Welcome to the Utah Department of Transportation’s (UDOT) central transportation information resource for Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons.

Cottonwood canyons road Resources //

To help you navigate the Cottonwood Canyons, scroll down for a milepost location map, public transportation information, overnight parking information and other roadway resources.

Cottonwood Canyons Milepost Landmarks & Roadside parking

The interactive map below highlights the locations of the points and landmarks in each canyon that are often referred to in the road conditions and road closure updates. The blue dots provide the name and a link to the Google street view.

Public Transportation

Utah Transit Authority (UTA) ski service begins on December 11, 2022 and ends on April 15, 2023 for the winter 2022-23 season.  Ski bus fare is $5.00, and some student and employee passes may not be applicable for use on ski buses. Ski bus fare is free with your season pass to Snowbird, Brighton, Alta and Solitude, as well as the IKON Pass.

The Park & Ride lots closest to the canyons are full by 8:30am on most days – including week days. 

Best Days of the Week to Avoid Crowds: Tuesday – Thursday

Best Times of Days to Avoid Crowds: 11am – 3pm

Best Park and Ride Lots: 

  • Route 972Midvale to Solitude/Brighton
    • 6200 S. Wasatch Blvd
  • Route 994Sandy to Snowbird/Alta
    • Historic Sandy Station, 9000 South 165 East
    • 9400 South Highland Drive

To locate a bus, use the vehicle locator tool here. Visit the Ride UTA website and follow @RideUTA on Twitter for real-time updates on public transit.


Carpooling or ridesharing is a great way to reduce traffic congestion and help clear the air in the canyons. Use the TravelWise Carpool/Vanpool Tool, the Ski Utah & Noetic Labs Ride App , or join the Wasatch Carpool Facebook Group to find others that are headed up to the mountains! 

HOW TO #TravelWise in the Cottonwood Canyons

TravelWise is a set of actions that encourage Utahns and visitors to reduce energy consumption, optimize mobility and improve air quality – ultimately improving quality of life. So what are the actions that apply to the Cottonwood Canyons to relieve the “red snake” and prevent unnecessary car emissions?

Plan Ahead
  • Follow @UDOTCottonwoods on social media for road updates
  • Download the UDOT Traffic App for statewide road conditions
  • Check resort parking cameras
  • Ride with your recreation partners
  • Find new carpool buddies headed to the same location you are
  • Use a shuttle service
Public Transit
  • Wait for the next available ski bus
Alternative Travel Times
  • Adjust your visit to outside of peak travel times (7-9am, 3-5pm)
Skip the Trip
  • Enjoy a different recreation activity when traffic congestion is high
Active Transportation
  • Walk or bike to your destination
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overnight parking in the cottonwood canyons

Before planning an extended stay in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, make sure you are familiar with overnight parking and what is and what is not allowed at your destination. 

Overnight parking DOES NOT = overnight camping (sleeping overnight in a vehicle). 

Overnight parking is when you leave your car parked overnight while you are in the backcountry (backpacking, peak scrambling, etc.) or inside a building (hotel/lodge). Where overnight parking is designated and allowed, camping is not.

Overnight camping/car camping/sleeping in your parked car overnight in a vehicle is prohibited within 1/2 mile of any road in the Cottonwood Canyons, with exception to designated campgrounds due to Salt Lake City Public Utilities watershed regulations. This order is effective 100% of the time. Avalanche danger is high in Little Cottonwood Canyon so there are locations where any parking is not allowed during the winter. 

There are three designated overnight parking areas in the Town of Alta, Utah. Overnight parking in the town outside of these areas is prohibited.

There are seasons during which designated campgrounds in Big Cottonwood Canyon (Spruces, Jordan Pines, Redman) and Little Cottonwood Canyon (Tanners Flat and Albion Basin) are open and closed. Visit the Uinta Wasatch-Cache National Forest Salt Lake Ranger District website for campground status updates. The USDA Forest Service also has a specific order which prohibits camping alongside the roadway on Forest Land.


UDOT strives to provide the public with safe and clear roads. There are a variety of factors that may impact the condition of a road, including:

  • Rate of snowfall
  • Type of snowfall
  • Anti-icing strategies
  • Weather forecasts
  • Winter storm maintenance standards

Actual plow routes and equipment assignments are determined by UDOT’s Distric Engineers using the winter storm maintenance standards. Maintenance stations will provide normal services as soon as available resources permit during unusual or extreme winter conditions.