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  1. Default Cedar Rapids, IA to Portland, OR

    Hello, I'm actually in a similar place myself but going the opposite direction, from Cedar Rapids, IA out to Portland, OR and looking to head out on the 14th. It looks like I-80 or I-90 are the two best routes to take but I'm not sure which will be the one to go. Where is best to check all the road conditions heading out as I get closer? I've heard I-90 has a few rough passes in the Idaho area that make it a bit rough to attempt in the Winter is that correct?

    Moderator Note: Moved from this thread. We prefer to get each trip it's own thread.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-05-2016 at 12:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default challenges are everywhere

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The advice you read in the previous thread is going to be quite the same as what we'll recommend for you. The single most important factor is going to be the weather, and it's still too early to know which route will see better conditions.

    If there is a storm, both routes have areas that could be a tough to get through. Lookout pass on the ID/MT border is really the only place that's at all mountainous in Idaho on I-90, although it's one of a handful of passes you'll go over on I-90. Lookout pass is only at an elevation of 4,800 ft, meanwhile I-80 across Wyoming is above 6,000 feet for nearly the entire drive across the state, with a few passes that go up over 8,000 feet. That's part of the general trend that I-90 is a lower elevation, and is the preferred route for many interstate travelers if all things are equal - however, only a weather forecast can tell you if things will be equal.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Road conditions can be researched at safetravelusa.com.

  4. Default

    Thank you both, that's incredibly helpful. If I were to take the I-90 route what cities would you recommend to stop in for the night on the way out? I have a pretty open itinerary fortunately so I'm figuring on taking 3-5 days to get out there. 3 would be nice but any weather delays and such won't be too problematic.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    9,270

    Default

    3 days is pushing it a bit too far - it's over 1900 miles and you really shouldn't try to drive more than 600 miles a day. 3.5 days would be a lot safer. I wouldn't worry about what specific cities to overnight in, you will rarely be more than an hour or so from hotels along the Interstates. I use the hotels.com app on my phone to check for hotels on the fly.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    You shouldn't have any problem finding lodgings along the way so you could just wing it so that if you get a good days weather you can get a few extra miles in and then if it turns a little 'nasty' you can pull off the road without the pressure of having to be somewhere. If you overnight near a big city then look at staying on the west side so that you are heading away from the morning rush into the city.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
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    13,063

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    If you're going to shoot for 3 days, then Wall, SD and Butte, MT pretty much are the only places you can look to stop, but as GLC mentioned, that's really pushing the limits of how far you can safely drive in a day. 3.5 days would be a lot better. Chamberlain, SD; Billings, MT, and Spokane would make for 3 comfortable, 9 hours days on the road, followed by about 6 hours that last day.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    If you're going to shoot for 3 days, then Wall, SD and Butte, MT pretty much are the only places you can look to stop, but as GLC mentioned, that's really pushing the limits of how far you can safely drive in a day. 3.5 days would be a lot better. Chamberlain, SD; Billings, MT, and Spokane would make for 3 comfortable, 9 hours days on the road, followed by about 6 hours that last day.
    That 3.5 route seems pretty nice actually and I have a friend in Spokane so stopping there for a night would be good. Thanks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    We stayed in Billings during the summer of '14. If I recall correctly, we stayed at the EconoLodge, and it had a jacuzzi/hot tub that felt wonderful after a long day on the highway!


    Donna

  10. Default

    Well I'm looking to head out on Friday now and it's looking like 90 should be good, a bit of snow coming in Idaho and the cascades but doesn't seem to be anything too terrible expected. Am I missing anything?

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