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Old 01-15-2011, 06:57 AM
8 posts, read 22,209 times
Reputation: 14


Looking at taking a job near Hardin,Mt on April 1st. It would put me in the area for 3-6 months. From North Carolina, trying to decide on driving out there or renting a small car in Billings. Wondered what the roads were like in April/May. Not sure how much snow to expect. Got an SUV we could drive out, but looks like about 33 hour trip. We will be driving to Glacier, Yellowstone, Bitterroot, and Bighorn on days off. Lots of fishing on the Bighorn River. Fly fishing, camping, and photography. Normal tourist stuff you might say. Would we need our SUV to get around or would a rental car suffice? Thanks for any comment.

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Old 01-15-2011, 07:16 AM
Location: Kingman - Anaconda
1,552 posts, read 5,537,187 times
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Well it will be interesting to get a reply back from someone in that area. My place South of Anaconda is not accessible until mid June most years. This year we are running about 145% on snow pack. Has snowed and froze in July as well being very hot.
A car maybe just the ticket if you are running on hardpacked paved kind of roads. SUV would be my 1st choice.
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:44 AM
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 36,448,348 times
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You'd be fine with either one for the Highway from Billings to Sheridan and points in between.

Both the Montana Highway and Wyoming Highway Departments do a great job of keeping roads clear. It's not snow on the road that is the problem, it's snow blowing across the road causing reduced visibility. If a SUV can make it, so can a normal car. But if visibility gets too bad, they simply close the road.

End of March, into April, is when we get our worst snow storms. Not often, maybe once or twice in a 45 day period. But the storm will dump wet, heavy snow and will usually thaw and melt away in a couple days. When those hit, the highway is usually open in a matter of hours. City streets, take a little longer. When it starts snowing, the plows are running the interstate. They don't wait until it starts piling up. They are out there when it starts and continuously run through the night making sure the highway is kept clean. Worst case is a little ice on the bridges.

I used to haul rail roaders from Sheridan. From Sheridan to Laural, or Sheridan to Forsythe, or Sheridan to Casper. For one company I had two vans. First one I put a little over 400,000 miles on it and blew the engine. Second one had over 300,000 when I quit and took a different job. Those miles were on I-90, I-94, Wyoming 345, Montana 47 and points in between. I drove in all kinds of weather. So I have "some" experience in the area you are talking about. If they closed the interstate, I took the state highways. If they closed the state highways, I took county roads. I was never stranded in the entire time I delivered Railroaders.

By the way. Both vans I had for that company were rear wheel, 2 wheel drive vehicles. Later I worked for the new company that hauled railroaders and they had 4 wheel drive Suburbans. Never once put it in 4 wheel drive.
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:04 AM
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Well most of the roads will be typically good then on most traveled routes. Weather, OTH, can be quite unpredictable. And unless you are snowshoeing, snowmobiling, or X-skiing your access to the parks (Glacier, Yellowstone) is limited that time of year. Not even sure you can get into Glacier typically until end of June. And we are having a real winter this year. We got snowed out of Glacier in August one year. Well, we were on motorcycles so that cramped our style, ;-)
But a car, maybe w/ AWD should suffice in general.
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:23 PM
8 posts, read 22,209 times
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Sounds like we will be driving up. Thanks for the comment here. I appreciate your time and thoughts.

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Old 01-15-2011, 04:31 PM
Location: Kingman - Anaconda
1,552 posts, read 5,537,187 times
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No problem have a great drive.
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