If you plan to visit Summit County this winter to ski our amazing ski resorts or enjoy a multitude of other winter activities, you need to know about the Colorado Traction Law and be prepared for safe and LEGAL travel on Colorado highways and roads.

The Colorado Traction Law states:

During winter storms or when conditions require, CDOT will implement the Passenger Vehicle Traction Law. CDOT can implement the Passenger Vehicle Traction and Chain Laws on any state highway. During a Traction Law, all motorists are required to have EITHER:

  1. 4WD or AWD vehicle and 3/16” tread depth
  2. Tires with a mud and snow designation (M+S icon) and 3/16” tread depth
  3. Winter tires (mountain-snowflake icon) and 3/16” tread depth
  4. Tires with an all-weather rating by the manufacturer and 3/16” tread depth
  5. Chains or an approved alternative traction device

Living here in Summit County, we can tell you that closures on I-70 are all too common during snowy/icy weather and that traction laws are enacted daily, sometimes for an entire day, during snowstorms. We can also tell you that it’s sometimes a white-knuckle experience to be on the roads during a snowstorm, even with proper traction, so please do not attempt driving during inclement weather without taking precautions!

The BEST method is 4WD/AWD AND good tires! However, if you are flying in and renting a vehicle, a 4WD may not be available or it may cost prohibitive to rent one with current vehicle shortages. There are other traction devices besides chains on the market, many that are easier to use! Take at look at the links below.

HELPFUL TIP #1: We suggest buying a traction device, watch Youtube to learn how to use it, keep the devices in their original unopened package and hang on to the receipt. If you don’t use them while here, simply return when your vacation is over.

HELPFUL TIP #2: Before traveling, you can check the CDOT website for closures, conditions, traction laws, and live camera feeds for a real look at what the road ahead looks like.

We want you to have a safe and happy vacation! For more vacation tips, see our Helpful Ski Trip Tips and Tips For First Time Skiers.

Note: We are not endorsing, nor have we personally used any of the following devices and are not liable for your transportation. This information is merely provided so that you are aware of the Colorado Traction Law and help YOU be better informed about safe traveling and traction devices on the market that might benefit you while traveling Colorado roads and highways in the winter. 




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