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Old 03-17-2011, 01:21 AM
 
Location: SF
9 posts, read 27,351 times
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Hello- On my way to Parker and need to get their by Saturday (left this morning). Am currently in Wendover UT (right on the Border of ID and UT) and am debating whether to take US40 or I80. I could just blast through to Parker tomorrow but am looking for the best route to drag it out an extra day of beautiful driving. Ideas?

Thanks!

PS; If I do 40 I was thinking of spending tomorrow night in Steamboat Springs....any other suggestions? Just figured it'd be the safest place to stay w/ a car full of stuff.
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:25 AM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
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The weather is beautiful right now. Going on US 40 would be a beautiful drive, lots nicer than I80.
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:09 AM
 
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I use to always take 80, until one time I just wasn't in a hurry and took 40....I should have done that sooner, the scenery along 40 is just breath taking.... My last trip home to be (permanently) in CO was via 40, and it went by too fast no matter how much I tried to stretch it out ...I think that was further enhanced after driving thru so much of the desert/nothingness of NV before getting to that point.....~ I drove straight thru, so I have no lodging suggestions for you.....
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:09 AM
 
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Taking US 40 via steamboat springs is definitely not the fastest way to go unless you just want to go that way for the sake of scenery. Also note that Rabbit Ears Pass just east of Steamboat is a notorious winter trouble spot and is often closed. Berthoud pass is also tough going in winter but it's easy to avoid -- with the Eisenhower Tunnel and head up CO-9 via Silverthorne and meet up with US-40 at Kremmling.

If all you care about is speed, you'll take I-80, however, if you like the idea of going on I-70 the route with I-70 / US-6 (via Green River and Provo) is almost as fast.

As always, the quickest routes are rarely the most scenic. However, in March you do have to keep an eye or two glued to road conditions and be prepared to change your plans based on weather and road conditions.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:18 AM
 
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The current forecast is a "winter storm warning" for the Steamboat area, with 80% chance of snow today and accumulation to 4" of snow, with snow continuing through the night to a possible 12" of new snow. Forecast then to be snowing through the AM of Friday.

The I-80 route, OTOH, is forecast to be clear.

IMO, this isn't the day to be traveling the 40 route, nor the night to spend in Steamboat unless you like the challenge of driving in snowstorms with adverse conditions with a destination to get to.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:19 AM
 
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Sunspirit is right. This info has been noted on the "Winter Weather 2010-11 Thread" just a while ago. Here in Junction it looks like the storm is coming in two parts and the weather people say later on tonight the snow level will drop to 7500 ft. Looks like just rain here, though in the last hour the temps have dropped here with a brisk wind going. March in Colorado!

Give yourself a few days break and wait for the storm to pass through. I do agree with the other posters regarding 40, it is a nice drive.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
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There's a 250 mile stretch of nothing on Highway 40 between Duchesne, UT, and Steamboat Springs. Mostly barren, with rolling hills and few trees.

If you decide to go that way, I'd take 40 to Kremmling and as tfox recommended, take CO-9 from Kremmling to Silverthorne and hit I-70 there.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:47 PM
 
Location: SF
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Started on 40 and then got word of the WWWarning and went back to 80. Still a beautiful drive so far. Plus I ended up w/ a great room at a Best Western and some amazing Thai food in Rawlins...who figured. Would either 287, 25 or 230,125 be worth the extra time? Either way I'm enjoying the ride so far!
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:09 AM
 
10,868 posts, read 41,128,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XT500 View Post
Started on 40 and then got word of the WWWarning and went back to 80. Still a beautiful drive so far. Plus I ended up w/ a great room at a Best Western and some amazing Thai food in Rawlins...who figured. Would either 287, 25 or 230,125 be worth the extra time? Either way I'm enjoying the ride so far!
From what I'm seeing on the frontal passage at this time, I'd suggest you continue on I-80 to Laramie and then check on conditions on 287 ... which may not be any better or worse than continuing on I80 to Cheyenne.

287 has some nice views, but can be a nasty piece of work to drive in inclement conditions ... with one of the highest accident rates in the state ... and can save a few miles over the I80 to I25 route.

I80 will take you from Laramie to Cheyenne over a pass that can be challenging, too ... with some excellent views of the VeedauWoo formations, so you'll not lack for scenery on this route, either.

Both roads are being hammered right now with some intense localized snow storm activity, and both may be a handfull by Friday AM with windpacked snow and slick in spots (black ice).

With the activity in Northern Colorado right now, I25 is expected to receive 4"-8" of new snow by morning to an area about half-way to Denver from the Wyoming/Colorado state line. The front is not moving very quickly on a line extending from Boulder up through Sterling Colorado to Sidney Nebraska, so NE Colorado has the potential to get some fairly heavy snow in this storm.

From what I can see of the road reports & storm front passage, you should have enjoyed a relatively clear I80 drive to Rawlins, and it's still pretty clear to Laramie. But it's most likely going to be a different story in the AM heading out of Laramie .... drive safe and enjoy.

You may find it advantageous to reach Laramie and have a very leisurely break to allow daytime temps to warm up and roads to be cleared.
If so, there's a number of truck stops on the West side of Laramie that will have restaurants/fuel, and easy access to I-80. Or, head a bit further East to the South side of town and then Northward into the downtown area, which has some restaurants, too. If you need to spend yet more time in town, there's a couple of places of possible interest ... if you're in to this type of stuff (I am) ... a number of antique shops on the South end of town, one of which is a pawn shop with an extensive collection of firearms (not for sale, just on display) worth checking out. There's also a sizable "flea market" just south of I80 there, used to be a major supermarket, so it's fairly sizable and has some pretty decent vendors there to browse. I've been able to spend more than a few pleasant hours at these places when I needed to stop in Laramie due to inclement road conditions ....

Similarly, if you need to stop enroute for improving conditions in the Ft Collins area, there's a bunch of restaurants in the "Old Town" area, which you will pass by if you come in on 287. You can continue South on College Ave to Ft Collins' antique row, which is on the South side of town, then head East on Harmony Road to rejoin I25. Once South of Ft Collins on I25, the scenic aspects of your drive to Denver have ended ...

UPdate 2:15AM: looks like the frontal passage has moved further NE from the I80/I25 area, which may make it likely that the Laramie to Cheyenne area will be clear in the AM, and that by late morning the northern Colorado stretch of snow on I25 may be a memory .... of course, there's still a front out there that has the ability to drop yet more moisture. As always, one can only wait and see with these storm passages ....

Last edited by sunsprit; 03-18-2011 at 02:22 AM..
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:43 AM
 
10,868 posts, read 41,128,193 times
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8:30 AM ... and it looks like the storm moved out of the area. Remaining wet/slick areas are confined to the top of the pass between Laramie to Cheyenne on I80, or the canyon for 287 from Laramie to FtCollins. Either way, we've got a lot of sunshine which should dissipate most of this over the next few hours, and I25 is reporting as clear now, too.
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