Parking fines in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons will increase ahead of ski season

The fine increase for illegally parking in the Cottonwood canyons, which starts on Nov. 1, was voted on by the Salt Lake County Council.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Cars exit Big Cottonwood Canyon as a road sign flashes “no parking left at Brighton resort,” followed by a second notice that reads “seriously, not kidding,” on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023. The Salt Lake County Council has increased fines for illegal parking in the Cottonwood canyons.

Drivers who violate parking rules in the constantly clogged Cottonwood canyons will soon face stiffer penalties.

The Salt Lake County Council voted Tuesday to up parking fines in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons in an effort to deter more drivers from parking illegally. The new fines will range from $75 to $150 — up $25 from the current fine.

“Illegal parking is unsafe, slows traffic flow, and creates a safety hazard for other vehicles,” council member Jim Bradley said in a news release. “And the previous fines weren’t an effective deterrent. The county is making this change to help keep traffic flowing and people safe.”

The revised ordinance was the result of collaboration with the Utah Department of Transportation and Unified Police Department, according to the news release. Increased fines will start being imposed on Nov. 1.

When the new rules go into effect, violations will be processed as civil penalties. Parking violations are currently enforced as criminal penalties.

The revised ordinance does not create any new restricted areas for parking.

Last month, the Utah Transit Authority announced it plans to reduce winter ski bus service for the second straight year.