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  1. Default Chicago, IL to Boise, ID round trip in December

    Hello Everybody,

    I am new to the forum but signed up recently because I love road trips with my wife and dog, and this seemed like the perfect place for me. I am currently living in Chicago and am planning on driving home to Boise, Idaho for the holiday season. As I will be driving, I am hoping that some folks on here could help me find the safest route to take for this trip. I will be leaving from Chicago to Boise in the middle of December and will be driving back to Chicago toward the end of December. I have made this drive twice before in summer months, primarily taking Interstate 80 across Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois. However, as I understand it, this can be quite a perilous drive in the winter months, which is why I am seeking an alternate course. I don't mind a circuitous route, but I would prefer no more than three days of driving each way. This may be an unrealistic expectation, so please set me straight of so. Really, what's most important is that I avoid areas that are known for hazardous winter weather. Thank you all so much in advance for your invaluable advice.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default You've Already Found It

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You're already taking the best possible winter route between Chicago and Boise. That's just I-80 to the Salt Lake City area and then I-84 (duplexed with I-15 between Ogden and Tremonton) from there to Boise. That is already a full three days of driving, especially in the winter with shorter daylight hours. The only other reasonable (Interstate) routes add at least half a day. It is a myth that either there is a route that is 'safe' from weather. Your best bet is to keep the drive as short as possible to spend as little time subjected to the vagaries of the weather as possible and to keep that route on the Interstates which get first priority in snow removal, sanding and salting. I would urge you, however, to be willing to spend an extra half day to a day - if needed - to sit out any unsafe weather you may encounter. Keep in mind that that's time you would have spent anyway trying to find a 'safer' route.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Ft. Collins, CO.


    I can't address routes east of Cheyenne but this trip report might suggest how things can go when crossing Wyoming.

    Best be prepared and flexible. I-80 across Wyoming is pretty high altitude and windswept so conditions can be pretty tough.

    You can ignore the part about icing across Oregon but note that icing was beginning in Boise just as we arrived.

    The following year when we started out I-80 was just plain closed. Fortunately we were going north to catch I-90 so that didn't affect our trip.

    Note that when heading westbound you are very likely to have to punch thru at least one weather front since you are running upwind.

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