U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 12-01-2009, 10:51 AM
 
10 posts, read 7,906 times
Reputation: 21

Advertisements

We are planning to drive from Minnesota to Utah in December and looking at different routes. I know it depends on the weather. Going along I-80 is the fastest but the mountain passes can be hard in the winter. Depending on the weather, we may not go at all. Any advice?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-01-2009, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,416 posts, read 17,385,532 times
Reputation: 14074
The only true mountain pass on I-80 will be on the Wyoming-Utah border, and it's not normally much of a challenge. I-80 gets closed across the high plains of Wyoming more often because of a little snow and a lot of wind. That's not too unusual, but it is unusual for it to be closed for more than a day. If I were you I'd keep a very close eye on the weather and plan your route by what it's doing.

If snow or ice is a problem on I-80 or I-70 across Iowa and Nebraska/Kansas, consider I-90 as far west as Gillette, WY (then WY-59/I-25 south to I-80 or I-70). Generally these storms blow through in a day or two, so by picking your route at the last minute, you can usually avoid the worst weather.

I'd get some cable chains to toss into the trunk, and pack an emergency kit consisting of blankets, candles, flashlight, water and some snacks. Better safe than sorry.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-01-2009, 01:50 PM
 
12,275 posts, read 18,401,528 times
Reputation: 19102
Can we put a link to the weather channel as a sticky? These type of posts are becoming epidemic.

Again - watch weather channel a few days before leaving, then plan route accordingly.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-01-2009, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,657,689 times
Reputation: 7720
The only real mountain pass you'll have to cross on I-80 is Parley's Summit, just before Salt Lake City. But, it can easily be avoided by turning off on I-84 just past the Utah line and continuing west to I-15, then south to SLC. It's only a few miles further and has literally no up or down grades at all. There is no reason to go over the Wasatch Front when you can go through it.

There is a pretty good downgrade between Cheyenne and Laramie, WY, but it's not too bad. There's also some pretty steep, but straight, ups and downs just before Evanston, WY, but they're nothing to worry about.

As another poster mentioned, wind is your biggest enemy across Wyoming, especially west of Laramie where the highway curves around Elk Mountain. When it's snowing there, it's also blowing and can be very, very treacherous. However, there's a way around that too. Just take US-30 from Laramie to Saratoga, where it rejoins I-80, and you'll avoid the worst of it. It's a two lane road, but it stays at a much lower elevation and the wind normally does not blow there like it does around the mountain.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-01-2009, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,228 posts, read 44,895,263 times
Reputation: 12803
Long-distance winter trips to "visit Grandma for Christmas" - in snow country. I call these "Lemming Runs".

You are better off to fly, even if nothing goes wrong while on the road, IMHO. Add up the gas, the on-road meals, the nights in motels, and you are pretty close to paying for air fare, usually...

And that's if you don't have any mechanical or "ditch finding" problems.....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top