So I am planning a move to Southern California with my Miata and am an avid snow skiier. This season I skiied 30 days in Vermont and will continue that trend out West for sure. Now most of my ski adventures will be a flight over to Salt Lake City or Colorado or Tahoe (via Reno) but I will of course be hitting up Mammoth Mountain often as well since its only a 5 hour drive away. There’s also a couple of local SoCal mountains I would love to try out if a particularly large snow dump comes through.

Anyways, I have always been a HUGE proponent of snow tires on all the things! This made sense while living in NJ and driving up to Vermont since winter time temperatures stay below 50 mostly for 3 months or so. However, once I get out to CA I will be living in much milder weather where even night time lows rarely get below around 40 in the dead of winter and day time is often still sunny and mid 70s (Ive seen 90 degrees in Feb though while visiting). So this is a no go for permanent snow tires in the winter unless I want to destroy a set every winter!

My only solution I assume is to just run an all season tire and put snow chains on it when the going gets rough up in the mountains. This will not be on my Miata by the way, I will get another vehicle more suited for the daily driving and ski trip tasks. But its not going to be a Unimog or something, it will be a hot hatch or a coupe that is normally on summer tires.

Just curious what other people living in warm climates do in winter to go to ski mountains safely. I suppose the other popular solution is have a 4x4 truck or a subaru with snow tires on it SOLELY for the purpose of heading to the ski mountain, but thats not practical for me.

Advertisement