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Driving from Salt Lake City to Steamboat

post #1 of 2
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Anybody done this drive in winter?

I'm planning to visit my daughter in Park City starting Jan 1, and then I am expected in Steamboat for Jan 3-4.  The map says 5-6 hours and shows the road passing through high plains area with no major passes once out of Park City.  Do I need to rent a small four-wheel drive to be safe, or can I simply get the cheapest 2-wheel rental available?  I'm from New England and have both an AWD car and a front-wheel drive car.  I'm not usually nervous about driving anywhere in the FWD car (obviously a big blizzard is a different situation).  But I'm just checking on personal knowledge about Rte. 40 and the conditions/drive between SLC and Steamboat.

post #2 of 2

I've done the drive a couple of times in the winter taking my kids to Steamboat for a tournament and other events, but it's probably been five years since the last time I did it in the winter. It is all very much weather dependent. This is not interstate highway driving so when the conditions get dicey, there isn't necessarily a quick turn around on getting the road cleared or sand put down to improve traction. That said, the road is fairly good with no really great elevation changes (until you pass Steamboat) that you have to worry about. It is mostly sheltered, but the winds can make the visibility so so. You can take the chance that conditions will be good enough to make it in a FWD car, but at that time of year, you can't count on it.

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