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  1. Default Tacoma to Boulder

    I'll be traveling with my teenaged son in August from Tacoma to Boulder. We will need to get there fairly quickly but without killing ourselves off. I'm thinking 3 days. Does anyone have suggestions for routes and good places for the two overnights? I'm very new to the forum and did a search but only found a meandering route.

    Thank you for your help!
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 07-18-2018 at 08:46 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You're looking at a trip that's about 1350 miles, so that's a good 2.5 day drive - so your plan to take three is a solid one.

    The most direct route would be I-90/I-82/I-84/I-80/I-25, and if you just want to focus on comfortably covering miles, the Boise and Rock Springs WY be good options, about 500 miles the first two days, with a shorter 350 mile final day.

    That's not your only option of course. Once you get to Utah, you could take I-15 through Salt Lake City to US-6 and take that down to I-70 for a very scenic trip across Colorado. In that case, your second night could be around Price or Green River, UT.

    You also could stay north across Washington and Montana and just take I-90 all the way to I-25. Missoula MT and Buffalo WY would be stopping options that route.

    Either of the two alternates I mentioned only add about 50 miles, and any of those would work just fine to get you there quickly, yet still have plenty of things you could stop and for short breaks and exploration along the way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Three Days is About Right

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The most direct route between Tacoma and Boulder is a little over 1,300 miles so you can cover it very comfortably and safely in three days with time for a few modest stops along the way. The route is as follows: I-5/WA-18 to I-90 east, then at Ellensburg switch over to I-84 (south)east. Follow that (It will be duplexed with I-15 in Utah, but stay with I-84 when they split again at Ogden) to Laramie WY and use US-287 as a cut-off down to I-25 south. Finally, CO-119 will take you through Longmont to Boulder. Two roughly equally spaced towns along that route for overnights would be Ontario OR and Evanston WY.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Ft. Collins, CO.


    I've done Ft. Collins - Seattle-Ft. Collins quite a few times.
    I prefer I-90 thru Montana to I-25. Road surfaces are in good shape and there's less jostling with truck traffic.In winter it's a lower altitude most of the time than the I-80 route.

    It's about 100 miles longer but that difference is against the 65 mph speed limits thru Oregon instead of running 75 or 80 in Montana and Wyoming.

  5. #5


    Here is another option if you want to avoid Seattle, Portland and Denver traffic. However you will have to deal with Salt Lake City traffic.

    Take US12 from I5 (napavine) to I82 to Yakima, I84 east.

    You have an option to overnight in Boise.

    Continue on I84 to I15 to US6. Take US6 to I70 East and continue on to Hwy93 North and on to Boulder Co. You have an option to overnight in Grand Junction or other towns along the way.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    I would certainly be drawn towards I-70 for it's scenic beauty. Mountain home would be a good target for day one and to add a couple of scenic alternatives you could detour slightly and stay overnight in (or close to Moab) and then take UT128 through Castle valley back to I-70. On route to Boulder (presuming like the others it's Boulder CO) you could again detour from I-70 and cross the continental divide over Loveland Pass on US 6 which has wonderful views from 'up top'. It would all add up to around 100 miles of extra driving but would be well worth it in my opinion.

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