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Snow Tire, 4x4, Tire Chain Requirements in the Cottonwood Canyons
Daily Requirement October 1st through April 30th
The Utah Department of Transportation requires ALL vehicles travelling in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons to be equipped with approved snow tires October 1st through April 30th. Approved tires can be identified by an M+S (mud and snow) or a Snowflake symbol on the sidewall of the tire. At a minimum, snow tires must be mounted on the two primary drive wheels of the vehicle. Tires must have sufficient tread depth to be effective. No bald tires!
Absent approved snow tires (sometimes called winter tires) properly sized tire chains must be in your possession.
Enhanced public safety restrictions when yellow lights are flashing
During extreme weather, and when UDOT and Law Enforcement determine it is in the best interest of public safety, traffic may be restricted to mounted tire chains, studded snow tires, or Four Wheel Drive vehicles. Four wheel drive vehicles are not relieved of the snow tire requirement although most all terrain tires are acceptable.
Unfortunately, a small number of tire manufactures label their products as M+S (mud and snow) when in fact they do not possess the aggressive separated tread needed for safe canyon travel. This is especially true in some “sport –performance” wheels seen on luxury SUV’s.
Two wheel drive vehicles with four studded snow tires will be allowed access during restricted periods.
Two wheel drive vehicles with four mounted snow tires (without studs) MAY be denied canyon access if law enforcement believes they present a hazard to safe travel and other motorists. As a general rule vehicles equipped with aggressive snow tires will be granted access but there may be times, due to very poor road conditions or deep snow, when they are denied access. The police officer will need to make this determination base on common sense and known road condition information.
Our goal is to provide the safest driving experience possible while travelling the canyons. One improperly equipped vehicle can put many other people at risk. Please email our canyon officers at with any additional question about road restrictions or canyon closures. email@example.com
UDOT Snow Tire and Chain Up Requirements