I prefer I-90 across the Rockies as it is at a lower elevation than I-80. I-80 across Wyoming is very subject to high winds. Take I-90 to Ritzville WA, then US-395 to I-82 to I-84 to Portland.
Based on comments here and other threads, We have come up with rough schedule, based on 4-5 hrs drive each day:
#1- Michigan- Chicago
#2-Chicago-(Madison)-La Crosse (or Rochester)
#3-La Crosse-Sioux Falls
#4-Sioux Falls-Rapid city, (Badlands detour,Wall Drug)
#5-Rapid City- visit Rushmore, Crazy Custer Custor State NPs.
#6-Rapid City- Cody (detour to Devils Tower)
#7-Cody-West Yellowstone (East Entrance -if open) or to Gardiner via North entrance
#8- At Yellowstone
#9-YS-Idaho falls- short drive, leave YS late. Relax at IF.
#10-Idaho falls- Craters of the Moon- Boise.
#11-Boise-Baker city-Hood River
#12- Hood River-Portland (via Troutdale)
#14-Eugene-Crescent City (Via 101)
#15-Crecent city-Hayward Ca (end pt)
I know some of the drives are short , but aim to make frequent sightseeing stops. Also we may go on further than planned stops and spend more time in YS and ?
Any input re route, stops will be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by jps; 04-07-2012 at 02:55 AM.
The only thing which jumps out at me is... why would you go back to Idaho Falls after visiting Craters of the Moon? To me it would make more sense to go on to Twin Falls. In fact, leave Craters of the Moon east of Carey, then take 20 across to 75, and 75 south into Twin Falls.
This will take you past the Ice Caves and the Lava Fields, which come right up to the road, in some places. Just before you get to Twin Falls, and after you cross I-84, you come to the bridge over the Snake river. Well worth a stop. The parking area is on your side of the road, and you can walk right under the bridge to the other side. It is the western end of the gorge through which the river flows, after Shoshone Falls.
While in Twin Falls, make sure you visit Shoshone Falls. Early in May, the flow should be pretty spectacular, though this will depend greatly on the volume of winter snow. These falls, which are higher than Niagara, are said to rival Niagara when in full flow. And a little down the canyon from the falls is the site where Evil Knevil (sp?) failed to jump the canyon and parachuted down into the river. Definitely worth a visit.
On the other hand, you may wish to take 75 north from 20, and drive through the spectacular Sawtooth Recreation Area, through Hailey, Ketchum (ski resorts), over Galena Pass and onto Stanley. Right there are the Ghost Towns of Bonanza and Sunbeam, as well as the Sunbeam Hot Springs. Take 21, the Ponderosa Highway to Lowman, cut across from Lowman to Banks and take 55 into Boise. Not only is it a much better road than the one through Idaho City, but you will drive partly along one of the forks of the Salmon River - The River of No Return. And Stanley Lake is so picturesque with the Sawtooths towering over it. For me it is a must stop... everytime I am there.
Central Idaho is such a wonderful place to tour.
If you do the Twin Falls route, I'd be staying in Twin Falls. For the Sawtooth route, I'd look at staying in Stanley - pop. 100!
I have modified the route now to include Craters on outward journey towards Boise. Use extra time at YS and relax at Idaho falls.
What would be better route from Craters area to Boise? Via 26 to Mt home and then 84?
But if you are wanting to make it to Boise on the one day, it is not going to give you much time to enjoy this wonderful country, and the attractions it affords. I'd still take one of those two routes. Originally you had planned to head back to Idaho Falls. My suggestion was that you spend that night in either Twin Falls or Stanley.
To add more meaning and interest to the trip through the Sawtooths, the visitor centres at Hailey and Lowman have CDs and tapes of the route, mile by mile, so that you do not miss anything as you drive. You pick it up at one visitor centre, and drop it off at the other.
No special reason. Infact i am unfamiliar with the whole route. Just following hints on places to visit from this fanatastic site and the web and working out the route using mapping tool on RTA , Google maps and ViaMichelin.
Anw, for Idaho Falls to Boise:
Google gives me Rte 26 to Craters and on to Carey then to 20 to join freeway before Mt Home. (Just zoomed in and saw this).
The driving time is about 4.5 hrs and distance 258 miles.
ViaMichelin gives me (1) rt 26 to join I-84 just before Bliss- 265 mi and 5+ hrs as the 'recommended' route
and (2) the above 26>20>84 route as ,sightseeing, route.
Or do i go to Twin Falls for the night and next day go on to stop further than boise?
Jas, that is where your problem is. Have a look at a good map of ID. Get your son to mail you one on Monday... you will have it in a couple of days. Google, etc., are not interested in sightseeing, not interested in which is a scenic route. They just get you from point A to point B. By all means if you want to, go that route.... but I'm telling you that you will miss a whole lot of wonderful sights and scenes.
I outlined two routes above for you to look at and consider. No doubt there are others as well. But without a map, you will never know. There is no way you can compare and decide which route to take within the confines of a computer monitor. For that you need a map... a map with all the information on it. You are going to need the map, anyway. You simply do not undertake that type of trip without a map.
When you see the map, see the routes available, and which are scenic (the map differentiates between each type of route), then you will be in a position to decide which route is for you. Until then you are stabbing in the dark.
Yes i realise that. Using Online maps just to work out approximate distances and travel times.
I am also using some travel guide books like lonely planet, fordors , AA etc to get some ideas.
Our route is bound to change as we go along, determined by factors like weather, fatigue, food(problem for me alone).
We will have 1 week in Michigan and we will sit down and work out more detailed route together.
We may even change to southern route if its too cold for us (excluding my son!), as i see that weather is turning cooler in April than it was in March.
Btw ViaMichelin route planner does give options of choosing scenic , recommended,shortest or quickest routes, but dont know how good it is for US but we used it for planning our short Europe trip last year.