Winter Tires & Winter Driving Tips

About Winter Tires

Cypress Bowl Road is a Class A Provincial Highway. The following information is from the BC Ministry of Transportation.

Drivers must obey winter tire and chain signs throughout the province from October 1 to March 31.

Winter road conditions across most of B.C. often include snow and ice. We recommend drivers install mountain/snowflake tires for cold weather driving and, for extreme conditions, carry chains.

It is the responsibility for the operator of a vehicle to understand the conditions on the roads they regularly drive and equip their vehicle for those conditions.

British Columbia accepts tires displaying the 3-peaked mountain and snowflake symbol OR the M+S (mud and snow) symbol, with at least 3.5 mm tread as winter tires. Some tire manufacturers choose to mark their tires with both designations.

The 3-peaked mountain and snowflake symbol on the side of the tire

These winter tires offer the best traction on snow and ice, and in cold weather. Also known as mountain/snowflake or alpine.

The mud and snow symbol on the side of the tire

These winter tires offer better traction than summer tires, however, they are less effective than 3-peaked mountain and snowflake tires on snow and ice, and in cold weather.

Also known as M/S, M&S, Mud and Snow.

3.5 mm tread

Tires must have 3.5 mm of tread remaining to be considered winter tires. Tires that are worn have reduced traction and should not be used in winter weather.

  • Matching winter tires
    You must have at least 2 matching winter tires on the primary drive axle, but we recommend using 4 matching tires on the four outside corners of the vehicle - even when driving a 4X4 vehicle. Mixing tires with different tread patterns, internal construction and size compromises stability, and should be avoided.
  • Air pressure
    Maintaining proper air pressure extends tread life and improves safety. Tire pressure decreases as temperatures drop, so have the pressure checked at least once a month, when the tires are cold.
  • Traction Devices
    Drivers may wish to enhance the traction of their winter tires by carrying chains or using other traction devices. Summer tires are NOT recommended for winter driving October 1 to March 31. Chains on summer tires are not an acceptable substitute for winter tires on signed highways.


Government of BC Winter driving info

Winter Driving Tips:

Driving in snowy weather can become dangerous and challenging for drivers of all abilities. Good winter tread tires are required on all vehicles travelling the Cypress Bowl Road during the winter season. At certain times on the highway only vehicles with snow tires, chains or 4 wheel drives will be allowed.

Here are a few tips to keep you acting safe, road rules and responsible actions everyone should be aware of during the winter driving months:

  • Before driving in the snow, remove all the snow and ice from the   car windows, tail lights and headlights. Do not speed in wintery conditions – Especially in snow!
  • Gradual starts and stops are key when traveling in the snow. When driving in wintery conditions, drivers should never slam on the brakes. Instead, tap the brakes or downshift, gradually coming to a stop. This will prevent skidding and it will prevent rear-ending collisions, which will occur when another driver can't stop in due to the slick roads.
  • Avoid any sudden acceleration, especially when accelerating from a stop. Stomping on the gas pedal causes the wheels to spin in snow, often causing the car to get stuck. Avoiding complete stops can help drivers avoid getting stuck in the snow.
  • Keep a shovel, ice-scraper & brush on hand in your vehicle to clear any excess snow from your vehicle.
  • When it is snowing give yourself some extra time for a slower drive to work.
  • Please also keep in mind that the ‘gate house’ located at the bottom of the Cypress Bowl Rd. is in operation during the road closure time of 11pm to 7am during the winter season.
  • Always remember to stay in your own lane when a snow plow is on the road. Do not try to over take one unless is it extremely safe to do so.

For further winter driving tips and information, here are some links that may help:

ICBC Road Safety

BCAA Winter Resources