Snowbird restores free parking, but reservations are an option

Ski area also will put season passes on sale starting April 15, including four- and 10-ticket options.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune file) Skiers at Snowbird on Friday, March 13, 2020.

If skiers and snowboarders want to enjoy the luxury of knowing they’ll have a place to park at Snowbird when they pull up at 9:30 a.m. on a Saturday, they’ll have to pay for it.

As part of its COVID-19 protocols, the Little Cottonwood Canyon resort this season required visitors to make a free, online parking reservation or take the bus. Though finding reservations on short notice could be a hassle, the plan proved fairly popular because it allowed would-be skiers to know that after spending more than an hour making the six-mile drive up the canyon, they at least wouldn’t be turned around once they got there.

Heading into 2021-22, Snowbird announced Monday, guests can still make parking reservations, but they’re optional and they’ll come at a cost.

A season-long “preferred parking” pass, which provides access to the Lower Gad Valley, Pond and Bypass Road lots, will be for sale starting April 15 for $699. Those looking for parking on a day-to-day basis can reserve it online for the Lower Gad Valley and Pond lots or on-site, in limited quantities, in the Lower Gad Valley lot. Snowbird has not announced the cost of parking in those lots, though it most likely will be on a scale with weekends, holidays and day-of reservations fetching the highest prices.

Carpooling can help lower the price of parking close to Snowbird. A vehicle carrying four or more people will get a discount for paid parking in the Lower Gad Valley lot. That same car may be able to take advantage of expanded free carpool parking in the Main, Upper Gad Valley and Entry 4 lots. Those spots cannot be reserved.

Free parking is expected to be restored to Snowbird’s Entry 1, Upper Gad Valley, Wilbere Hill, Main, Chickadee Hill and Superior lots as well as part of the Bypass Road lot. When conditions allow, parking will also be free along the side of highway 210 between Entry 1 and 4.

UTA Ski Bus fare will continue to be included in the price of a season pass. Snowbird announced Monday that it would begin selling those passes for the 2021-22 season starting April 15.

The Summit Pass starts at $1,049 plus tax for an adult, and the Alta-Bird pass, which provides access to Snowbird and Alta, starts at $1,499 plus tax. Those who’d like the flexibility of an Ikon pass can add a “Base Pass” — currently priced at $729 for an adult — to either of those options for an extra $269 through Dec. 1.

Snowbird will also offer a four-ticket, one-person deal without blackouts for $349 and a 10-ticket, transferable deal without blackout dates for $699.