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Old 12-20-2004, 12:38 PM   #1
outback_97
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Default Driving from SLC, UT to Billings, MT

Hi, NWIC! A question for people who drive in this area in the winter... we're travelling from SLC to Billings for Christmas. Mapquest says to leave I-15 at Idaho Falls and take 20 to West Yellowstone to 191 to Bozeman. My brother in law in Billings says to avoid that area as they aren't plowing some roads this year (???) He says to take I-15 to Hwy 41, from Dillon to east of Butte, then head over on I-90. Any opinions from locals? Thanks in advance.

Steve
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Old 12-20-2004, 01:18 PM   #2
dvswrx
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Shouldn't be a problem either direction. We have a huge lack of snow around here at the moment. 191 through bigsky and up to Bozeman is a great twisty canyon. Heavy snows make it treacherous, but they plow it because of the ski traffic. Going up to Butte means you have to come down Homestake pass, which is a steep grade. Snow storms is Homestake are blinding. If I were you, I'd come up 191.

Devious
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Old 12-20-2004, 01:43 PM   #3
outback_97
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Devious:

Thanks for the info, I'm still not sure about the plowing thing, this was third hand through my wife, doesn't make sense to me, but maybe he was thinking of the roads north of Yellowstone?

Anyway, maybe I didn't explain it well, but I won't go through Butte but rather bypass it by taking 41 from Dillon to somewhere around 20 miles east of Butte (Whitehall or Cardwell). Thus avoiding Homestake pass, no?

Twisties are fun, but maybe I'll save them for the summer when I don't have 15" steel wheels with rubbery snow tires on them Nevertheless, it's good to hear they keep that road in good shape, thanks!

Steve
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Old 12-20-2004, 02:06 PM   #4
dvswrx
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You'd have less chance of ice on the road going through Dillon. It does bypass Homestake which would be a good thing. The canyon gets icey in the heavily shaded area, but nothing that's ever been a problem for me and the family. It's all a matter of tastes, but you should be fine either way. I've not heard about anything concerning plowing, but there are enough people commuting the road from Big Sky or Dillon.

And glad I could help. If you need a weather update before you drive, let me know. I've driven through the pass here outside of Bozeman when the front of the car disappeared in the gusts.

Devious
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Old 12-20-2004, 03:20 PM   #5
outback_97
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Thanks for all the info, Devious!

I grew up in MN and lived in Fargo for four years (college) so I know how bad visibility and roads can get when there's wind+snow. Not fun. But at least back there it's flat so usually you're not in danger of careening down a cliff... you'll just get stuck in the ditch and freeze to death

Steve
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