Winter Driving Tips

A snowy day at Meadows calling can be epic! But don't let those dreams of chasing powder prevent you from getting to the mountain safely. When the powder's piling up at the mountain, it also means you'll probably be driving on snowpacked, icy and sometimes hazardous road conditions. Be prepared for it - make the drive smoother for you and everyone else headed to the mountain for the freshies.

We want to encourage our guests to ride safely... and that starts on the drive to the mountain!

Here are so winter driving tips to help you drive safely:

  • Reduce your speed.
  • Allow longer braking distance.
  • Do all braking with vehicle straight, before corner.
  • Use smooth inputs to the steering wheel, brake, and gas pedal.
  • Do not over-estimate the capabilities of four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles.
  • If your vehicle skids: Do not slam on the brakes. Look and steer in the direction you want the vehicle to go, rather than at the object you are trying to avoid.

Let's talk about being prepared to get to the mountain during these big powder days. It is most important to keep traffic moving, and here are some great suggestions!

  • Make sure that you and your vehicle are well prepared for mountain weather: wipers clean and in good condition, windshield washer tank full with de-icer/cleaner, battery fully charged, battery cables tight and in good condition, complete auto safety kit in your vehicle, heater/defroster working correctly.
  • Make sure you have traction devices in your vehicle and know how to use them, and/or have traction tires.
    Use the designated areas to put your traction devices on in advance as opposed to waiting until you spin out and clog traffic for everyone else.
  • Check the road conditions before you leave. For current road condition information in Oregon, call 511 or 800.977.ODOT (6368). Reports are available 24 hours/day. Visit for information on road and weather conditions, incidents and traffic delays.
  • Consider car pooling with an experienced driver in a rig prepared for winter driving. Fill up that SUV and keep other, less prepared for winter vehicles off the road.
  • Ride a bus! Mt. Hood Meadows has one of the most comprehensive busing programs in the ski industry. We encourage our guests to sign up for our multi-week neighborhood ski and snowboard bus programs from their neighborhoods. Find these buses and the dates they run. Meadows also operates Park & Ride buses on weekends and holidays. Reservations must be made in advance through our eTicket system, and Meadows will continue to add buses to this service as reservations dictate.
  • Maintain good distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. This will give you more room to brake and maneuver, and help save your windshield from rock dings and cracks.
  • Purchase a Sno-Park permit in advance or in the parking lot when you arrive at Meadows. The cost is $5 for the day or $30 for the season.
  • On peak days take Highway 35 north through Hood River, and I-84 back to Portland. Avoid the traffic jam that can occur between MHM and Government Camp.
ODOT has a Winter Driving Tips page that addresses this topic more thoroughly. Give it a read and share it with others.

The importance of chaining up when Traction Tires are required. This is a great report from News Channel 8 KGW:

We'll continue to use our web site, snow phone, concierge desk and truck-mounted digital reader boards at MHM to help provide current travel and parking status information to our guests before and upon arrival to the MHM parking lot access roads and upon departure.

Hood River Sidebar at Mt. Hood Meadows

Destination Mt. Hood Meadows

Discount ski & stay packages at premier Mt. Hood and Hood River Gorge area lodging properties.

Sno-Park Permits at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort

Sno-Park Permit Required

It's how Oregon provides access to winter recreation along the highways so we can all play!

Stay at Cooper Spur Mountain Resort & Ride Free at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort

Stay at Cooper Spur Mountain Resort!

Offering the closest lodging to Meadows, Cooper Spur features log cabins, lodge condos, hotel rooms, a fantastic restaurant, and hot tubs. Stay and receive discount lift tickets to Mt. Hood Meadows!