Driving Safely Over Snoqualmie Pass

Snoqualmie pass lanes diagram

If you live in Washington State, you know that Snoqualmie Pass can be a dreadful drive in the winter. The Pass experiences more closures and delays this time of year due to inclement weather, avalanches, avalanche control, and prevention work, as well as the clearing of accidents, snow, and ice.

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, snow chains and regulated traction tires are needed when traveling into higher elevations this time of year. Before heading out to Snoqualmie Pass, always check the conditions via the WSDOT website where you can find out if chains are required on your day of travel or not.

Vehicles with four-wheel or all-wheel drive are exempt from having to use tire chains; However, your vehicle must have traction tires and you are required to carry an emergency set of chains in your car.

For cars in need of chains, be aware of where you are allowed to pull over to chain up and off. Snoqualmie Pass has regulated pull-off zones due to the dangers of avalanches in other areas of The Pass. To view Chain Up/Off Zones, click here.

Front-wheel drive vehicles must install chains on your two front tires. For rear-wheel drive vehicles, you must have chains on your two back tires.  Before purchasing any old tire chains, you need to make sure that your chains are appropriately fitted for your specific tires. Make your way to a designated pull-off area and secure your chains to your vehicle.

The Department of Transportation recently improved the westbound chain-up area, doubling the length and width, making it easily accessible and safe for all drivers. This new design has streamlined the chaining process and has helped with moving traffic along smoothly.

Protect yourself and your passengers this winter by following these Washington State chain regulations and have safe travels!

Photo credit: WSDOT