Top 10 Know Before You Go in Winter

A long road through the pines during winter.

Before traveling to the park this winter, be sure to plan and stay safe on the roads.

Here is our top ten know-before-you-go checklist:

  1. Ice and Snow on Roads - Only the three big campgrounds - Kettle Falls, Fort Spokane, and Spring Canyon - and associated boat launches are regularly plowed. Other boat launches are plowed as weather and staffing permit.
  2. What's Open / What's Closed - Download the free NPS App before you head out. You can even download all the park info for easy access if you have no cell phone coverage later on.
  3. Location Location Location - Check local weather and alerts on the website to make sure everything is safe for your winter excursion.
  4. Protect Yourself and Others - Although masks are only required inside buildings on the park, it's a good idea to check current CDC guidelines before you come. Check our Recreate Responsibly page for updates.
  5. Services Are Limited - Check with local businesses before traveling to the area as many are closed for the winter season.
  6. So Many Questions! - Head over to our FAQ for some of the answers you may be looking for.
  7. Respect Wildlife - As our campgrounds empty for the season, the deer and turkey and other critters move in to graze or bed down in the quiet. Please do not approach wildlife or feed them. Give them plenty of space when taking pictures. And remember, they always have the right of way on roads!
  8. Prepare for Winter Conditions - Temperatures in the region can drop down to 15 degrees or colder at night, with daytime highs in the 20s to 30s (Farenheit). Plan for extremes and bring multiple layers of winter clothing, including spares in case something gets wet. If you're planning on being out for long amounts of time then be sure your clothing includes a windproof, hooded outer layer with wool or other insulating garments underneath. Synthetic or wool pants and long underwear will help to keep your legs warm and dry in snow. Wind or rain-pants are lightweight and provide extra warmth on windy days. Do not wear cotton clothing since it won't keep you warm if it gets wet. Synthetic or wool socks and gaiters over boots help to keep your feet warm and dry. Wear gloves or wool mittens with removable, breathable shells to allow moisture to escape from sweaty hands.
  9. Emergency Car Kit - No one plans on getting stuck or stranded, but just in case have a box or bag in your car with life-saving essentials.
    • Blankets and/or sleeping bag, mittens socks, and hats
    • Ice scraper and snow brush
    • Flash light and extra batteries and/or hand crank flashlight
    • First Aid Kit
    • Bottled water
    • Collapsible or foldimg shovel
    • Tire chains and tow strap
    • Hand warmers
    • A bag of sand to help with traction
    • Nonperishable high-energy foods such as unsalted and canned nuts, granola bars, raisins and dried fruit, peanut butter, hard candy.
  10. Check and Re-check - Don't forget to check your vehicle before you travel! Is your spare inflated? Gas tank filled? Always fully defrost your windows before driving to ensure your safety and those around you. And always leave your travel plans with a family member or friend. Download a free planning guide from the NPS.

Safe Travels!

Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area

Last updated: November 21, 2023