Many people are unaware of the hazards of winter travel. Harsh conditions of wind, cold, snow, or whiteout can turn an outing into a tragedy. Knowledge of the area, weather, route, and the limitations of your body and equipment, plus a little common sense, can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
You will encounter a wide range of road conditions during the winter months, including dry pavement, black ice, hard packed snow, ice, loose snow, slush, and every combination. Roads to winter destinations may be plowed periodically, however, road conditions may often be very difficult even after plowing.
High-clearance vehicles with 4-wheel drive and good mud/snow tires are best. Other vehicles, especially RV's, maybe find the going very difficult at times.
Be especially careful going downhill when conditions are snow-packed and icy! Towing adds to the difficulty. Check the road report on the Montana DOT Website or call 511.
Know the conditions before you go out. Find the latest weather, road reports, and Web cams on the Montana State Website .
For current weather alerts in Montana, visit the NOAA National Weather Service Website .
Layers of clothing that can be adjusted to prevailing conditions are best. Take extra socks, gloves or mittens, and a warm cap. See Dress for the Outdoors for more information about clothing.
The Montana DOT has published two resources to help Montanans survive in extreme unexpected weather conditions. These references are stocked with valuable information that could save your life.
The Montana Disaster & Emergency Survival Guide ( 427 KB) covers many helpful topics, including, but not limited to:
Montana's Take-along Winter Survival Handbook ( 412 KB) covers many helpful topics, including, but not limited to: