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first day of spring Utah 2021
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First day of spring? It was winter in the northern Utah mountains

A crash at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon on the first day of spring in Utah, 2021. Photo credit: Alta Marshal

SALT LAKE CITY — March 20 is the first day of spring and in typical Utah fashion, the weather is not cooperating. Instead, drivers, skiers and others are getting another dose of winter.

Expecting such conditions on the first day of spring, the Utah Avalanche Center announced that all terrain north of Little Cottonwood Creek, from Gate B through the Cardiff backcountry is closed today. They’re advising backcountry enthusiasts to stay east of Cardiff Bowl and out of areas underneath Cardiff. 

The backcountry warning from the Utah Avalanche Center also extended into Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Little Cottonwood Canyon backcountry closure

Little Cottonwood Canyon backcountry closure. Image credit, UDOTavy


By Saturday afternoon higher elevations in both Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons were receiving snow. There was at least one accident that prevented down traffic from leaving the Alta Ski Resort in Little Cottonwood.

And the Utah Department of Transportation warned drivers in Little Cottonwood Canyon they may experience delays and temporary road closures for avalanche mitigation.

While snowfall was limited in the Salt Lake Valley, the National Weather Service reported a record-tying amoung of rainfall at the Salt Lake City International Airport.

 Stay with KSL Newsradio throughout the afternoon for the latest traffic and weather updates.