Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. Default Los Angeles to Bozeman, MT (Late November, Early December)

    Hey there!

    First post here... I am a college student, currently living in the Los Angeles area. I am interested in transferring to Montana State up in Bozeman but want to visit first!

    Flying into Montana is expensive as hell and quite frankly, I enjoy driving more.

    As the title says, I'm trying to get up there in Late November/Early December and brevity is key on this trip. The most direct route is 17 hours. I plan on doing 8.5 hours of driving, ending up in Utah for the first day, then ending up in Bozeman, visiting, staying overnight, then basically repeating the process back down to SoCal.

    Anyone have any advice on weather or good places to stop in central/Northern Utah? This is my first solo drive, but my buddy and I completed a big one last summer (From PA to CA).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,648

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    First a couple words of warning about your plans. You'll be in good shape to make this trip in 2 days, but it will likely take you longer than you're planning - as online mapping programs don't account for any sort of stops or slowdowns that are a part of every trip. 9-10 hours a day is more likely.

    That's still very doable, if you see good conditions. The one thing you will have to be concerned about is weather. You're pretty much at the maximum distance you should try to travel in 2 days, and if you see a winter storm that slows you down much, you could very well need to make another overnight stop.

    As mentioned, you're basically at the limit of how far you should travel in 2 days, and as such, you should aim for the halfway point - that would be Fillmore, Utah. There is a good variety of motels to pick from there, and it should serve you well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,943

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    LA to Bozeman is 1200 miles, which is exactly at the limit of what you should try to drive in 2 full days, and that is assuming good weather! Have at least a 3rd day available both ways and I'd recommend you spend a full day (2 nights) in Bozeman before you go back home. There is no way to predict the weather this far in advance. I-15 to I-90. The halfway point is Nephi, UT which has 6 motels/hotels to choose from. The Motel 6 has decent reviews and is the 2nd cheapest in town. The cheapest is $4 less but reviews aren't good.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,648

    Default

    Actually, GLC is correct, Nephi would be a better choice and is closer to halfway.

    Be aware, online mapping programs are going to default on a route through Yellowstone, which isn't possible in winter. Noting the time of year you are traveling, I'd recommend taking I-15 all the way to I-90, even though online mapping programs may suggest other shortcuts, but sticking to the Interstates are going to be a safer bet, especially if you'd see a sudden burst of snow, and shouldn't take you that much more time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,943

    Default

    Actually, Streets & Trips is suggesting US-20 out of Idaho Falls, ID/MT-87 to US-287 to Norris, MT-84/US-287 into Bozeman. This cuts off 80 miles but I would NOT take it if there is any chance of bad weather. Stick to I-15 and I-90, especially if you have no or little experience driving on snowy and icy roads. I personally would take the shortcut, but I have 50 years experience in winter driving, and I have snow tires and chains.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,471

    Default

    I'm going to agree with GLC on this one -- you're better off with I-15 to I-90, no shortcuts. If there's any weather issues at all, the interstates will be maintained as long as possible, but the US and MT-state highways may close at the top of a hat.

    Nephi UT has a number of lodging places, including some that are easier on the wallet, like Motel 6 or Super 8, and a mom-and-pop or two.


    Donna

  7. #7

    Default A small tweak

    You've been provided with sound advise regarding your trip. There's a slight modification on the northern end which is worthy of consideration: you may cut the corner of I-15 and I-90 by taking MT 41 out of Dillon, thence MT 55 to Whitehall where you'll pick up I-90. It's two lane but level and straight. It also is much lower in elevation than the segments of I-15 and I-90 which it shortcuts. In bad weather, you'll soon learn that altitude trumps latitude, which is simply to say that the passes at Divide and Homestake may very well see poorer conditions than the lower elevation MT state road route.

    Plus, there's a fine fuel/convenience store plaza at Rocky Mountain Supply right where you exit the Interstate in Dillon. Just a quarter mile south of RMS is the Dillon Taco Bus, purveyors of some of the finest Mexican food anywhere. On the return trip, assuming an early morning start, hit the coffee and baked goods café at the junction of US 287 and I-90 at Three Forks, MT, which goes by the name of Wheat, MT. It's before the Whitehall exit headed west so you'll go right by it regardless of taking the shortcut or not.

    Foy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,471

    Default

    US 287 and I-90 at Three Forks, MT, which goes by the name of Wheat, MT
    Small clarification: the junction may be called Wheat, but there is still the town of Three Forks. We stayed in Three Forks this summer, just before the 4th of July weekend, and it exists under that name.


    Donna

Similar Threads

  1. best route chicago to Los angeles to avoid bad weather in late December
    By Gerald Cuesta in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-30-2014, 07:31 PM
  2. Trip from Bristol, CT to Los Angeles, CA in late Oct. - early Nov.
    By lbidaytripper in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-29-2012, 08:55 PM
  3. late November and early December
    By RoadTripper Jo in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 07-28-2011, 01:11 AM
  4. Atlanta to Los Angeles early/mid December
    By curtsinger in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 11-27-2010, 05:04 PM
  5. Vegas to Denver late December early January
    By JC40a in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-04-2009, 07:27 PM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

  • MORE TO EXPLORE