Little Cottonwood Canyon Gondola opponents speak out

Cecret Lake in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. Photo by Bryan Christiansen

The Utah Department of Transportation’s choice of Gondola Alternative B to address traffic issues in Little Cottonwood Canyon has, unsurprisingly, sparked controversy. Residents have been very vocal in expressing opposition to this plan before UDOT chose it to alleviate traffic concerns in the canyon. 

The gondola is an expensive “solution” that will be publicly funded, despite it primarily benefiting the Alta and Snowbird ski resorts. This is essentially a subsidy to allow these resorts to pack more skiers onto the mountain. While a gondola may be practical for some skiers using these resorts, it leaves little to offer other recreationists that frequent the canyon, or lower income skiers who can’t afford the trip. The ski industry surrounding the Wasatch Front is also under threat of becoming victims of the climate crisis. Money should first be funneled into raising Great Salt Lake levels to protect the industry. 

The gondola proposal raises serious environmental concerns. Little Cottonwood Canyon is a crucial watershed for Salt Lake County, providing water for the area for the past century and a half. The construction activities, including blasting and digging, are likely to contaminate the water supply. Little Cottonwood Canyon has served as a quick and easy local escape for residents for decades.

A KSL article featured arguments from critics of the project, including UPHE, who said “the blasting and digging associated with construction will likely contaminate the water that Salt Lake relies on. Friends of Little CottonwoodCanyon’s website says “with water becoming an increasingly vital and scarce resource,  we need to be more diligent to safeguard the LCC watershed and protect our limited water supply.”

Find the article here.