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What is the safest winter driving route from Tampa, FL to Boise, ID?

by tom44 on April 13, 2013

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Question by Padatha: What is the safest winter driving route from Tampa, FL to Boise, ID?
We are moving from FL to ID and need to leave in late Dec to begin the new job there. We are traveling with children and we are concerned about winter driving conditions. We are considering I-40 west as far as we can, but we are not sure what route would be safest to get north to Boise after that. Any suggestions? Thank you.

Best answer:

Answer by Boston Male
I-40 is NOT the way you want to take … it will take much longer if you take I-40. The route you want to take is I-75 to I-24 in TN. Then I-57 in IL, I-64 to St. Louis to I-70 through MO. From Kansas City you can either stay on I-70 to Denver or take I-29 north to Omaha where you would then take I-80 west to Salt Lake City and then finally I-84 to Boise. Now you can take I-40 if you like but once you get out west there’s limited options to take you north and the one’s that do take a long time and go right through mountainous areas prone to heavy snow conditions, so it would be better to stay take the other route, which also goes through larger cities meaning the roads will be more traveled thus less slippery and better salted during the very cold conditions.

It will most likely be safe the entire way so long as you stay to the speed limits and stay on the interstate. If there’s a really bad storm, just pull over and wait until it passes or stop over at a hotel for the night.

Here’s a Google map of the route you can take:
http://www.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Tampa,+FL&daddr=Boise,+ID&hl=en&geocode=FQJyqgEdxMgV-ynh0bmzgrfCiDFjtJaviRNfpw%3BFTx9mQIdRuAS-SmdtEfpcvGuVDGbnWc2m5hbmg&mra=ls&sll=40.044438,-97.294922&sspn=18.679851,43.286133&ie=UTF8&ll=37.509726,-98.261719&spn=19.343304,43.286133&z=5

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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One thought on “What is the safest winter driving route from Tampa, FL to Boise, ID?

  1. mr danger says:

    I cannot begin to tell you how strongly I disagree with the absolutely horrible advice that Boston Male just gave you
    I’ve driven all permutations of that route under winter conditions and I’ve also lived in big cities that get lots of snow like NY and Chicago in addition to to my time spent living in Southern VT and Northern AZ
    To my very experienced way of thinking there are only 3 possible safe choices
    I’m going to save myself some typing and suggest that you enter these cities into an online mapping service But ignore their always innacurate point to point times
    1} Orlando>Houston TX>Dallas TX>Amarillo TX>Flagstaff AZ>Page AZ>Hurricane UT >Boise ID
    Notes :It begins to get cold from Dallas and onward
    If you hit snow on that route it will be from St Charles NM to Flagstaff-with the heaviest amounts around Flagstaff and from the I-15/1-70 jct and north into Boise
    US89 N from Flagstaff to Mount Carmel Junction UT is an absolutley gorgeous road But it can be deadly and even the locals try not to drive it at night
    2) takes you to Flagstaff as desribed above and then continues on into Las Vegas where you will meet up with I -15 N
    Notes :
    The only reason to do 2 would be if there was heavy snow over The US 89 N route
    3)Orlando>Phoenix AZ> take I-17 N
    Then
    3 exits past the Loop 101 interchange
    take
    Carefree Highway west to the jct of US 60
    Make a right to Wickenberg AZ>US 93 N to I-40 W into Las Vegas and I-15N
    Notes on 3
    The good things are that it is cold and snow free until you reach the NV/UT line
    It’s fast
    Once you get west of San Antonio you will probaby be averaging 75 mph all the way to Tucson
    The bad stuff
    Although well traveled I-10 from San Antonio to Tuscon can get really empty as it traveres places where cell phone reception is non existant >If for whatever reason you had a medical emergency on that stretch help could take more than a little while to reach you
    Like US 89 N ,US 93 from Wickenberg to I-40 is a road that most locals try to avoid driving at night
    As far as driving in a big strange city under snow conditions and a rural interstate under snow conditions goes
    I have extensive experience with doing both and I would take the rural interstate any time and any day
    Safe trip and allow 4 days

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