What to Know Before Driving to Mammoth Lakes in Winter and Spring
When the snow starts falling in Mammoth Lakes, people from all over the world head for the mountains.
The team at ASO Mammoth is lucky to call Mammoth Lakes home, but we know that everyone who travels here isn’t as comfortable driving through the snow as we are. To help make sure that everyone gets to the snow at Mammoth Mountain instead of stuck in it on the road, the ASO Mammoth team has put together a quick list of things to know before driving to Mammoth Lakes in the Winter and Spring.
Check it out below and then stop into the ASO Mammoth shop for the best ski and snowboard rentals in Mammoth Lakes!
Always Carry Tire Chains
The organization that takes care of California’s roads, Caltrans, does an incredible job of keeping the highways leading to Mammoth Lakes clear of snow, but even they can struggle to keep up with Eastern Sierra storms.
That’s why Caltrans puts chain controls in place for the highways leading to Mammoth Lakes. Once they’re in place, all drivers must drive with chains installed or be turned around by state troopers.
You should always carry tire chains in your car as a precaution, but you will be required to install them if a chain control is put in place so always have them in your car when heading to Mammoth Lakes!
How to Install Tire Chains
Tire chains won’t help you if they’re installed incorrectly, so practice installing them before you are forced to by snow.
You can have an employee at the store or garage you buy your chains from install them for you or show you how if you need them on immediately, but you can also practice installing them at home.
The last place you want to install chains for the first time is on the side of a busy road during a snowstorm, so practice before you hit the road!
Leave Extra Space on the Road and Drive Slow
Even with tire chains, driving through snow can be dangerous. Leave extra space between you and the car ahead of you so that you’re never in a position where you need to slam on your breaks. Besides leaving extra space between you and other cars, you should also drive extra slowly until you’re out of the snow. Although you shouldn’t drive above 20 mph when you have snow chains on your tires since it will damage your car, you should also drive slowly so you don’t lose control while driving in snow.
You can’t control how the people around you drive, but you can control how you do. If you do so defensively then you can protect yourself and those around you!
Have a Full Tank of Gas
Eastern Sierra snow can shut down roads no matter how hard Caltrans works to keep them clear, and when that happens you’ll need to find another way to Mammoth Lakes or drive back home. For that reason, you should always have a full take of gas before you head out for the mountains.
Stay With Your Car if You Get Stuck
If you do get stuck in the snow while driving to Mammoth Lakes, then the best thing you can do is stay with your car until someone comes by who can help you get out. Caltrans does an excellent job of checking and clearing roads, so stay with your car if you get stuck!