I’m a SoCal desert guy and a bit sketch driving thru Utah Idaho and in Montana as it looks like there is a storm coming through that weekend and I’ll be doing the drive alone.
Please, do you have any advice? 2020 taco 4wd with new at3w should be plenty? I’m confident doing winter trips to the local mountains/highways, Mammoth and Tahoe but that usually involves being within 1 hour of non freezing temps. Are the road dangers up there no big deal or is it a big deal?
Good tires and taking your time should do it in my opinion. You’ll be on majorish roads the whole time so people will be traveling even in a storm. For extra piece of mind throw in good sleeping bag and a bit of water and food and have fun! Also cold snow is more grippy than Tahoe snow, and mostly everyone that lives in those places knows how to drive in the snow so less sketchy than a trip to Tahoe for sure!
Lived through a MT winter last year and I would say don’t be overly scared about driving up there, but do take conditions seriously when you encounter them. Keep an eye on the Interstate conditions maps from state DOTs. Interstates should get cleared faster than any other roads in the event of winter storms and those maps will be your best insight. I’d also go ahead and follow their twitter accounts as they’ll update conditions in real-time and if any serious closures/advisories are put out. Decent tires, 4wd, slower speeds, & plenty of stopping room should be all you need to make it safely. Always a good idea to keep some water, food, blankets on hand just in case.
I’m in so cal too and just picked up my V2, I stayed at Salt Lake City before and after my trip to break it up which made the long drive more bearable. It was snowing pretty good and saw so many people on the side of the roads, good tires, take your time and engage 4high when you find yourself driving on spots completely covered in snow.
In addition to the solid suggestions above grab a couple of 60lb bags of tube sand from the hardware store and throw it in the bed of your Tacoma over the rear axle. It will do wonders to help with traction in the snow. I’ve done that in all of my trucks in the winter and with good snow tires I rarely have to engage 4WD.
It’s been fairly cold up here and along that route for the last week now. If you can stick to the interstates, do so, you’re more likely to get help faster if you need it. That being said, I just made the drive back from Vegas area in a FWD Chrysler and we came up through Island Park and out of West Yellowstone on 191. It was blizzard like conditions, several inches of snow on the road, and little to no traffic. Getting stuck in that situation would suck, but considering we did it in a little FWD car, you’ll do fine in a taco. Just take your time and drive like my grandma.
The weather in MT is going to be pretty cold and snowy over the next couple of days. It should break by Monday. You’ll be fine to travel here after that. I live in Bozeman, there’s really no issue with people traveling even now. It will just be easier after Monday.
I’m a Salt Lake City local. I-15 does get hairy in the southern Utah mountains during storms. I’ve passed dozens of vehicles that have slid off the interstate. Just drive slow and be patient. Once you make it as far north as Fillmore, the interstate tends to be smoother sailing, all the way thru to Ogden.
What day is your install? My appointment is Friday, 2/19!!!
@TacoGuapo I’m in the same boat as you. I’m scheduled for 3/9 install and seeing the weather coming this week has me a tad nervous. -20 at night??? Will my tundra even start in the mornings lol. Do I need to put diff coolant in to not freeze. I hardly know what snow looks like being born and raised SoCal. ha
Only other thing I’d add is to make sure your starter battery is healthy or carry a jump starter with you. Since you probably won’t parked for days on end it likely won’t be an issue but its possible a night in the cold could push a dying battery over the edge.
A cool out of the way spot to stay is Lava Hot Springs, ID. Its pretty quiet, just off the interstate with good hot springs that are great after a long day on the road. I’m camping in the GFC there on my way up to Bozeman. And on the way back, for that matter…