. “This is the most snow I’ve ever seen here. I’ve never seen it look like this in April, it’s mind blowing.”

Traction laws are effect in Big Cottonwood Canyon. More road snow is expected to accumulate.

Snowbird and Alta tweeted that they did not open for skiers and riders on Tuesday.

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Drivers anxious to get to ski resorts after winter storm temporarily closes Cottonwood Canyons