ALTA, Utah — A Utah hiking trail beloved for its vibrant wildflower display is being overrun on summer days that bring nearly 2,000 people to a trailhead with 60 parking spots.
A free shuttle service operates at the canyon to combat the limited parking. But Alta Mayor Tom Pollard says the town hasn’t been able to keep up with the heavy recreation demand because of its small budget, The Deseret News reported (http://bit.ly/2uOZewg ) Sunday.
“From July through September, we’ll see almost 100,000 cars on this road,” Pollard said.
Pollard welcomes visitors to his town and its Little Cottonwood Canyon. But he and forest service workers are urging hikers to respect the wildlife and be prepared for a crowded scene.
Bekee Hotze, district ranger of the U.S. Forest Service, urged hikers to stay on the trails and to not pick wildflowers.
“This is your public land. We really want people to come out here and enjoy it,” Hotze said. “It’s all yours — go play. But we also want to make sure people 20 years, 30 years, 40 years from now can also enjoy it.”
Pollard is asking that people obey the canyon rules and not park their cars on the shoulders of the road.
“If there was an incident up here and we had to get some vehicles up, usually emergency vehicles are a little bigger than a small car, and so we need to get them through traffic areas. We need to keep lanes clear,” Pollard said.
Information from: Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com