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Seattle to Sun Peaks Resort in a RWD Model 3


Apr 26, 2018
Hi all,

I'm planning to take a trip from Seattle to Sun Peaks resort in late December and wanted to make sure I wasn't crazy taking my RWD LR Model 3. I'm not worried about charging or storage, as there is plenty of both. I'm most worried about road conditions and whether or not there is anything the Model 3 couldn't handle, as the person who got us the room at the resrot said "make sure you have an SUV with AWD to get you there!"

Of course its all subjective on the weather during this time, but wanted to check with you folks. Are there any trouble spots that a RWD Model 3 in winter tires (and a snow sock or chains if needed) can't handle? Is there some steep driveway to get in to the resort that a RWD couldn't make it up?

I know this sounds vague, but its my first time there and I'm not sure what to expect. We make the drive to Whistler several years back and had no snow on the road until we arrived at the resort. I'm hoping we can do the same to Sun Peaks with little trouble. Again, I know it depends on the current weather, just looking for any tips or areas to watch out for.



Active Member
Oct 5, 2015
Abbotsford, BC, Canada
The Coquihalla Highway is hit and miss for weather conditions. Can be clear and sunny one day and whiteout conditions the next. For the most part, RWD and winter tires should do fine up to Sun Peaks. Just check road conditions before leaving to make sure they are clear without any accidents.


New Member
Jun 8, 2019
Kelowna, BC
If you haven't come across it already, check out the webcams at Drive BC - southern interior - Hwy 5 (Coquihalla) which takes you from Hope to Kamloops. You can also get the most up to date road conditions there. As long as you don't end up in the middle of one of our world famous Canadian blizzards, you should be fine with good winter tires. The summit of the Coquihalla Hwy is about the same as Sun Peaks village. The road to Sun Peaks is usually well maintained and you can only go as fast the slowest driver in front of you so it is not generally a problem. Have a great holiday.


Active Member
Oct 25, 2017
To be honest I would be worried as the conditions change fast on Coquihalla. There is a reason they call it highway from hell. Even if weather is predicted to be good on the way there, you might have an issue coming back. I was caught in that situation few years back and it wasn’t fun, so the added assurance of my back then ICE SUV was a big plus. Having said this winter tires go a long way so at least have those on.


Supporting Member
Nov 5, 2016
Alberta, Canada
We drive from near Edmonton, Alberta to Sun Peaks every winter for the past 10 years. It's our favourite ski resort. Last year we did it in our RWD LR Model 3. You'll be better off with your RWD LR Model 3 with winter tires than I was the couple times I had to drive up there with All Seasons on a rental vehicle!

The road to the hill is quite good. You can see what it looks like in summer in Street View on Google Maps. Most of the time it's only the last couple of kilometres that are snowy. The maintenance crews are quick to maintain the road. I've been seriously considering buying a vacation property there and so I'm always chatting up the locals on the hill to find out about life there. One of my concerns was the road in bad weather. They've told me there's usually a couple of days per year where the road is quite icy, but how is that different from any other ski hill. Just drive slowly or stay at the hill another day or two.

My bigger concern would be with the Coquihalla. I've watched a few seasons of Highway Thru Hell (good for on the treadmill) and that road can get some really nasty conditions. My biggest concern wouldn't be your car - it's very capable with winter tires until it runs out of clearance, but rather the other vehicles on the road driving carelessly and road closures. Thankfully there's a SuperCharger at either end (Hope and Kamloops) and one in the middle (Merritt) so no excuses for not having a reasonably full battery for that part of the journey to keep warm if there's a long highway closure.

Keep one eye on the weather forecast and another on road conditions and drive safely and you should be fine. Enjoy the skiing. We really love it there.


Oct 30, 2018
The Coquihalla can be nasty. Plan well when your are going to get to it. When it gets bad (and it does) it does not matter what kind of car you are driving.

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