Winter is here (for those in the Northern Hemisphere at least), and with it comes the bane of travelers just about everywhere, snow. Furthermore, snow tends to be more prevalent at higher altitudes, due to the weather being colder there.

This means that if one is interested in driving high mountain passes and roads, one should wait for the weather to improve, right? Or, are there high passes one can drive that are kept open (plowed, sanded, salted) for traffic during the winter? Currently, the highest pass I know of that's winter-maintained is Loveland Pass at 3655m (11,990') on US 6, but are there others in the world that are higher still? It's OK if the road undergoes temporary closures during winter due to snowslides/avalanches, but the slide must be cleared from the road promptly. No "temporary closures" that last all winter long!

Also: roads that not provide through passage (such as those that dead-end at summits) are eligible for this thread, but should be denoted as a dead-end road in your answer, as I expect them to be in the minority compared to mountain passes. Also, if a road or pass receives so little snow naturally that it stays open year-round without human intervention, please mention that as well.

  • Not in the Alps for sure, the highest paved pass is "only" at 2770 m. Probably in the Himalayas: Semo La Pass (5565 m) is the highest asphalted road, though I have no idea whether it is cleared promptly in the winter. Ticlio Pass in Peru, at 4818 m, may be another candidate. Wikipedia has more.
    – jcaron
    Commented Jan 18, 2021 at 13:41
  • Does it have to be a pass, or can it be a one-way road to a summit? I'm thinking in particular about the Mauna Kea Access Road (≈4200 m), which can get snow at any time of year but which is then cleared of snow within a few days. Commented Jan 18, 2021 at 17:56
  • @MichaelSeifert -- I'm primarily interested in passes as those are the things most likely to be kept open year-round -- the Mauna Kea road is probably rather exceptional in that it's cleared of snowfall in winter despite leading to a summit Commented Jan 18, 2021 at 17:58
  • Be aware that there's an "incline" in the snow border when closing in on the Equator.
    – Erik
    Commented Jan 19, 2021 at 8:23
  • Mauna Kea simply doesn't get a lot of snow due to being close to the equator. IMO this question could be expanded to include all types of roads.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Jan 19, 2021 at 8:47

1 Answer 1


The currently-top-rated answer to the question you link, Chile's Route 27, is "open throughout the year, although occasionally closed by snow", according to Wikipedia.

Part of the road is in the driest nonpolar desert in the world and so rarely sees precipitation of any sort, but the higher parts of the road are in the mountains and get more varied weather. (Although, when I visited, it had just rained for the first time in years, so everything was closed in order to protect lives.)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .