Seattle - Cheyenne(WY) - Little Rock(AR)
Myself and my wife are planning a road trip from Seattle to Little Rock. From the research I have done there are two routes, both of which intersect at Cheyenne WY after which the route is common.
1) Seattle -(i-90)- Billings, MT -( i-25 south) which eventuall goes to cheyenne .....;then I go on through Denver etc.
2) Seattle - (i-90) - (i-82e) - (i-84e)- (i-80e). These are via Boise,IH and SLC,UT. I finally reach the common point Cheyenne and then go on through Denver etc.
I am not able to decide which route to take. The 1st one is 60 miles longer than the 2nd one. Questions are -
1. which route has steeper gradients and lot of curvy mountain driving? Slows driving increasing driving time?
2. which route has traffic? I definitely want to avoid high traffic zones on the leg till Cheyenne at least. By high traffic zone I mean something like i-5 which always has a lot of traffic. I suppose I would get stuck in traffic in Boise and SLC.
3) Are there any other shorter and quick routes? I would like to stick to interstates since we have 5-6 days max.
Please advise. I am planning on doing this in 5-6 days max with 2 of us driving. The maximum long distance driving I have done is Seattle - Yellowstone and that was at night. I know there was quite some moutain driving that we did on that trip and there was no traffic on the onward journey as well as the return.
Traffic through Boise isnt' bad as long as you avoid the rush hour times. And, even then, it isn't bad. I happened to go through there last summer at about dinnertime and traffic slowed down but nowhere near like Seattle's traffic does. Not a parking lot, in other words. You don't really go through SLC so you won't have any traffic problems there.
I would expect Denver traffic will be the worse you will run into along your route.
For the most part, if I remember what I've seen on that route in the past, you aren't going on any real steep grades...just some of the more gradual kind. There are some curves but not real twisty roads either. But, it's been awhile since I've been through those parts of Wyoming so I may not be remembering right. I also drive a car that loves twisty-bits (windy roads) so it's not something I concern myself with.
Are you towing something?
FWIW, if you're going to Arkansas and back again, I'd take one route there and the other route back in order to see more of the countryside.
MS Streets & Trips says that your route through Boise, then SLC, is the quickest route (2300 miles, 36 hours). But the difference is small as the Billings Route is just over at 2335 miles and 36 hours driving time. I would expect that you'll have more passes and windy roads on that route.
If I'm wrong, hopefully someone will correct me. Have a great trip!
Seattle - Denver Trips
I were took the Denver - Seattle trip 3 times 2 years ago.(Seattle - (i-90) - (i-82e) - (i-84e)- (i-80e) via Boise,IH and SLC,UT, Cheyenne and Denver) The road are easy without much diffcult.
I'll take another trip from Seattle to Bentonville,AR later this month & this time I'll take Seattle -(i-90)- Billings, MT -( i-25 south), Cheyenne & Denver etc. to see the diffrence.
Seattle - Cheyenne(WY) - Little Rock(AR)
Thanks a lot for the info. I have been to Yellowstone before and I missed the scenery along because we drove at night. I want to see what it is like at daytime (I mean the route along I-90 through Idaho and Montana). I think I will take that route since there isn't much difference. If you guys come to know of anything else please let me know.
Have done 90 from seattle to montana several times and last summer I drove xcountry and came back west via 90 (went east via 80). montana and idaho are beautiful, it's eastern washington that's boring as heck.
You just didn't notice
There are some incredibly cool places to explore and check out in eastern Washington. Walla Walla, Lewis & Clark state park, plenty of stuff around Spokane, Snake River Canyon. What area did you find boring?
Agree with Mark
Eastern Washington has some fascinating scenery. The Coulees are amazing as are Grand Coulee Dam area, Yakima-Richland Wine Country areas, Leavenworth, Methow Valley. Granted you don't see much of this from I-90 but they are only a hop and a skip away.
notes from my little rock trip
This is long overdue. I wanted to write back after my little rock trip May 20th, 04. I went through Idaho and Montana, through some of the most breathtaking scenery I have seen. I just fell in love with the beautiful unspoilt country side. Once we started reaching I-25 the gradents started getting steeper and our loaded Corolla had a tough time climbing. The gradients on this part of I-90 and I-25 in Wyoming are quite steep. Also, from the time we hit I-25, for the next 1000 miles I literally had to wrestle with the steering to keep the car sraight because of the very strong winds blowing perpendicular to the car (the jet stream I guess?). This was the case all the way to Kansas till we branched off South on I-135. My arms were aching the whole of those two days! Anyways we had a good and enjoyable trip.