Road trip south with snow tires

I live in an area that gets a good amount of snow, so I am considering buying studless winter tires for this season. However, I am also planning a road trip to southern California by way of Boise and Las Vegas this January. This route takes me on Highway 95 in Idaho (considered by some to be one of the most dangerous highways in the country) and through the Mojave Desert! I’ve tried to read what other forums say on using winter tires in warmer climates, and I feel I’ve gotten some mixed messages. Everything from, “It’s perfectly fine,” to, “It’s very dangerous.” Any advice? I drive a 2018 Toyota Corolla.
Thank you

I run my winter tires all-year-round.

No problem.

However, the state I live in prohibits the use of studded tires because of the damage they do to the roads.

Find out if the states you plan on driving thru also prohibit the use of studded tires.


I think they’re running them studless.

Old tires are gone? What happens next summer? Future plans?
Coworker has 20” snowtires on her new bmwx5. Drove on them all summer. Must be ok.

It’s not dangerous, but the tires will wear more quickly than normal, especially if you’re above 60 degrees or so, because they’re designed to be soft enough in colder temperatures.

I don’t want to talk you out of winter tires if you need them, but have you investigated the 3PMSF all-season tires such as the Michelin CrossClimate family?


I used to drive to Florida for 2 weeks vacation pretty much every year with the winter tires on my car. No problem what-so-ever. No excessive wear, no dire handling consequences, none.

Also always had warm early spring days with rain before winter was really over and, again, no issues at all. Winter tires are wonderful in the rain because they have so many grooves and sipes.

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The only problem will be road noise.If you can stand the noise then go right ahead.My winter beater car named( monsterolla) runs 4 snow tires all year without any problem.

Very tire specific, from past experience. Blizzaks were pretty quiet. Firestone Winterforce, OH MY goodness were they noisy! Good tires, though, just noisy.

If the snow tires have decent tread, I wouldn’t worry about it, assuming you aren’t going to drive way fast once you get to SoCal. You aren’t going to put significant mileage on them, probably a couple thousand for the entire trip. IMO, you should be fine.

My first awd vehicle in 2008, never bought snow tires, no reason to play road warrior until the roads are plowed, so hole up in a hotel if needed, sorry if this upsets others, only lived in WI, MN, and ND for winter experience.

It’s not too warm in the Mojave Desert this time of year and when you travel you might have snow to start with. I don’t see any trouble. I quit swapping tires and use snow tires all year long.

When you ask a tire question the answers are almost always evenly distributed between “very dangerous” and “no problem”. So far your answers are mostly “no problem”. I agree. You could run into snow anywhere except Coastal California. There you might find heavy rain. It is winter, after all. Get those tires and enjoy the ride.


Thank you all for the responses. I feel much better informed now. What a great community!

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I’ve ran snow tires on many vehicles. Some studded and some not. Some awd, some (most) rwd. They do make a difference. They do growl and they do wear fast. Ive ran blizzaks and x-ice the last few years. Usually I get two winters to a set. The second winter I just leave them on during spring until they are worn completely. No issues.