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Snow chains on a rental car in Utah

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

Merry Christmas! Just a few questions about getting from Salt Lake City to Snowbird/Park City etc. We're looking to rent a car so that we can easily travel around the Utah resorts but are worried about restrictions in case of heavy snow. It is my understanding that the Sheriff will let you through if you have a) snow chains or b) a 4x4.

 

All the 4x4's seem super expensive to rent, and no one will provide snow chains. The best solution seems to be to rent any old cheap car and just buy snow chains if we need them. Will this be ok or is there a better/cheaper solution? Or are we worrying over nothing and they'll let us up the mountain in any case?!

 

Thanks, :)

post #2 of 10

Very unlikely to need chains for Park City.

 

For LCC & BCC, there is a parking lot/bus stop at the bottom of the canyon, however other comments on here indicate that it is a zoo on a snow day.

 

Problem with chains on a rental car, if they ding the car you will end up paying through the nose. Don't know if their extra-cost insurance would cover this or not.

post #3 of 10

when are you going?

I'd say check the forecast before you go, then potentially this will not be an issue to worry about.

post #4 of 10

Assuming the roadside shop closest to the chain law checkpoint has chains that are the correct size for your rental car you will pay dearly for them at that time and place.  True "highway robbery" crime of opportunity indeed there.  Add to that you can't return the chains and they are a heavy addition to your luggage flying home should you decide to keep them instead of throwing them away. 

 

 

Anybody know what they charge roadside in a blizzard for a pair of $120.00 chains these days?  It would probably be less to just rent the AWD/4WD.  However, if you don't get the snow you won't need either so don't make the vehicle decision until you see the weather forecast.

post #5 of 10

i would think if you got to that stage, then you'd ask around for public transportation options or shuttle options, and use that on the snow days.


Pay to get driven there, rather then pay to drive yourself

post #6 of 10

Certainly depends when you are going but, to put this in perspective, I've lived in Park City since 1986 and have never needed chains to get home from the airport. Access to LCC and BCC can be tricky on big storm days. When the roads are closed (as they are for avalanche mitigation) it doesn't matter whether you have 4WD or chains, they are closed. When they open, take the bus if needed. Don't fret about it.

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Miles View Post

For LCC & BCC, there is a parking lot/bus stop at the bottom of the canyon, however other comments on here indicate that it is a zoo on a snow day.

We took the ski bus from the 6200 Wasatch P&R a few days last week when the road was 4x4 only. The bus works, but it is a pain if you don't get a seat and have to stand up for the whole ride up the canyon. The bus was at capacity and we had to leave some people at the LCC P&R on one day. Overall, it wasn't a great experience (but the snow was definitely worth it!).
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Ok thanks guys. We're going in the last week of January.

 

I'm kinda nervous about relying on the bus because we're coming all the way from the uk and if we couldn't get up the mountain because of busy buses we would be rather annoyed! We still need the rental car so we'll have to rely on the bus/buying chains in SLC.

 

We're arriving in the evening so hopefully if we need the bus, it wouldn't be too busy at that time.

 

Thanks again!

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by AGD1 View Post
 

Ok thanks guys. We're going in the last week of January.

 

I'm kinda nervous about relying on the bus because we're coming all the way from the uk and if we couldn't get up the mountain because of busy buses we would be rather annoyed! We still need the rental car so we'll have to rely on the bus/buying chains in SLC.

 

We're arriving in the evening so hopefully if we need the bus, it wouldn't be too busy at that time.

 

Thanks again!

How long are you staying in SLC?  Did you know there is an EpicSki Gathering Feb. 2-7?

 

To lessen the risk of missing a bus, can park in a Park & Ride lot that is farther away from the entrance of the canyon.

post #10 of 10

Orbitz shows a week $200 extra for a SUV.  Split 4 ways over a week that would be worth it, just for comfort, and peace of mind.  If you are only skiing 4 days then it's more of a decision.  I think? it might be easier changing a reservation if there is an eminent change in the weather if you book directly with the rental company than if you go through something like Orbitz.  For a week, the general odds are there will be a day it's snowing.  And if it starts in the morning while you're skiing the road will be bad on the way down.  Expect to see a car or two off to the side waiting for tow truck.  Oh, and don't forget the long way down canyon drop offs that have no guardrails! (not a worry coming down though, you're against a mtn). 

 

Don't forget Snowbasin (where you very likely won't need SUV) for a day if you are staying more than 4.  Also, if weather is really nasty and LCC is closed, consider BCC rather than waiting for LCC to open.  If there is high pressure, i rent a regular car for my 3-4 day trips.

 

Is it possible to get a bunch of Brits out of bed, fed and packed up, to catch the bus before 8am???

 

this topic is so often discussed here, maybe we need the SLC transportation forum.  But i've been doing SLC for years, and i worry about it myself.

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