Driving on steep mountain roads is the most common issue our guests have. Most guests that rent log cabins in the mountains live in urban areas and are not experienced in driving on gravel roads much less steep winding gravel roads. Our log cabin rental management company finds that a lot of guests are fearful when they see gravel roads and really get scared when the road is steep, narrow, and winding. We completely understand this and want to help guest feel more confident when driving to a vacation rental cabin. Here are some tips about driving on gravel roads to get to your log cabin vacation rental.
When you are looking at log cabins to rent make sure you read the description of the cabin carefully because some will suggest or require 4 wheel or all wheel drive. It is always good to speak with the owner or management company about the road because sometimes the 4 wheel drive is only necessary in the Winter when there could be snow or ice. We have cabins that suggest 4 wheel drive but front wheel drive cars can get there if they follow our driving instructions. Most mountain roads are gravel and there are several good reasons for that. Gravel roads are less expensive so builders put in gravel roads. They are also easier to drive on when there are leaves, snow, or ice.
Gravel roads are ever changing. They can be freshly graded, graveled, packed and be smooth as glass one day then one heavy rain storm can create areas that wash out, or wash board. Wash boarding is when the rain causes the road to make continuous ripples like a washboard. Every gravel road has its trouble spots where water runoff causes dips or areas that are steep and inexperienced drivers spin their wheels.
Approach gravel roads with confidence they are just roads made out of a material different than pavement or asphalt. Hesitation is the biggest problem drivers have on gravel roads. The key to getting to your location is to drive at a moderate pace and when you approach an incline or curve maintain that steady moderate speed. Do not slow down or stop. If you stop you will get stuck your wheels will spin which will worsen your situation and tear up the roads. If you approach a steep incline the best thing to do is speed up before you get to the incline and don’t slow down until you reach the top.
Gravel mountain roads are often narrow and one car has to pull over to the side as far as possible to allow the other to pass. The rule of thumb is the car that has the safest place to pull over does so. Have no fear of driving at night. It is actually easier because your headlights make it very easy to see every dip and bump. Most of all be safe and enjoy your vacation.