Save Little Cottonwood Canyon

Support the Gondola Plus La Caille Base Station

Situation — Little Cottonwood Canyon is in Danger

The growth in the Salt Lake Valley has brought along with it increased mountain recreation, particularly in beautiful Little Cottonwood Canyon . The year-round transit challenge is the result of avalanches, landslides and auto and bus congestion.  With UDOT’s proposed zero emission, high-capacity, sustainable gondola PLUS the proposed LA CAILLE BASE STATION, now is our chance to preserve Little Cottonwood’s mountain access for future generations.


 

congestion in Little Cottonwood Canyon on a snowy day

The Facts:

  • Little Cottonwood Canyon welcomes over 1 million visitors year-round, and the number is growing every year.
  • Year-round, Little Cottonwood Canyon visitors enjoy unparalleled access to some of Utah’s greatest outdoor attractions, including hiking, climbing, skiing, snowboarding and more.
  • Up to 7,000 vehicles (cars, trucks and buses) go up and down Little Cottonwood Canyon per day.
  • These vehicles produce 70 tons of carbon.
  • SR 210 is the most avalanche prone highway in North America with 64 active avalanche paths. Costly snow sheds would create a 3,100-foot cement tunnel that addresses three of these avalanche paths.
  • Many of the most significant traffic delays are related to traction due to heavy snowfall.
  • Extended road closures due to significant snowstorms create an unsafe lack of egress from Little Cottonwood Canyon. Only the gondola addresses this important safety consideration.
  • A gondola would allow Little Cottonwood Canyon ingress and egress in all weather conditions, even if the highway was temporarily closed to vehicles.

Opportunity — Secure Greater Access for the Future

UDOT is reviewing several transportation solutions for Little Cottonwood Canyon, including:

  • additional bus service
  • road widening with additional bus transit
  • constructing a sustainable gondola

Gondola Works supports the UDOT gondola option PLUS the proposed LA CAILLE BASE STATION. The gondola PLUS the proposed LA CAILLE BASE STATION would completely eliminate the need to widen the road, add buses or the tunnels.

UDOT is asking you to weigh in. Join us today in support of the Gondola Plus the proposed LA CAILLE BASE STATION to improve reliability, mobility, access and safety while also protecting the natural beauty of the Wasatch Mountains and our climate.

La Caille Base Station Option

concept drawing for UDOT gondola in Little Cottonwood Canyon

This proposal makes the gondola even more attractive because it:

  • Offers more efficient UTA route (973) with right on-off dedicated bus accesses to minimize canyon road congestion
  • Minimizes crossing over the top of private property
  • Stays out of wilderness areas
  • Protects watershed in Little Cottonwood Canyon by decreasing number of private vehicles and all buses
  • Is a less environmentally impactful location compared to the current UDOT gondola option at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon
  • Provides needed parking stalls and the garage’s thoughtful and aesthetic design hides it at or below grade west of the highway
  • Will be signalized curtailing traffic congestion and providing better access for area residents
  • Will provide the fastest access to Snowbird (28 minutes) and Alta (37 minutes)

ski gondolas, one proposed option for UDOT's Little Cottonwood Canyon

Best Option — Gondola Plus La Caille Base Station

Better Mobility

  • Reduces traffic congestion in the canyon
  • Long-term solution – 50-year horizon
  • Proven and tested system
  • Safety – Eliminates risks from avalanches and landslides closing canyon

Good Health

  • Least environmental impact
  • Air quality benefits
  • Carbon neutral
  • Stays out of protected areas

Connected Communities

  • Keeps cars and buses as partners in the solution
  • Connected by bus to intermodal hubs
  • Expanded parking at proposed La Caille station

Strong Economy

  • Increases tourism assets and economic opportunities
  • Lower cost than alternatives
  • No road widening required
  • Year-round operation

architectural drawing for UDOT gondola in Little Cottonwood Canyon

UDOT Little Cottonwood Canyon gondola study

Proposed UTA route 973 from Sandy Mobility Hub to LaCaille Station and Big Cottonwood Mobility Hub

In The News

About Us

Gondola Works is a diverse coalition of stakeholders, canyon users and businesses who believe solving the long-term transportation problems of Little Cottonwood Canyon is a generational challenge is now is the time to get it right. Involved organizations include:

  • Snowbird
  • Alta Ski Area
  • POWDR
  • Ski Utah
  • UCAIR
  • Love Communications
  • Exoro Group
  • CW Management

Gondola Works is in support of the Gondola PLUS La Caille Base Station. We believe a high-capacity gondola that can operate in all weather conditions with low carbon emissions is the strongest transportation solution for Little Cottonwood Canyon. As the most avalanche-prone highway in North America, rubber-tired vehicles are not a long-term solution for carrying people safely on SR 210. Due to heavy snowfall, vehicle traction is the cause of many unacceptable traffic delays in Little Cottonwood Canyon and gondola removes that variable from the transportation equation. The gondola is a cost-effective, minimally impactful transportation solution that can handle today and tomorrow’s Wasatch Front population.

To make a public comment in support of the gondola plus La Caille Base Station option, visit:


Stay In The Loop

Join us as we rally our community around the gondola for Little Cottonwood Canyon. Sign up and we’ll notify you on updates for the project, UDOT public forums, and community call-to-actions.

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