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  1. Default Milwaukee to Seattle via 90

    Hello, all-

    I've learned alot as a lurker on this forum - route suggestions as well as planning tools. Now I've made a tentative plan, would love to have some input from experienced roadies.

    My Plan is as follows:

    Day 1 - Milwaukee to Sioux Falls, SD - 509 Mi
    Day 2 - S.F. to Corn Palace (Mitchell), Mt Rushmore, on to Spearfish, SD - 420 Mi
    Day 3 - Spearfish to Devil's tower, on to Gardiner, MT - 500 Mi
    Day 4 - Yellowstone, then to either Missoula, MT (287 Mi) OR Coeur D'Alene (440 Mi)
    Day 5 - Missoula to Seattle via Snoqualmie falls (480 Mi) or from Coeur D'Alene (320 Mi)

    You can take a look at my options on Yahoo trip planner:

    Any suggestions appreciated!

    By the way, I have used Yahoo trip planner and the AAA online triptik tool. In my opinion, both are good, but have complementary strengths and weaknesses. The major strength of AAA is the mapping capabilities - it is definitely map-oriented, and VERY easy to generate a coherent set of point to point maps and directions. Yahoo's mapping is poorly implemented (or should I say integrated), and many of the items you can add to your trip cannot be mapped without entering the physical address. Yahoo shines in it's ability to add/modify items in your plan, be it hotels, attractions, etc. AAA's places functionality is FAR more rudimentary, and does NOT save your selected places with a trip you have created and saved. Merge the strengths of the two and you'd have trip planning Nirvana.

    After seeing the storms, I am contemplating mounting my winter tires, which in normal circumstances would be a poor choice for 2000 miles of high speed interstate highway driving. Any thoughts?


    Last edited by AZBuck; 11-09-2008 at 08:54 AM. Reason: Merged Questions About the Same Trip / Preferred Link Format

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Well Paced

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Five days is a fair amount of time to devote to this trip. It will allow you to stop for a bit at each of the attractions you've listed, although if you can, add an entire day to spend at Yellowstone. As it stands, you won't have time for much more than a drive through and maybe a quick stop at Old Faithful. That's if the park roads are even open when you come through. Be sure to check the park's web site for which roads close for the winter, and when they usually do.

    There are a few more places that you also might want to consider adding to your itinerary, particularly Badlands National Park and the Little Big Horn battlefield in Montana (both are just off I-90). And while Coeur d'Alene is a lovely little city and would make a great overnight stop, one alternate route you might want to consider for the scenery (and only if the weather is co-operating) is to take US-12/WA-261/WA-26 from Missoula, MT to Ellensburg, WA over Lolo Pass and through some of the western Washington desert. just for a change of pace. But do make sure the weather will be good before you set out that way.

    Oh, and if your normal winter tires are all-season radials, I'd go ahead and mount them for sure. I used to make high freeway speed drives from Maine to Delaware and back all the time on such tires and never noticed much of a drop-off in mileage. If you're talking serious snow tires, then I think I'd still mount them and just pay the slight penalty in gas (which is relatively cheap now, anyway) for the peace of mind in the event of bad weather.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 11-09-2008 at 09:33 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The only "winter" tires that I would not make that trip with are studded tires - because they are not legal on the entire route.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the inputs.
    Regarding Yellowstone, at this time of year, only the northern entrance and the area around Mammoth Hot Springs is open.

    I'll check out the additional stops you recommended.

    And regarding the winter tires, yes they are all-out snow tires, but the alternative is my max performance summer tires. I think the snows are going to be the wiser choice.


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