Shortly after arriving in Alaska, conversations about winter tires followed. All season tires work well here in spring, summer & fall. Winter tires are recommended, but not mandatory in the snowy season. These tires may be studded or non-studded.

“It is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle with studded tires on a paved highway or road from May 1st through September 15th, inclusive, north of 60 North Latitude and from April 15th through September 30th, inclusive, south of 60 North Latitude, except that at any latitude on a paved portion of the Sterling Highway a person may not operate a motor vehicle with studded tires from May 1st through September 15th, inclusive.”

The Department of Administration, Division of Motor Vehicles

The winter tire options include:

  • Studded Tires – Tires with metal studs embedded within the tread
  • Studless Tires (Blizzak) – Tires with soft rubber with a special tread pattern

I think snow chains are available, but some have told me they are for the big trucks and snowplows.

What is your tire preference for snow?

As two of the city’s major tire companies closed in the past year, there was a rush for winter tire installation during the first snowfall. This caused a delay for snow tire installations, offering 3-6 week wait, depending upon vendor. We ended up buying Blizzak tires on sale at Costco on October 30 including one cent per tire installation scheduled for November 24. There was a cancellation, so we rescheduled to have our Blizzak tires installed last night!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

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