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November 9, 2023

Safety Tips for Your Powder Highway Road Trip

The Powder Highway’s majestic mountains always command respect, regardless of the season. In the winter precision is key. Current road conditions, weather updates, on-mountain limited visibility & avalanche hazards demand our utmost caution to ensure a safe winter adventure.

The Powder Highway’s majestic mountains always command respect, regardless of the season. In the winter precision is key. We have a collection of handy tips for you to use with real-time assessments. These tools will help you navigate the fluctuating challenges, whether they evolve throughout the day or shift within the hour. Stay informed, stay safe!

Legendary Powder Highway Towns (Rossland); photo by Mitch Winton

ROAD TRIP PRE-CHECK – Discover the ultimate tool to conquer the roads! The BC Highways app is your gateway to real-time updates on major highway events, weather reports, traffic cams, and much more. It’s time to navigate British Columbia with confidence and efficiency.

**Winter-rated tires are required by law on the Powder Highway between October 1 until April 30, and please understand that the posted speed limit indicates the maximum safe driving speed for warm, dry daylight driving conditions in clear visibility.

Thousands of our large neighbours including moose, elk, and deer are killed each year on the highway by motorists driving too fast for the conditions. Drop your speed by 10km/hr to increase your chances of avoiding a collision if you see wildlife near the road, or if you are travelling near dawn or at night.

Check with to get the up-to-date highway conditions; photo by Kari Medig

Border Crossing – If your route takes you south of the border, it is worth noting that only 3 of the region’s 7 international border crossings, Roosville and Kingsgate south of Fernie and Cranbrook respectively, and Paterson near Rossland are open 24 hours.

Know Before You Go – Discover all the essential details and useful links in a single spot. Stay updated with the latest information, helpful links, and important alerts to ensure a smooth and exciting trip ahead.


Avalanche AwarenessStart your backcountry day with confidence by visiting to check the current avalanche conditions. They have flexible forecast areas, which allow their expert forecasters to adjust boundaries daily, ensuring a more accurate reflection of local avalanche conditions.

Avalanche Skills Training Courses (AST) – Learn from the best! Join the highly-recommended courses taught by licensed instructors via Avalanche Canada and our trusted Backcountry Guides. Gain invaluable knowledge about avalanche terrain, decision-making, rescue scenarios, and much more. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to enhance your expertise.

Photo courtesy of Kootenay Backcountry Guides

Backcountry Permit – The Rogers Pass offer unparalleled access to some of the best backcountry ski terrain in the region. It’s important to note that some areas are closed for avalanche control safety, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Make sure to check out Rogers Pass’s Backcountry Permit Program, available online for free. It’s a must-have if you want to ski in Glacier National Park winter restricted areas, along with your National Park Pass.

Golden’s Backcountry epic terrain; photo by Dave Best

Be AdventureSmart Stay confident and explore winter activities with safety in mind. Educate yourself thoroughly before embarking on any adventures.


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