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driving to utah ski resorts

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driving to utah ski resorts

Hi there, i'm coming to utah from the uk at the start of march for 10 days. i've hired a cheap car, but it's not 4x4. i was just wondering if anyone could tell me if i defintely need a 4x4 and/or snowchains to get up little cottonwood canyon and other resorts (the canyons etc) in march.

thanks all


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424 posts
47 reviews
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1. Re: driving to utah ski resorts

You should be fine, just be careful. If the roads are really bad or you feel unsafe, you can always take the bus to Snowbird/Alta (Little Cottonwood canyon) or Solitude/Brighton (Big Cottonwood canyon). I'm rather certain there is a lot you can park at not far from the entrance to the canyon where the bus picks up. Again though, by March you should be good...but you never know. The Canyons resort is a bit different as you drive through Parleys Canyon to get there on your way to Park City, but still you should be fine without 4x4.

Where in the area are you staying as we might be able to suggest some other things to see and do and restaurants to try.

Salt Lake City
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1,190 posts
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2. Re: driving to utah ski resorts

You'll probably be fine without a 4x4. The Canyons is on an interstate highway which is first priority for snow removal. Even if the conditions were really bad, they'd be cleared within a couple of hours. Usually, if you wait for daylight and aren't driving that canyon in the dark, there's no problem.

Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons are more often closed and/or snowy, but again they're usually open for regular vehicles. Even when they close for snow removal, they're open within a couple of hours.

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3. Re: driving to utah ski resorts

We just got back from SLC, where we had rented a mid-size car that was not 4WD. Our plan was to drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon to Solitude and Brighton. However, there were signs everywhere saying that from November to March, 4x4 or snow chains were required for all cars going into the canyon. I am not sure if it's the same for Little Cottonwood Canyon. We ended up parking at the mouth of the canyon and taking the shuttle, for $3.25 each person each way. The shuttle was okay, not as comfortable as being in your own car, but they came pretty often. Truth be told, the road up Big Cottonwood is kind of scary... lots of hairpin curves, no guardrail in spots, etc. We were a little relieved that we hadn't attempted to drive it. In fact, one morning last week the canyon road was closed until about 10:15 a.m. because of avalanche control.

We had no problem driving to Park City in our little car.

Have fun!

4. Re: driving to utah ski resorts

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