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Be Prepared Driving Forest Roads

Know Before You Go!
Forest Roads for the most part are gravel roads in the backcountry and some can get a bit narrow and bumpy but the scenery and destinations are breathtaking!
  1. Before heading out on your scenic backroad adventures check with the Darrington Ranger Station for snow levels and road conditions.  It is always a good idea to purchase a Darrington Ranger District Map that shows you all of the Forest Service Roads but do not assume all of these roads are accessible.  Take road damage ahead signs seriously and turn around appropriately or you may not be able to turn around.
  2. When heading out for a backroad drive be sure to let someone know where you are heading out to. 
  3. Don't take your fancy new zero clearance car up for a spin on a backroad as these are gravel roads prone to having potholes. 
  4. If you hit snow you have likely reached the snow line level and it will only get deeper!  Good rule to follow for snow driving is always turn around while you can and not when you have to!  By the time you have to stop due to snow, you may find you will need to back out which can be dangerous or you may have to walk and it can be a long way out!  Allow yourself extra time to reach your destination, drive at a slower speed, avoid quick acceleration and turning the wheels hard.
  5. There is very little cell service in the backcountry!  
  6. Yes you can get a flat tire so check the air pressure in your spare tire, make sure you have a functioning jack and lubricant for lug nuts like WD-40.
  7. Be prepared and bring food, blankets and always bring plenty of water both for you and in case your vehicle overheats.
  8. You are driving in our big neighborhood of wildlife, keep an eye out for them and give them right of way and plenty of time to pass or move away from your vehicle.
  9. These remote backroads make you feel like you are the only one out driving that road but you will encounter other drivers and even log trucks at times.   Watch ahead for oncoming traffic and keep an eye out for the wide spots along the road called "turn outs" where you can pull over and let the other vehicle pass.  If you encounter logging trucks these drivers are very skilled and have driven these roads many times.  Find a wide spot and pull over giving the truck the upper slope of the road 
Every road is a unique discovery of seasonal changes from summer wildflowers to autumn colors, views of the mountains and rivers!
Check Highway Traction Advisories before heading out on a trip

Learn to put on snow tire chains before you need to put them on.

Winter check list & emergency car kits are a must!

Be prepared for a winter storm

Are you driving the mountain passes to reach your destination?  Get updated pass information.