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little and big cottonwood roads

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

i am thinking of staying in one of the hotels down in cottonwood heights and taking the shuttle to little or big cottonwood canyons each day.if it snows do the roads close killing a ski day?is it a bad idea staying in town to save a little money or should i stay at one of the mountains?

post #2 of 7

Staying in one of the suburb towns near the base of LCC and BCC makes lots of sense.  Much less expensive and you have easy access to all the ski areas.  In my experience, road closures are short to permit avalanche control or road clearing.  Yes you might miss a few hours of skiing, but even that is not all that common.  And you also have the choice of driving around to the Park City side if the canyons are closed.

post #3 of 7

I started my Utah experience staying at the Alta Peruvian. For your first trip you can't go wrong staying at either Alta or the Bird,.You can save some significant money staying in town (my favorite is one of the many alternatives in Midvale - e.g. Super 8). I've also saved money by not renting 4 wheel drive and planning on using the bus up the canyons when restrictions are in effect.  In general you won't get shut out often and you can beat many morning road closures by getting to the top by 8AM. But Alta has had 3 feet of snow in the last 3 days and the avie danger is high right now. I'm currently on the DV side, so I've not been monitoring road closures, but the avie video I posted in the backcountry forum makes me think that slides and road closures are going to be more frequent for the near future. If you were visiting last season it would have been no problem. If you were planning on visiting tomorrow, I'd say stay at the top. If you were planning to go to the backcountry tomorrow, I'd recommend that you have your affairs in order. With El Nino, the storm track is supposed to split north or south of Salt Lake. But Deer Valley has had more than snow than Alta from this last storm (almost 4 feet). The only thing I'll bet on about the weather here is that I will find some knee deep snow today.

 

BTW - I have heard about a ton of problems in the I80/parleys route to PC over the last few days. That is usually no problem, but it's been ugly lately.

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgettigrove View Post
 

i am thinking of staying in one of the hotels down in cottonwood heights and taking the shuttle to little or big cottonwood canyons each day.if it snows do the roads close killing a ski day?is it a bad idea staying in town to save a little money or should i stay at one of the mountains?


When are you thinking of going?  For how many ski days?  I know guys from the southeast who fly to SLC that are essentially non-holiday long weekends.  They stay in the La Quinta in Midvale, have a 2WD rental car, and use the ski bus as a backup if necessary.  Most of the time they aren't that lucky.

 

The dorm rooms in any of the lodges at Alta come out reasonable compared to staying in Midvale/Sandy as a solo traveler.  Assuming you appreciate the food.  Can't compare if all you eat in town for dinner is fast food.  But mid-season even a dorm room bed can be hard to get over a weekend.  A friend with the MCP decided to join me and other friends at Alta Lodge in late Jan.  Had to book a dorm bed for 4 nights since arriving on Friday afternoon.  I booked a dorm bed for that period during the summer, as did my other friends who are sharing standard rooms.

post #5 of 7

Here's a pretty thorough overview of the UTA ski bus, including details about the different routes.  Makes for a great backup plan when driving up a snowy canyon is not of interest.  As I understand it, UTA buses get priority when there is a closure so not only no driving, but may get going sooner if riding the bus.  Can be better to park at a Park & Ride lot farther from the base of the canyon on a powder day.  Buses do fill up.

 

https://www.skiutah.com/blog/authors/erika/ticket-to-ride-uta-upgrades-ski-bus

post #6 of 7

If you stay in town on a bus route you can buy a Super Pass that is good at Alta, Snowbird, Solitude or Brighton.  Big Cottonwood rarely closes.  If they close Little Cottonwood Canyon just take the other bus to Brighton or Solitude.  The UTA ski bus pass is included in the discount ticket deal.

 

http://www.visitsaltlake.com/skicity/super-pass/

post #7 of 7

I always stay at Studio 6 and rent a 2 wd car.; In 12 weeks of skiing Feb Mar I have used the bus once on a chain required day. Other days when the Cottonwood canyon roads were closed for avalanche control I would drive to Canyons and ski there. 

 

There may have been the odd chain day I missed as I only ski 3 days out of 4 due to being a creaky old fart.

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