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Old 07-25-2016, 02:19 PM
30 posts, read 82,721 times
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Hello! Does anyone know what the drive from Bozeman to Salt Lake is like? I am interested in the route that goes through West Yellowstone and connects will I-15. Is this route open year round? What are the speed limits? Any info will help me, thank you!
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Old 07-25-2016, 03:25 PM
Location: Smoky Mountains
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I've made the drive up Hwy 191, Gallatin River Hwy many times. Always in summer weather so can't say about the winter closures. The canyon area is awesome. Since the road runs alongside the river nearly the entire distance to W Yellowstone you will want to stop at a few of the many pullouts just to see the river up close. Not a real fast drive if there is a lot of traffic, and there may be a section of road work too. Once you get on the south side of W Yellowstone it is mostly forested and still a pleasant drive to the interstate. I highly recommend this route to get to the interstate in Idaho down to SLC.
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Old 07-25-2016, 04:17 PM
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There is a winter closure between north entrance and down and over to West Yellowstone. See map at top here:
Anniversary Trip to Yellowstone | Aplikasi Android
So can't go that way from November to April (specific open and close dates depend on conditions).

Speed limits vary. Top speed allowed of 45 (see middle of page https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/safety.htm ) and often less.
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:40 PM
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Great, thank you guys! That is very helpful. Any idea how much time the drive from Boz to SLC takes?
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:09 AM
Location: Smoky Mountains
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Allow 10 hours drive time, then add-on stops for meals, breaks and general sight-seeing. You might make it in less 'drive-time' but you will be driving past several places that you want to stop.
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:23 PM
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I believe you are talking about the Ashton, Idaho route not going into the park.

It is scenic & best taken in summer if inexperienced winter driver. Although summer tourists & summer residents will make it slower traveling than getting on I90 then to I15 and dropping South.

Interstate speed is 80 mph and much of your proposed route is posted anywhete from 45 to 65-70 but in actuality much will be safely driven at 35-45...so it depends upon your purpose.

For a summer road trip the Ashton route is much preferable to Interstate route. Guessing travel time would be hard to do....take a cooler & load up on water, sandwiches, garlic olives, etc from the deli in West Yellowstone.
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Old 07-31-2016, 04:05 PM
Location: Montana
387 posts, read 322,150 times
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There are no closures if you go via Rexburg in the winter, but it is a tough drive. You will have to go really slowly, and a lot of time there is a real problem with visibility and road slide-offs. The other issue is that in the canyon (along the Gallatin River between West and Bozeman) there is no cell phone reception if you have a problem, so you really want to make sure you do that part during the day. If you know the road you should be ok, but be sure you have chains, emergency gear, and flares. We never drive that in the winter without that stuff.

An alternative route we sometimes take in the winter if it has been really snowy weather is going over towards Butte and taking I-15 the entire way. With how slow you have to go via the West route you really don't lose that much time. It is about 7 hours, maybe more depending on how the weather is. Maps will say 6.5 but I don't know anyone who does it in that time because there is always construction.

BTW I really like the drive via Rexburg in the summer, and would recommend going via Ennis in the Madison River valley as it doesn't add time, you avoid all the tourists in the canyon, and it is one of the most beautiful places in our state
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Old 01-24-2017, 03:29 PM
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We drive to Provo from Bozeman about 3 times a year in all seasons. Not sure why people are saying that road closes... They must be talking about going through the Park?

The area after West Yellowstone to Ashton is the only sketchy part, and then only in a blizzard. I've driven it just fine in heavy snows. It takes us 8 hours, with a stop for food. Spped limits in Gallatin Canyon are now 55 I think? but everywhere else, 70 I believe. The entire drive until you hit the Snake River Plain is amazingly beautiful, especially through Gallatin Canyon and Yellowstone National Park (you will drive through the NW corner of the park, but there is never a closure, and no entrance fee there).
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Old 07-23-2017, 06:09 PM
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,328 posts, read 12,156,808 times
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I've gone both ways in equally bad weather -- spring snowstorm, cold enough to stick but warm enough to make ice. I will never, ever again take Hwy 191 past Yellowstone if it's anything but high summer. 10mph for 30 miles, with chains on and still slick enough to slide, was not fun (especially since traffic was backed up and bumper-to-bumper in both directions). Neither was the near-miss of two 18-wheelers that lost control on the glare ice and were sliding full-tilt (and fortunately hit nothing but some trees and each other). More recently I took I-15 and was caught in a similar snowstorm on the pass, and even so there was enough traffic and roaming snowplows to keep the surface mostly worn clear, plus room to drive down the middle of the two lanes where it was risky-slick (but never had to put chains on).
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