Salt Lake’s Emigration Canyon to Close to Cyclists for 3 Months – Summer 2020

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (June 5, 2020) — Salt Lake County and Emigration Township announced today that Emigration Canyon will be closed to cyclists from June 15, 2020 to mid-September 2020 for roadway reconstruction. The closure is from the Salt Lake City / Salt Lake County border, near the mouth of the canyon, to the intersection with SR-65 (the East Canyon Road). 

The reconstruction of the road will result in better bike lanes where pavement width allows.

The public outreach team has several suggested alternate rides listed below, although none will allow a cyclist to ride from Salt Lake City to Morgan County or from Salt Lake City to Park City, Utah. Emigration Canyon is perhaps the most widely used recreational route in Utah.

Notice File: Emigration Canyon 2020 Notice of Closure to Cyclists

Update: Emigration Canyon Repaving Team Addresses Cyclists' Concerns

Cyclists and motorists both need to do their part to reduce conflict in Emigration Canyon. Here, 3 cyclists decend Emigration. Photo: Dave Iltis
Emigration Canyon will be closed to cyclists for 3 months in 2020. Here, 3 cyclists descend Emigration. Photo: Dave Iltis

The full text of the notice is below:

Notice for Cyclists:

Due to the one-way traffic necessitated by this project, Emigration Canyon will be CLOSED to cyclists during construction. With one lane unaccessible, the road is not wide enough to safely accommodate both motor vehicles and bicycles. Safety is the number one priority of our team, and the decision was made to close the canyon to cyclists in order to prevent accidents. We apologize for the inconvenience. Suggested alternate cycling routes include:

      • City Creek Canyon (5.7 miles to the top)
      • Wasatch Boulevard Out-and-Back (16 miles round trip)
      • Millcreek Canyon from Wasatch Boulevard (18 miles round trip) 
      • Wasatch Boulevard to Big Cottonwood Canyon (35 miles round trip) 
      • Wasatch Boulevard to Little Cottonwood Canyon (39 miles round trip) 

For more information about cycling routes, visit: www.visitutah.com/things-to-do/road-cycling

Safety: 

For your safety and the safety of those working in the area, please exercise caution while in the construction zone. Reduce speeds, and watch for flagging personnel and traffic control devices.

Questions or Concerns? 

Salt Lake County and Emigration Township have established a dedicated public information team for this project. For more information, or to leave feedback, call 877-495-4240, or send an email to [email protected] 

Schedules are subject to change due to weather and/or equipment issues. 

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19 COMMENTS

  1. To do this kind of road work in the middle of peak summer cycling months is astounding and frankly idiotic. Whoever did the reconstruction of the road to Morgan from big mountain needs to teach them the proper timing to do this so as to not disrupt the flow of traffic and cyclists.

  2. Well, that’s BS. What about closing the road to cars instead? On weekends, it feels like there are significantly more bikes than cars.

  3. To do this in peak cycling months is idiotic. Could they not perform this road work in September-November? That is what was done for the road from big mountain to Morgan and it did not nearly as much car or cyclist traffic.

  4. Francois, you may be forggeting that 1200 people, including many who must use cars for their livelihoods and to take care of their families, live here. It’s a residential area with recreation many enjoy, but it’s a residential area first.

  5. This seems extremely one sided to specifically target cyclists with the closure. Why should cars be allowed but not cyclists? I don’t see cyclists flying up the canyon road at 69mph almost running over the residents in the street!

  6. Jeez… Three months is nothing, it’ll be back open and likely in much better shape for cycling in no time. Looking forward to the improvements.

  7. I wrote an email to the one listed at the bottom of the article. I hope they consider waiting until the off season on figure projects. So sad it won’t be available to ride until fall.

  8. Closed to cars haha
    Imagine this scene-you wreck your bike somewhere else this summer and are internally bleeding from a femur fracture. You need emergency surgery…just as soon as your orthopedic surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurse, and X-ray tech can bike into work and help you out.

  9. So glad we live in Utah with tons of other biking options!! Let’s get that road fixed for all!! Not the end of the world… I promise. Maybe go try some of those other routes you’ve been putting off. Hahaha… @bob!

  10. tbh im pretty happy with the timing making life difficult for idiots with zero self awareness putting “performance exhausts” on their 800lb touring bikes and generating asinine levels of noise pollution in an area where so many people live. but it sucks that cyclists need to be collateral damage. id have settled for police doing their job and stopping that stuff but i guess theyre too busy abusing their power or whatever it is cops like to do these days so hey

  11. Meg… I’m with you on the noise pollution, not a fan, but if you want the cops doing “their job” in the canyon, they would pull you over for speeding on your bike too. Be careful what you ask for. Police do a ton of good out there, your comments are not helpful. Mind the tribal mentality… it’s toxic.

  12. There is room for improvement in all things including project planning, police enforcement, and my cycling skills. Opening to cyclist only (I.e., city creek) would be good, but the difference is that people live in emi. Not sure who pays the taxes or makes the suggestions, the City or County, but I’m sure suggestions were taken from the cycling and non-cycling community. Discuss with your local officials for grievances.

  13. Have you ridden Milcreek Canyon lately since someone last fall decided the downhill lane would be spot coated with a hit and miss, patchy, poorly compressed and feathered in, bumpy, irregular layer of end of season asphalt that makes the canyon now, in my opinion, the most dangerous canyon road ride in Utah. Even the uphill ride is dangerous and impossible to ride up due to the layer of loose asphalt gravel lining the shoulder that never adhered to the downhill lane patching and now coats the shoulders. Its a total mess up there. So now, two close-in canyons out of commission for bike riding. The way Milcreek Canyon was done I do not see it safe to ride until the whole canyon is resurfaced from the fee booth to the winter gate. Please beware up there.

  14. Are there any details as to why this would take 3 months? Any details as to when this was decided or input from citizens? That is a long time for closure to all of a sudden announce. Since there are residents in the area there has to be some lanes open, so why not apply the 1-lane alternating rule per usual in the areas under work? Cyclists would not inhibit traffic to a severe degree, especially if cars are actually going slow through a construction zone.

  15. Meg dialogue and opinion are helpful…it’s all part of living (and believing in) a republic.
    I almost had my crusty opinion affected, but have to say, I still feel a bit mad about the restrictions. “Just shutter down”… really? We can’t want a little better from UDOT? And… (here I go) BCC and the copper mine road are restricted as well. That gets a Prices Bride BOOOOOO! from me. Lastly, seeing we’re all friends here, Notice: if you live by a beautiful playground, great, but don’t Winge when “non-residents” use the heck out of it. We use it for the same reason others occupy space there… it’s absolutely beautiful and an awesome canyon… kind of a shame they ever allowed building up there. Your property and ownership stop at your property line. We’re all of equal opinion once we talk about that tarmac past your driveway.

  16. As of Saturday Aug 1 the road is paved to the first switchback and striped to the fire station. There is one short section in the downhill lane below the fire station which did not get paved. Don’t know why. We are getting close. They are paving the switchbacks and the road from the top to Little Dell is milled.

  17. Also, the worst parts of Millcreek Canyon were repaved. I believe this occured in early July. The road is much improved and it only took one week to complete! Apparently it took SL County years of planning and dealing with the Forest Service. We were lucky and the re-paving occurred at a very good time. If you ride Millcreek take a minute to send Scott Baird, the Public Works Director of Salt Lake County, an email to thank him.

  18. So there is no machinery, cones or torn up pavement practically all the way up. There is no single lane road and tons of people driving through that don’t live there and we are the dongs?

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