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

Cottonwood Canyons Avalanche Information //

UDOT uses remote avalanche control systems (RACS) and artillery to trigger avalanches that threaten public roads throughout Utah. Avalanche mitigation cannot take place if people are near targets so UDOT will temporarily close specific backcountry areas and roads, working with local law enforcement.

Follow @UDOTavy on Twitter and Instagram for more information on avalanche mitigation and backcountry closures or visit the UDOT Avalanche Safety website.

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Cottonwood Canyons Avalanche Slide Paths: No Parking


There are 64 slide paths in Little Cottonwood Canyon alone, with over half of SR-210 threatened by avalanches. Over 50 buildings and 76% of the road passing through Snowbird and the Town of Alta are in avalanche paths. The road is fully closed to the public when avalanche mitigation is in progress.

UDOT LCC Avalanche Cycle: Feb. 12-18, 2021
UDOT LCC Avalanche Cycle: Feb. 6-8, 2020
Do's & Don'ts for Avalanche Road Closures


Please respect all UDOT avalanche closures to protect yourself, the public, and future access for backcountry users.

Backcountry closures begin before planned avalanche road closures to ensure complete evacuation, with a typical backcountry closure starting at 10:00 p.m. the night before.

Overnight road closures typically begin the night before, beginning at 12:30am. Avalanche closures may also occur during the daytime as conditions warrant.

Parking in trailhead areas is restricted daily from 10:00pm to 6:00am in the winter season for snow removal operations. After large storms, UDOT may close the gates to the Spruces (Big Cottonwood Canyon) and White Pine Trailhead parking areas (Little Cottonwood Canyon) during this time.

Learn more about avalanche conditions outside of resort boundaries and #KnowBeforeYouGo by checking the Utah Avalanche Center daily avalanche forecast.

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.