Road trip to Colorado - Safe to take Winter tires off at this point?
March 28, 2022 1:57 PM   Subscribe

Travelling to Copper Mountain, CO this weekend from Utah. I have to take my car in for an oil change tomorrow anyway, and wasn't sure if moving back to all seasons at this point would be ok. It'd be more cost efficient to get done now and would rather not but 13 hours travel on my winter tires if I can avoid it - but if I-70 is still dicey at times I'll keep them on and not be a burden to my fellow drivers.

I know there is very minor snow expected Friday in the Rockies, but lows are only just getting into freezing. We would be travelling during daylight hours Friday, staying at Copper resort itself, and road conditions on I-70 look like they are ok. We are in an all-wheel drive Outback. If I was staying here in Utah I'd take my winter tires off at this point as any snow is melting within in an hour or two. Thought's?
posted by inflatablekiwi to Travel & Transportation around Jackson County, OR (7 answers total)
Well winter tyres are not just about snow, but they as much about road temps. If the roads are likely to be below around 50 degrees F, then winter tyres will perform better. And winter tyres will not degrade unless run much warmer than that.

Winter=snow is an oft made mistake. It is far more about asphalt temps and rubber composition. There are no disadavantages to leaving the winter tyres on, and a good chance there is an advantage as the temps there are FIRMLY in the winter tyres range.

Leave them on.
posted by Brockles at 2:32 PM on March 28, 2022 [7 favorites]

Leave them on. I also drive an Outback and found that early spring slush is more difficult to negotiate than just snow. If you want to drive from Copper towards Vail you might be breaking the law not to have them, and if you want to drive from Copper towards Leadville as soon as the sun goes down and the melting snow refreezes by Climax you'll be glad you have them.
posted by Ardnamurchan at 3:06 PM on March 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Ok - easy peasy- I’ll just leave them on. Thanks both. It was so damn hot up here in Park City this past weekend (it hit 70 - which made for some truly slushy skiing) that maybe I’m getting lulled into a false sense of complacency
posted by inflatablekiwi at 3:14 PM on March 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

My experience with I-70 over the Rockies is that it is often somewhat blizzard-y into June or maybe even July?

I don't know if I would put winter tires on to gravel the passes in June or July, but I would definitely leave them on to travel in early April.

Looks like Vail averages 21 inches snow in April.
posted by flug at 3:45 PM on March 28, 2022

I spent about 30 years driving to the mountains in Colorado this time of year, and you couldn’t pay me to do it without winter tires. Sometimes the roads are bare and the sun’s out, but I remember a whole bunch of crazy storms.
posted by Kreiger at 3:53 PM on March 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks all. yip leaving them on.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 4:09 PM on March 28, 2022

cdot web cams and alerts, shitty on mobile.
posted by j_curiouser at 5:58 PM on March 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

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