A group of friends from the Wigton area said they had not expected the severe weather and became stuck after trying, and failing, to get into Windermere.
Nicki Simpson said they set off at 13:00 GMT “all ready to go out, Christmas tunes blasting” but ended up stuck on the motorway some hours later.
“We couldn’t physically get into Windermere, the car couldn’t get up the hill, so we tried a few different routes into Windermere but, by this point, they’re all unpassable so we turned round,” she said.
She said traffic was moving “very, very slowly” and it was “very, very dicey”.
“Everyone’s in the middle [of the road], you can’t see the lanes and there’s lorries jack-knifed,” she said.
However, Ms Simpson said some patches of motorway were completely clear and they had passed one gritter and some tractors going to help stuck cars.
Speaking from the M6, she said she and her friends were “not equipped for a night on the motorway”.