Last week we explained what “chains required” means and how 4WD and AWD vehicles often don’t need chains mounted to their tires.
But hold on. If you drive up to Paradise or anywhere in Mt. Rainier National Park this winter, stricter rules apply.
Whether you have 4WD or AWD, and regardless of if your rig is a 2014 Subaru or a new Silverado, you must carry chains Nov. 1 through May 1. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving in sunshine or a snow squall.
The distinction is this: To drive legally at Mt. Rainier, you must carry chains with you the moment you enter the park, anytime November until May. Elsewhere, such as crossing the Cascades on I-90 or U.S. 2, you must have chains with you only when “chains required” is posted.
Park officials note that the high elevation and the quick onset of severe weather there warrants different requirements. Read about Mt. Rainier’s chain requirements.