This is a great question and similar to one we asked our REALTOR when I moved to Park City 15 years ago…”Do we need all-wheel drive, 4-wheel drive or snow tires in Park City?”
After driving through 14 Park City winters and teaching two teens to drive in the winter, my personal opinion is that snow tires and front wheel drive are more important than 4-wheel drive, but 4WD or AWD and snow tires are the safest combination. My profession requires me to drive no matter how nasty it looks outside. I may have to traverse the windy high roads of The Colony or Deer Valley with clients in my car. The safety of my clients is a serious concern.
Facebook Poll: Are Snow Tires Necessary?
This blog post was inspired by a question posed on the Facebook page “Ask Park City”. A resident asked the community if snow tires in Park City were a must with occasional drives to Salt Lake City. There was an overwhelming number of replies, with 51 people responding that snow tires were recommended and 22 responding that they were “not necessary”.
Which type of snow tires were recommended?
Twenty-six responders mentioned Bridgestone Blizzak snow tires by name. Two recommended studded tires and one person said Altimax Arctic Snow Tires were not as good as Blizzaks, but were close and about half the price. I currently have Pirellis on my car. I have had them before and had Blizzaks and I can personally attest that Blizzaks are the best. And I promise, Briddgestone is not paying me for this post!
Here are a few of my favorite responses from the Facebook post:
“Yes. Blizzack [sp]. Highly recommended. They saved my life last year..literally.”
“Our tow guy told me he pulls cars with all-weather tires out of snowbanks all the time. He could count the number of rescued cars with snow tires on one hand. Made me get Blizzaks on all our cars, and love them!”
“Good snow tires do more for you than AWD. Think about it. The tires are the part touching the road. I disagree with the blizzak recommendation though. Don’t get me wrong, they are awesome. The first season. After that they are little better than new all seasons. Plus they are super expensive. I like General tire, altimax Arctic snow tires. Not quite as good as blizzaks, but close. Half the price and last 3 to 4 seasons depending on how you drive.”
“Blizzaks or solid winter tire are worth it. Set of tires is less $ than a new bumper or more”
“When you are driving much more safely on your snow tires your other set is getting absolutely no wear, and you have excellent grip on the road when others are sliding around or staying at home. Also, the price of a set of snow tires is about the same as your insurance deductible! Get snow tires!”
“Just drive on a new set of Blizzacks this season,and then ask this question next season…Get a good set of snow tires,you will not regret it.”
“You know all the cars you see in the ditch during the winter storms? They are not riding on snow tires!”
“I’ve lived here for 15 years and never needed snow tires on any of our cars, as long as we had AWD or 4WD. Friends without AWD find snow tires necessary. My Sienna van does fine without them, even driving up and down the canyon. And FYI, my husband has put 300,000 miles in 10 years on his Toyota 4Runner SUV driving up and down the canyon daily to SLC and has never had snow tires. But you should do what makes you feel confident behind the wheel.”
“Snow tires will certainly be better but I did 3 winters in Park City in a 2WD Tacoma with standard tires and never got stuck. Had chains just in case but never had to use them.”
“You do not need them. I’ve commuted to salt lake for 8 years on all season tires in a Subaru Outback and Toyota rav-4. Just go slow when conditions warrant.”
“I lived in Heber and commuted to Deer Valley and Canyon’s Resorts for five winter with no snow tires. No issues (except one icy morning on the 80 bridge) I lived in Park City after that for 2 years without snow tires and no issues. Just don’t drive like a maniac, slow down, and you’ll be fine.”
What’s your opinion of snow tires? Do you buy them? Are they necessary in Park City? Or is AWD/4WD enough?