Which Is Better I-10 or I-40 [4 Factor Analysis]

You must be planning to travel through the interstate highways. While you’re at it you must face this question of which one is better when it comes to I-10 and I-40.

So, exactly which is better I-10 or I-40?

Between the I-10 and the I-40, the better choice of highway depends on your perspective. The I-10 is mostly terrain whereas the I-40 has mostly mountainous areas. Also, I-10 has extreme heat in summer but it’s moderate in the I-40. But the length of the I-40 is a bit more than the I-10.

Hope you stick with us till the end.

Let’s begin.

I-10 vs I-40: Overall Comparison

So, which is the best East Coast to West Coast route? It’s for you to decide.

Worry not, we’re here to help you decide.

Before moving on to an in-depth analysis let us look at the overall comparison. Let’s dive in. 

Length2,460.34 miles (3,959.53 km)2,556.6 miles (4,114.46 km)

Weather Conditions
Extreme heat in summer
Much less snow and ice in winter
Moderate Temperature in SummerMuch more snow and ice in winter. 
AttractionsLos Angeles, California, United States, Venice Beach Boardwalk, Disneyland, Tio’s Tacos Restaurant, Cabazon Dinosaurs, Joshua Tree National Park, etc.Calico Ghost Town, Mojave National Preserve, Cool Springs Gas Station, Flagstaff, Arizona, United States, Meteor Crater, Petrified Forest National Park, etc.
TerrainMostly FlatContains Mountainous Regions

In-depth comparison 

Now let’s move further to analyze the routes in detail.

Without any further ado let’s dive in. 


Interstate 10 (I-10) is the American Interstate Freeway System’s southernmost cross-country highway. At 2,460.34 miles (3,959.53 km), I-10 is the 4th Interstate in the U. S.


Route description:  

New Mexico164.27

On the flip side, Interstate 40 (I-40) is a prominent east-west interstate. The I-40 goes coast to coast. It runs through the US’s south-central region. The country’s third-longest Interstate Highway. The total length is 2,556.6 miles (4,114.46 km). 

Source: mapsofworldl.com

Either way, the route is quite long. So, you need to keep your energy high throughout the journey. For a quick boost here are our go-to energy drinks:

Route Description: 

New Mexico373.51
North Carolina420.21


It’s not the same in all the weather. Lets see- 


During summer the I-10 remains extremely hot. If you are travelling through the I-10 in summer you’ll surely feel the heatwave on your face. 

On the other hand, interstate 40 is much more temperate. This means the heat waves are not soul-melting.  


During the winter, I-10 passes through locations with a mild climate. This is a fantastic road trip route in Winter. 

It has lots of variation and sights you wouldn’t see on a usual summer road trip. I-10, in general, is much further southward and has less ice and snow.

Whereas the winter conditions of I-40 are much worse. The snow is several feet deep in some regions. I-40 is notorious for its winter roads. Especially in and around Arizona. Out-of-control car crashes are pretty common in winter. 


When it comes to weighing in the attractions, the decision could be a bit difficult for you. It’s not like choosing between Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon. Both the highways have a fair share of attractions for tourists. 

When you take the I-10 or the I-40  Highway you’ll find tons of activities to do along the trip. The highway connects quite a number of major cities. Along the way, you’ll also find amazing attractions. 

A ton of major cities are connected through the I-10. Such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tucson, Las Cruces, El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, Baton Rouge. 

Besides  New Orleans, Gulfport, Mobile, Tallahassee, and Jacksonville are also included along the I-10.

Some of the major attractions are:

  • Los Angeles, California
  • United States, Venice Beach Boardwalk
  • Disneyland, Tio’s Tacos Restaurant
  • Cabazon Dinosaurs, 
  • Joshua Tree National Park
  • Saguaro National Park
  • Pima Air and Space Museum
  • Titan Missile Museum
  • Big Nose Kate’s Saloon

On I-10, you can do a lot of things at the Venice Beach Boardwalk.

Similarly, I-40 connects some major cities too. Namely, including Albuquerque, New Mexico; Amarillo, Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis, 

It also includes Tennessee; Nashville, Tennessee; Knoxville, Tennessee; Greensboro, North Carolina.  

Some of the major attractions are:

  • Calico Ghost Town, 
  • Mojave National Preserve, 
  • Cool Springs Gas Station, 
  • Flagstaff, Arizona, United States, 
  • Meteor Crater, 
  • Petrified Forest National Park, 
  • El Rancho Hotel and Motel, 
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States, 
  • Blue Hole of Santa Rosa, 
  • Tee Pee Curios, 
  • Cadillac Ranch, 
  • Palo Duro Canyon State Park


Wondering how the terrains of I-40 and I10 are? Look no further, we’re here with answers. 

You could be heading to California right now. If you are then there is a fairly common question for everyone travelling to California. That is I10 or I40 to California from texas? It’s neither if you are looking for the Salt Lake City to Denver route. 

In the case of the I-10, much of the terrain is a flat unending road. Hence the journey could get boring at one point. It has fewer mountainous roads.

The drive too is not very scenic. 

On the flip side, I-40 has mountainous regions. Turning across a southeastern trajectory, Interstate 40 crosses the Great Smoky Mountains into North Carolina. 

I-40 links regional cities in western North Carolina. Such as Asheville, Hickory, and Statesville, along with the Triad area.

Final Verdict 

Our final verdict is both the roads are equally measured. Both have their pros and cons. The final decision depends on your requirements. 

The total length of I-10 is shorter than the I-40. If you’d like your journey to end sooner then we’d recommend the I-10.

But wait there’s more. If you’re traveling in the summer we recommend you take the I-40. However, if you’re traveling in the winter we’d recommend you take the I-10. 

On the other hand, I-40 is more scenic and mountainous. Which you’ll miss on the I-10. The I-10 is mostly a flat, long, and boring road. 

Apart from that, you can enjoy a major share of attractions on both highways. Both have their own beauty along the way. 


Is I-40 the same as Route 66?

Interstate 40 travels parallel to Historic Route 66 for much of its length. After Interstate 40 replaced a substantial section of Route 66, the highway was decommissioned in 1985. However, after Route 66 turns northeast, I 40 proceeds eastward through Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

Is I-40 dangerous?

Interstate 40 is currently a booming commercial artery that is also one of the most deadly in every state it goes through. I-40 through Arizona, New Mexico, and California has the greatest deadly crash frequency in 3 states. It has the third, fourth, and fifth most deadly crash percentages in the United States. 

Is I-10 dangerous?

Yes. From 2010 to 2015, there have been around 2,090 fatalities on I-10 as a result of accidents every mile. As per a survey conducted by Eversafe, based on statistics, I-10 is the 7th most unsafe highway in the United States. The I-10 has got a mention of the most deadly interstates for the sixth year in a row.


By now you should have a clear idea about the two interstate highways. This should answer your query of which is better: the I-10 or I-40?

Hope you had a good read. Thank you for sticking with us till the end. 

If this article was helpful do come around. 

Until then, wish you all the best in your journey.

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