Snow Chains and Cables in Sierra Nevada National Parks

Snow Chains and Cables in Sierra Nevada National Parks


[Music] Anywhere in the High Sierra, you
could get snow any month of the year. Granted you are probably not
going to have as much in June, July or August, but that can occur. One thing that visitors should
definitely make sure they have with them when they are coming to snow country in
California, is chains for the tires. It’s a good idea to make sure
you have chains any time of the year but there are some times of the
year you would be required to carry
chains. When you are entering an area
that requires chains, you will see a
sign that says chains required. In California, they have
designations of R1, R2 and R3. R1 means that you do need chains
on your vehicle unless you have snow tires. Many cars have all weather tires
which count as snow tires. Looking on your tire, if you see
a designation M+S or M/S or if there is a snowflake
insignia that means they are all weather
tires and they can be used in mud and
snow. R2 means that if you have a four
wheel-drive vehicle, that is fine. Other vehicles that are not four
wheel-drive need to carry and actually put the chains on the vehicle. R3 is when we have extremely
heavy snowfall and that means all vehicles, regardless if they are
four-wheel drive or not, are required to have chains on the
tires. The signs usually go up right by
a turnout or an area that is a pull-off on
the road where you can safely pull off
and put the chains on the tires. Don’t pass that area up. Because there is a reason the
area was set up with a sign because the pullouts in some
cases may be the only place
where you can pull out safely before you get into
the snow and ice. When you are driving with chains
on don’t go more than 25 miles per hour no matter what the posted speed limit may
be. Chains are just like clothes. You wouldn’t go to the store if
you didn’t know your size of the pants you wear and
just buy any pants off the rack, you make sure you have that right size, same thing
with tires, chains have a certain size for a certain tire. Buy or rent your chains or
cables before you get to the snow. Many
communities around the mountain do rent or
sell chains or cables. We suggest actually trying to
put them on the tire at home or in dry conditions just so you get comfortable and
familiar with how the chains go on the
vehicle so you can sort of practice so that
when you get up to where you must put the
chains on you don’t have to spend allot of
time trying to figure that out because its probably going to be colder than where you are where you bought the
chains too. [Music] People come up here to enjoy the
winter. We get allot of people that come
up to snowshoe or cross-country ski.
But we also get alot of people who come up
here just to sightsee because they may not be familiar with snow or they
are traveling through the area and they say, “I’d love to see the giant
trees, I never know when I am going to be back here in
this part of the country again and I understand the roads are open so we can
actually go up and see the trees even though its winter.” It’s a great time to just come
up and enjoy the serenity in the
High Sierra in the snow and the trees and just
enjoy relaxing up here.

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