Do I Need a 4WD for My Trip to Breckenridge?

W e aim to answer the questions we hear our vacation rental guests ask most often. While planning a Breckenridge ski trip, a family or group may make the choice to rent a private vacation home or cabin. Great decision! Staying in a vacation home provides an authentic mountain experience, more space, more amenities, and often a yard full of snow just waiting to be played in. And yes, it also comes with a driveway. Having browsed a multitude of vacation rentals and then narrowing down their choices, one of the most common questions we get asked is, ``Does the driveway for this home require a 4WD?`` or ``Will I need a 4WD?``

One of the most important things visitors to Breckenridge need to know is that the driveway of their vacation rental alone is a very small factor when it comes to whether or not they will need a 4WD vehicle.

If you’ve asked the property management company or homeowner if their driveway requires 4WD and they simply answer yes or no, be aware you are not getting the whole story.

Over the past several years, new traction laws have been put into place to increase awareness and decrease winter driving accidents and traffic jams. While CDOT and the Go-I70 Coalition are striving to get this information out there, they also seek the help of lodging companies to increase the odds that visitors to Breckenridge and all parts of Colorado know how extremely crucial traction is when traveling to the high country.

“Sitting in a tow truck, or worse, an ambulance, should not be the first time you think about proper tires” says Colorado State Patrol Master Sergeant Donald Enloe. “Beyond just the inconvenience of bad traffic as a result of crashes and slide offs, we have seen far too many people injured or killed for something as simple as not having the correct or safe tires on their vehicle when traveling.”

Traffic on westbound Interstate 70 between Silverthorne and Frisco as a blizzard hit the central mountains of Colorado Photo/Summit Daily News, Mark Fox
jeep on baldy

When snow is falling and/or temps are below freezing, driving conditions in the high country can become hazardous quickly. All roadways in and out of Summit County and the roads within the county and town of Breckenridge, despite being plowed and sanded, can become slippery and treacherous. Without proper tires, even the slightest incline can result in spinning tires that don’t go anywhere. Corners and curves can turn into 360 spinouts in the blink of an eye. Visitors need to keep in mind that the driveway is only one very small section of the path to be traveled during their stay.

So what can be done to make driving safer…and legal? Read and learn about the Colorado Traction Law. The law goes into effect on I-70 and Highway 9 (the main thoroughfares to/from Breckenridge) anytime there are adverse road conditions. However, the standards that the law calls for (either 4WD, chains, or snow tires) are common good sense for traveling in and around Breckenridge every day in the winter (October through April, and sometimes May). Take it from those of us who live here- We don’t leave home without 4WD or traction alternatives (snow tires or chains).

Providing information that helps our vacation rental guests to have a stress-free trip is just one of the many things we take pride in at Book Breck. Stay at one of our 2-6 bedroom properties and see why we’ve been voted Top 3 Best of Summit for the past two years in a row.

Book Breck by 360 Blue is an award-winning vacation rental company located in Breckenridge, Colorado.

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