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Reservations: two philosophies

Found other ski areas out west that are going to use the capacity of their parking lot as the cap for a given period on a given day. Meaning that once there are no more spots in the lot, have to wait until someone leaves. No reservation system, just first-come, first-served. Alta is providing more info so that people don't drive up the road only to find no spaces available. Oregon is the other state with a few places using the same approach. Timberline will close the road to uphill traffic for people who want to park.
That would be about my worst case scenario right now I think.. Considering the fact that I'm showing up 2 hours early for Covid tests that are drive thru and first come first served..and I'm far from the first arrivers. People can really push it and that sucks for anyone who isn't an early riser! :eek:
Agreed. The idea that I might take a day off of work or otherwise commit to a day of skiing, drive 2 hours, then not be able to ski, is not a great scenario. That already does happen here, at Stevens and Crystal at least on great days, and that's why I won't try to ski a weekend powder day anymore (in the before times).
Below are the tweets from Alta Alerts about parking availability for Nov. 28 thru Dec. 1. My guess is that things ran reasonably smoothly. That's mostly based on the fact that I can't find articles bemoaning traffic and parking issues, which were readily available in the last few seasons when LCC or BCC roads were clogged with frustrated folks. The commute for people driving from SLC is 5-20 min in the city, plus 20-30 min going up the canyon road if going the speed limit.

Nov. 26, updated Nov. 30, Fox 13 TV News in SLC
Alta, Brighton Ski Areas parking lots filling up

Alta opened on Nov. 23. The Alta webpage for parking includes lost of webcams, as well as views of what UDOT is displaying on the lighted signs on the LCC road. Pretty sure that's more info than in the past, but haven't really been looking since I normally stay at Alta Lodge.


Alta Alerts on Twitter

NOV 28
09:08: Parking is forecast to be FULL by 10:45am. It is Saturday!
10:11: Alta parking will now be FULL at 10:30.
10:43: All parking is now FULL including the Town Of Alta. It is Saturday! We will update as parking becomes available.
01:06: Parking is now available on this bluebird, Saturday.

NOV 29
12:16: Parking will remain available for the rest of the day. Spend your Sunday afternoon in the mountains.

NOV 30
8:29: Happy Monday morning from @AltaSkiArea. Parking is expected to be available all day. Escape to the mountains for blue skies and groomers.

8:28: Good morning from @AltaSkiArea. Parking will be available all day. Start the new month with sunny groomer laps at Alta.
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Certified Ski Diva
Do people park there for backcountry or other winter recreation access? Or did Mt Hood Meadows oversell?
From reading their blog post it sounds like they 1) didn't fully plan for the increase in cars due to folks not carpooling (so, more cars even when selling a similar, limited number of tickets), and 2) they assumed folks would follow normal patterns of leaving partway through the day, but due to the nice weather and new snow etc. they didn't, so parking lots didn't open up as expected. I'm not sure about backcountry, but Meadows parking lots wouldn't make much sense for folks wanting general recreation. There are other snow parks nearby for that kind of parking. Sounds like they will be opening up an additional parking lot going forward, and hopefully folks fall into more predictable patterns. But it's definitely going to be a trial and error process I think.

The traffic getting to Meadows was apparently also quite bad. Most folks coming from Portland approach Meadows from the south, which means driving past two other downhill ski areas (Skibowl and Timberline), plus some other snow recreation areas. With Timberline also having full parking lots, the road off the main highway was backed up, creating a logjam for those wanting to go further to get to Meadows. If/when I head up, I think I'll be considering taking an alternative route and coming from the North instead.
Here are the Alta Alert tweets for Sun, Dec. 13 after fresh snow overnight. At 5:00pm the road was clear as I was driving up to Snowbird (staying a week) and there were plenty of cars heading down. Presumably people who either skied until last chair (4:30pm) or didn't get to ski until after parking lots opened up in the afternoon.

Sat, Dec. 12, 2020 - 12+ inches new snow​
The traction law is now in effect for both Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. Make sure you’re properly equipped with traction devices before heading up OR down canyon!​
Parking is limited today. Plan to arrive early or ski this afternoon.​
Parking is expected to be full by 10am. Please plan to arrive at Alta soon, take the @RideUTA​
Ski Bus or ski this afternoon.​
Parking is now full. Take the @RideUTA Ski Bus or ski this afternoon. Follow the Parking and Road page for updates throughout the day.​
Parking spots have opened up in Wildcat, Albion and the Town of Alta. And it's still snowing! Spend your afternoon enjoying the fresh snow at Alta.​

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