I am putting down gravel as a drive at a lakefront cabin in Upper Michigan. The soil is sandy and I do not need a formal driveway, just a drive path. With lots of snow coming in winter, is it better to put down the gravel before the snow or wait until spring? Will the deep snow help to compact the gravel or become a problem?

  • 1
    Are you using the drive during the winter?
    – IronEagle
    Aug 2, 2020 at 21:33
  • If you are using the drive during the winter, it's better to have the gravel there than not. Leaving it there over winter will also give it some time to settle.
    – IronEagle
    Aug 3, 2020 at 2:19
  • I would think gravel being dark gray it may even help melt the snow. So putting it down before winter may be helpful in that way also.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 3, 2020 at 15:21

1 Answer 1



If you intend to plow the driveway in the winter, then the gravel will probably support a truck's weight better than wet sandy soil.

Similarly, if your spring is anything like Vermont's famous "mud season," if you don't have gravel down before winter, you'll have to wait until everything dries out to be able to use the driveway in the late spring.

Now, regardless of when you modify your driveway, I strongly recommend locating a source of "star-pack" or other gravel-stone-powder mix which is designed for roadways. It gets laid down as a loose mixture, but a few times driving over it turns it nearly as hard as concrete. It'll last longer than plain old gravel.

  • Is "star-pack" anything like "gravel with fines"? I've not heard that term before.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 3, 2020 at 18:30
  • @FreeMan Dunno - I'm sure both "brand names" and mixture names vary by locale. Aug 3, 2020 at 21:39

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