Big & Little Cottonwood Canyons: Should They Be Car-Reservation-Only On Weekends/Holidays?

When I think of the superb and extensive lift infrastructure in the Alps (such as this Stoos train in Switzerland) it blows my mind that Utah can't make something happen like a simple train/gondola up LCC. It ties back to a cultural thing, US-cars, Europe-mass transit. There is also this pseudo-environmental mindset about not messing up or crowding the canyon with more development. I see the current car traffic and parking situation as much more messy than a clean, efficient mass transit train/tram/gondola solution. SLC already has the light rail TRAX system. They just need to connect it to a base station near the Wasatch Front (somewhere between the mouths of LCC and BCC) and run a train through the mtn to an upper terminal serving both Alta and Snowbird. Then put in just two more lifts, Alta to Solitude and Solitude to Park City, boom, you have everything connected and probably cut down on tons of car trips to six different major ski areas. They will do this, but probably not for another 50 years.
Caveat, sorry, don't want to offend anyone who lives in Utah and vehemently opposes any new LCC solutions. It's your state, I'm just a visitor who is part of the problem.

PS: there is the little St. Regis funicular at Deer Valley. Quite a nice lift and hotel. I took the funicular for a dining experience there once, but can't find my best photos. Here are two poor ones.
st. regis funicular deer valley.jpg
paul st. regis 8 apr.jpg
 
Caveat, sorry, don't want to offend anyone who lives in Utah and vehemently opposes any new LCC solutions.
The gondola is too slow and lacks sufficient capacity. I agree a train would work but would cost a fortune in government $$$. A seamless extension to TRAX is the key to get locals, including jimk I suspect, to use it.

The bottom line of transit is that people will use what takes the minimum of time to get from point A to point B. After 5 recent days in NYC, it's obvious that the subway is usually the answer to that question there, which it is not for 95+% of travel within metro L.A. and similarly for the proposed LCC gondola. And once you've drilled a tunnel as far as Alta, I'd continue it at least the short extra distance to Brighton/Solitude.

I'm sure I have pictures for the St. Regis funicular which slipped my mind here. But I'll quibble that it's not really a ski lift. Deer Valley has another funicular serving a few homes near the base of Jordanelle.
img_1026-jpg.26727
 
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Tony pretty much nailed it. Snowbird is the problem. The traffic in BCC has been much better with the reservation systems in place at Brighton and Solitude. Parking reservations for Alta are a breeze and work. If Snowbird instituted a reservation system, LCC traffic would be better, maybe perfectly fine, as well. (It depends on how they implement it.)
 
Snowbird is the problem. The traffic in BCC has been much better with the reservation systems in place at Brighton and Solitude. Parking reservations for Alta are a breeze and work. If Snowbird instituted a reservation system, LCC traffic would be better, maybe perfectly fine, as well. (It depends on how they implement it.)
What's the likelihood that Snowbird will concede and agree to a reservation system?
 
It looks like Alta wants some traffic control on the Snowbird skiers and avalanche shields/snowshed. Europe is really good about this on their mountain roads. I have only seen them in the US on the Million Dollar Highway/550 south of Ouray, CO.

To address these issues, we, on behalf of many in the Alta Community, including employees, skiers, and businesses, specifically request the following:

1. Reduce traffic flow impediment (illegal U-Turns) and provide more equitable merging for traffic leaving Alta through modifications to S.R. 210 between Snowbird Entry 1 and Entry 4 and/or management of the traffic exiting Snowbird.
2. Keep the Mainline open during peak exit travel periods (between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm daily) through the installation of snowsheds on the Mainline or managing and mitigating the Mainline like the mid and lower canyon using technology and more aggressive avalanche mitigation.
3. Keep vehicles without proper tractions devices out of the canyon during storm periods through use of a traction law that requires all passenger vehicles in the canyon on any day there is a forecast for snow to have a UDOT sticker indicating the vehicle has approved traction devices.


 
What's the likelihood that Snowbird will concede and agree to a reservation system?
I don't know. There's no hint that they will instigate it for next year. I suppose it's inevitable, but this season was much better for parking at Snowbird than the super busy (and snowy) 2023 season. Sorry about the snarl Snowbird traffic has created for Alta. I wouldn't oppose a fix to the merge that's below entrance one at Snowbird. It also causes delays for those of us parking on Bypass Road beneath Peruvian Gulch to ski Snowbird. My two favorite places to park at Snowbird are beside the little snow bridge just above the Creekside area and along Bypass Road. Both provide ski-in/ski-out parking making it easy to go back to the car for a lunch/hydration break or to switch skis.
 
On a weekday.....And likely, weekend crowds dissipate by mid-March - except for a powder day.

I know 1-70 is a breeze in April, and pretty good by Mid-March. Not sure if i-70 is worse in December vs. March.

Generally, getting to Loveland and/or A-Basin is not too bad since you can avoid the Eisenhower tunnel.
Did you say I-70 "is a breeze"?
Vail pass closes regularly now in the winter, at the slightest bit of snow.
I've seen traffic backed up from the East entrance of the tunnel to Frisco.
They gotta do something and this seems like an option.
Most of the skiers I talk to on the chair at the Beav anyway, now come up Thursday evening and leave Monday morning.
Yes, skiing is for the well to do now. I guess it always has been, but now even more so.
 
I'll add that a big problem is all season tires. Around here, all season tires are good for all seasons but winter. I get it, they're expensive. But if you talk to State Patrol, they'll tell you for most accidents the tires weren't adequate.

The semis are also a huge problem. It's only a $1000 fine now to be caught without chains. So, companies factor in the fines as part of doing business. The fine should start at some number that makes it painful to be caught without chains.
 
Basically there's just too many humans...
with Ikon and Epic passes :devilish:

Actually, I love the world of megapasses and accept the crowding as part of the privilege of getting to frequently ski tons of great places at a price not much more than what you'd pay to ski frequently at only one ski area.
 
a big problem is all season tires.
There are actually some all season tires now that get a snowflake rating. They are not cheap so not many buy them. But they are the best of both worlds. Don't have to change tires out each season and still get WAY better snow traction. Tires matter so much for winter driving.
 
Basically there's just too many humans.
with Ikon and Epic passes :devilish:. Actually, I love the world of megapasses and accept the crowding as part of the privilege of getting to frequently ski tons of great places at a price not much more than what you'd pay to ski frequently at only one ski area.
I tend to side with spinbackwards on this issue but having a critical mass of humans enables many things that people enjoy: like megapasses, proper train service (in the northeast, at least), etc. I understand jimk's point; however, (as Tony and Liz can attest) I visibly bristle in crowded ski areas -- makes me want to bail on the lifts and go nordic skiing.
 
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