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Local News

Parking Restrictions Enforced On The Guardsman Pass Road

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Utah Open Lands-Bonanza Flat
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Summer weekends on Guardsman Pass and Bonanza Flat are a busy time for people who want to enjoy the backcountry. It’s also a busy time for law enforcement as they try to manage the traffic and parking challenges on both sides of the pass. Dozens of parking tickets have been issued for parking violations during the first two weekends of September.

The Greater Salt Lake Unified Police wrote 19 citations for parking violations during the Labor Day weekend. The following weekend, they wrote 22.

It’s a popular spot and for many years the parking was a free for all on the top of the pass. Park City purchased the Bonanza Flat open space in 2017 and has built trail head parking and access that is safer and more environmentally sound. It is located a couple miles down the Guard Road from the pass. 
Jurisdiction for the Big Cottonwood side of the pass is under Salt Lake Unified while the Wasatch side of the pass is handled by the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Department.

Guardsman’s Pass now has just six parking spots at the top and they are intended for shuttle drop off, not for trail access parking. It’s been the trailhead parking for the popular Bloods Lake hike but now that access has been closed. The top part of the trail has been reclaimed and fenced off and the lower part of the trail will be addressed this fall.

Heinrich Deters is Park City’s Trails and Open Space Manager. He says they currently are constructing several trails out of the new Bloods Lake Trailhead which is a couple miles down from the top of the pass. There are about 45 spaces in the new trail head parking area including some trailer space for equestrian use. Parking there allows access to Blood’s Lake and a new trail to Jupiter Peak. 
There are about 12 parking spots on Empire Pass and Deters says the main intent is a view area and access to local trails. There are no designated parking blocks there and the city plans to monitor the area and make appropriate changes if needed.

Park City has asked the Wasatch County Sheriff to enforce parking on the Guardsman Pass Road. Signs are posted from the top of the pass about a mile down, but the city has requested no parking along the entire roadway. KPCW called the Wasatch Sheriff’s Department for an update on parking enforcement efforts but did not get a response.

Deters suggests users be aware of how busy the weekends are on Bonanza Flat especially from mid-morning on. He recommends adjusting schedules and carpooling. Parking is restricted to the designated areas and parking along the roadway could result in a ticket.
 
 

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