For anyone who has skied at any of the resorts outside of Salt Lake City, Utah before, then you know how bad the traffic can get. For Big and Little Cottonwood canyon, it’s gotten to the point where getting on the road by 6 AM has become a common weekend activity just in order to potentially get to the mountain by 9 AM.
The days of the short commute to the resorts that have drawn so many people to the Salt Lake Valley have almost come to an end. This has led to many, including the local government, to begin thinking of alternative methods to get skiers to the mountain. Over the past three years Utah Department of Transportation has been planning different methods, and what started as 124 options have now been narrowed down to their two most preferred options.
One of the two preferred options seems like the one that people are most leaning towards, this being a gondola that could transport people from La Caille, at the base of Little Cottonwood, all the way up to Snowbird and Alta. For people who don’t know, Little Cottonwood is the most avalanche prone in North America so creating a gondola that connects the resorts wouldn’t just help traffic congestion and parking lots, but it would also allow skiers and snowboards to continue to access these resorts even in the event of an avalanche covering part of the road.
Gondola Works UT recently released a concept video on what this planned gondola would look like as it brought skiers and snowboards up the canyon. UDOT is hoping to come to a final conclusion on their plans sometime during the 2021 – 2022 winter season.