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Old 07-07-2012, 05:23 PM
 
51 posts, read 42,041 times
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Default Driving I-90 from Bozeman to Seattle in September

Hello everyone,

I am planning on going on a cross country road trip with friends in mid September. The middle portion of our trip has us traveling from Iowa City to Yellowstone, then up to Bozeman/Helena to visit friends, then on to Seattle. A friend of a friend just casually mentioned that if we were to take 90 in September, we'd have to make sure we had chains for our tires! Being from Maine I do know how to drive in the snow, but adding mountains into the mix makes me nervous. Can anyone confirm or deny the snow chains claim? I guess I didn't expect the snow to be that heavy in September. Thanks!
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:07 PM
 
Location: The Triad (nc)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnp0307 View Post
A friend of a friend just casually mentioned that if we were to take 90 in September, we'd have to make sure we had chains for our tires! ... I guess I didn't expect the snow to be that heavy in September.
Early snows will happen and sometimes they'll be heavy.
But the only reason to have chains is if you couldn't stay in Missoula for a day or two until the roads are cleared.

If you've never been to Missoula... hope for snow so you have that excuse.
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Old 07-07-2012, 07:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnp0307 View Post
Hello everyone,

I am planning on going on a cross country road trip with friends in mid September. The middle portion of our trip has us traveling from Iowa City to Yellowstone, then up to Bozeman/Helena to visit friends, then on to Seattle. A friend of a friend just casually mentioned that if we were to take 90 in September, we'd have to make sure we had chains for our tires! Being from Maine I do know how to drive in the snow, but adding mountains into the mix makes me nervous. Can anyone confirm or deny the snow chains claim? I guess I didn't expect the snow to be that heavy in September. Thanks!
Having traveled that part of I-90 a number of times in September I would say the odds of significant snow is pretty small on the freeway itself. Maybe a little in Montana itself but once you get in to Idaho and Washington, forget it. You won't run into any snow there.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
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Heavy snowfall in September is pretty rare. I've lived along I90 in Wyoming for 40 years and have never had the need for chains that early in the season. You're probably more apt to have snow in Yellowstone in September, but it's very unlikely that you'd need chains there either.

I'd tend to side with Mr Rational. Keep an eye on the weather -- listen to the forecast. If a big storm is forecast for the area you're headed for, just stay off the road for a day or two and it'll pass.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:43 PM
 
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Thanks everyone!
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:57 PM
 
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But...take a jacket. Even though you won't need chains for your car..it might be jeans and jacket weather.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:13 AM
 
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You can keep an eye on the weather at Lookout Pass here:
https://skilookout.com/

But even if the pass should get hit with early snow, you can bypass it by traveling north on 93 from Missoula and west on Highway 200 along the Clark Fork River. It's a gorgeous drive, but slightly longer. It will take you to Sandpoint, ID where you can then travel south on 95 back to 90, or continue on 2 to Spokane and join 90 there. No snow in September--early fall in Montana/Idaho/Washington is usually beautiful.
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:31 PM
 
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I loved bozeman hot springs/ the area around there.
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