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Old 07-13-2012, 06:45 AM   #1
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Big Horns on Hwy 16 with big rig

Just FYI. I came thru the Big Horns from Cody to Buffalo yesterday on Hwy 16 towing a 40' FWTH with a 3/4 ton 07 Chev Dura. Right at GVWR for the truck. The grade uphill on the west side was not bad at all. Long climb but not too steep. Couple switchbacks but nothing radical. Was able to run between 35 and 45 the entire way without EGT's, Transm, or coolant getting too hot. When you get near the top (but still climbing slightly), there's road construction for about 4 miles. Gravel/dirt and a pilot car slows you down so tranny started to get a bit hot there until I could get going and get some air flowing again. They're watering the road so the dust isn't bad at all. Drive is very scenic. Down hill grades on the East side are sweeping with some flat areas to ease the braking UNTIL YOU GET TO THE LAST 5 MILES above Buffalo. Then it's ALL 7% and tight curves so you'll need low gears or engine brake, etc. I took it slow using the engine brake and never did smell my brakes. Just take it slow those last five miles. Cars behind you will just have to wait. Other than that, it's a decent drive with a heavy rig and very pretty (wife enjoyed it more than I did having to watch the road). It is obvious that if you are going the other way, (east to west) the road construction combined with the long downhill grade on the west side will heat your brakes BIG time so you might want to plan on taking a break at one of the many scenic turnouts halfway down to let them cool off a bit. Overall....nice drive. I got warned off Hwy 14 and 14A with a big rig by Cody locals. Steep and lots of hairpins. The locals also told me a short cut to get to Hwy 16 heading east from Cody if you're ever interested. We tried it and it cut off quite a few miles. Insted of going all the way to Worland on 14/20/26 to catch 16, turn off to the left on "WY 31" at the cafe at Manderson. Go about 15 miles on 31 to "Nowood Rd", (also known as "CR 43 1/2"). Turn right for about ten miles and it dumps you onto Hwy 16 right at Ten Sleep. The drive is good....all rolling ranch land, paved, and it cuts off lots of time. Saw lots of deer and antelope playing...wait! isnt that a song?
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Old 07-13-2012, 03:10 PM   #2
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A couple weeks ago we day tripped out of Sheridan WY and were on all the roads described above, at one point or another. I agree with everything RetiredFPD says. Highways 14 and 14A are very scenic, but few of us want to tackle the 10% LONG grades with our rigs, not to mention the 180 degree steep switchbacks.

Beautiful country though. Everyone should see it.
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:17 PM   #3
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I have a photo of a sign taken at Burgess Junction, WY in "my pictures" showing the grades of Hwy 14 & 14A if I could figure how to get into this irv.2 post.

The important information-

Hwy 14- 5-7% grade, 4600' elevation change in 18 miles!

Hwy 14A- 10% grade, 3600' elevation change in 10 miles!

Hwy 16 is less but still a good pull as the OP says.

We have REAL mountain grades here in the west.
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