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Winter Driving Tips for Lake Tahoe & The Sierras

Monday, December 2, 2019   /   by Sasha Spiegel

Winter Driving Tips for Lake Tahoe & The Sierras

Lake Tahoe Driving Tips in Winter

We get big storms in Tahoe, and they can last for a days with the main highways shut down from several hours to a few days. Here are the top things you need to know before you get on the road this winter to North Lake Tahoe:

A great App for your smart phone is Caltrans. It has live cams of Interestate-80 and Hwy 50 so you can find out what’s really going on.

  1. Check your tires before you come to Tahoe. – the last thing you want is to drive in icy conditions with no tread.
  2. Check your 4 wheel drive. (Does it actually work?)
  3. Check your head lights. If they are already dingy, remember that they’ll just get worse as they get covered with snow and visibility gets worse.  You’ll need all the light you can at night in blizzard conditions.
  4.  Check your wipers and fluid – when large trucks throw road slush at you windshield you need to make sure you can clean your window quickly without losing visibility.
  5. Check your chains.  Even if you have 4-wheel drive you should still carry chains and don’t wait until it’s snowing to try and buy them.
  6. Keep your snow clothes & gloves easily accessible inside the car.  Nothing is worse than getting stuck or having to put on chains and having your snow gear in the bottom of the truck or on top of the car.
  7. Bring extra food and water in the car. It’s also a good idea to pack some blankets, just in case.
  8. Have a shovel in encase you have to shovel yourself out of a snowdrift. It happens more often than you think.
  9. If there is snow on the roof of our car, Remove it. The last thing you need is for the snow to slide off the and cover your front windshield. Besides it's illegal to drive with snow on your roof.
  10. Have a snow-scraper with an extendable broom.
  11. a 40 + foot tow rope in case you really get stuck. It will not only save you money, but the tow trucks are really busy in the snowstorm and it could take hours to get you out.

If the road conditions are “Chains with 4 wheel drive” DON’T GO DRIVING AROUND. You’ll most likely get stuck, get in an accident, cause an accident or get stuck in traffic. Stay at your cabin. It’s much safer for you and others that way.