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Old 11-06-2019, 07:17 PM   #1
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Boise to Hays Kansas in mid December

I am looking at driving a class C motorhome from Boise to Hays around December 15. I see two possible routes. One, which I have driven before in the winter goes through Salt Lake, Cheyenne, to North Platte on I 80, then South. I have driven this before in the winter and the passes on either side of Laramie can be serious issues with snow and wind. Other than that, the road is pretty good in decent weather. The other would follow I 70 South from Salt Lake through the Denver area. I have never driven any part of this beyond the Salt Lake area.
Another possibility would be to take I 80 to Laramie then 287 South to I 70.
Are there any clear preferences, or other suggested routes?
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:43 PM   #2
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Yes, 84 to 80 to 35 to 70 is how I would go. As you noted, Laramie is about the only real "white knuckle" area on your route and you have a built-in layover option it you need it. Just stay weather aware. Been that way in a Class A several times from Oklahoma to Oregon. Only once that time of year, though, but have driven tour bus that way in December and January.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:49 PM   #3
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Think GuyG meant 85 -> 80 -> 25 -> 70. US287 is a cut-off that can save a few miles and minutes between 80 and Ft. Collins CO

Avoid E-470 bypass and use I-270 bypass at Denver unless you want to pay over $ 20 in tolls.

Colorado has a chain law with big potential costly violation ticket for not having chains if you encounter difficulty there, so if bad weather there you may want to lay up or avoid Colorado by taking I-80 on into Nebraska and then cut down to -I70 at Colby, perhaps on Neb-25 and KS-25
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:01 PM   #4
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Sorry, I did mean 25 not 35. But 84 to 80. And x 2 on the Denver bypass. I took it once to avoid an hour-long traffic jam before I found out (in the mail) what it cost me.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:59 PM   #5
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I-70 across Colorado has some very serious grades and is at 11,000' elevation. I'd avoid it in winter, if possible or only if you monitor the weather carefully and have a good dry window of weather to cross Colorado.
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:17 AM   #6
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Thanks for the comments. They were really helpful. I will stay with the I-80 route and watch the two passes out of Laramie.
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:41 PM   #7
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I-70 across Colorado has some very serious grades and is at 11,000' elevation. I'd avoid it in winter, if possible or only if you monitor the weather carefully and have a good dry window of weather to cross Colorado.
We have driven both routes several times and try very hard to avoid any snow or ice. Both roads can and do shut down in the time frame you are traveling during.

Blowing snow is the worse but if you are heading to Hays then you know about the blowing snow West on i70 especially towards the KS border towards Limon CO

If the roads are clear I like 80 a bit more but the traffic there tend to travel about 80 mph so you will get passed often which can get a bit dangerous

I am from North of Hays so know the routes West and North out of there very well. You will have to watch the 83 hi-way conditions very close when dropping down from 80 if that is the way you choose due to the hills and minimal maintenance when it snows or ices over
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Old 11-13-2019, 05:40 PM   #8
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Check the mileage from Boise using 84- 86- to the 15 in Pocatello then south to McCammon then 30 to 80. 30 is two lane but GOOD road that is used as a short cut to the 80 rather than going to SLC then BACK north and east to go to Rock Springs.

Also stop at Little America for a $.75 cent soft ice cream cone, also a good o’nite stop west of the convenance store away from the big trucks.
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Old 11-13-2019, 05:49 PM   #9
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Forgot to mention that to avoid the Fort Collins/Denver traffic nightmare and/or tolls we continue on 80 then turn south and come in to Hays from the north.
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Old 11-14-2019, 11:22 AM   #10
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Check the mileage from Boise using 84- 86- to the 15 in Pocatello then south to McCammon then 30 to 80. 30 is two lane but GOOD road that is used as a short cut to the 80 rather than going to SLC then BACK north and east to go to Rock Springs.
Looks like it's about 30 miles and 30 minutes longer but looks like it would be a nice break from the Interstates. Any extreme elevation changes? I may try that on our next annual trip to Oregon.
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Old 11-14-2019, 04:01 PM   #11
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One semi big hill (fast and easy multi lane drive) between Lave Hot Springs and Soda Springs the rest of the way to I-80 some rolling hills easy/peasy. Numerous information signs from Soda to south of Cokeville, WY about the Oregon Trail. This stretch parallels very closely the Oregon Trail. The OT turned North toward Fort Hall west of Soda and the turn off to the town of Grace. Immediately West of Montpellier on the North side of the Hwy there is a excellent OT interpretive center $, well worth a couple of hours! BTW Butch Cassidy robbed the Bank in Montpellier. Just North of Soda (Harper Springs?) is the Springs that the OT travelers named because of the naturally occurring CO2 in the water. Folks today take their bottles with some flavoring in them and fill the bottles with the CO2 water, instant home made pop!

Kemmerer, WY is the home of the FIRST J C Penny (Golden Rule then) store. Itís still in business today. An easy bypass of a mile or so around to Kemmerer. Located on the North side of the square (more of a triangle today)

Like I said it is a good way to avoid the zoo from Tremonton to Ogden and East from there. A lot of trucks use it getting from I-84 to I-80 and East. You donít have to worry about them holding you up they take this to make time. We normally like to follow a 18 wheeler, he knows where to make time! Just be careful about your speed when going thru the small towns!

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Old 11-15-2019, 04:22 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the help. I have driven I 80 in the past in December and January so have some idea with to expect. I am thinking seriously about trying US 30. I assume it is well maintained in the winter? I have driven it as far as Soda Springs, so remember the grade coming up from South of Pocatello.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:43 PM   #13
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Forgot to mention that to avoid the Fort Collins/Denver traffic nightmare and/or tolls we continue on 80 then turn south and come in to Hays from the north.
Richard,
Thanks for the info on Route 30. Also, did you realize mileage is the same from Hays to Cheyenne via Kearny, NE as it is going through Denver? I never even considered that. Looking forward to next year's trip so we can try both of your suggestions.
Cheers.

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Old 11-19-2019, 09:56 PM   #14
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Geeze, and I am worried about going I-10 or I-20 to Mesa, AZ from Columbus, GA after XMAS. Don't believe I'll ever be up for your route in winter.
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