Best route, Cheyenne -> Dubois?
October 23, 2011 2:50 PM   Subscribe

Road trip planning for the western US - which of the following is more scenic/interesting? Cheyenne -> Rawlings (Via I-80) -> Dubois OR Cheyenne -> Casper (via I-25) -> Dubois

We're planning an extended US road trip next year, and trying to determine which route to take heading towards Yellowstone.
posted by xiw to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you have a AAA membership this is the kind of question they live for.
posted by thatone at 2:58 PM on October 23, 2011

Response by poster: (We live in New Zealand, so we don't, alas)
posted by xiw at 3:08 PM on October 23, 2011

Just drove Cheyenne/Casper route last week via Bozeman MT. Beautiful!
posted by matty at 3:32 PM on October 23, 2011

Best answer: Former Wyomingite here! I spent the majority of the year I lived in Wyoming driving around.

I-80 from Cheyenne to Rawlins is, for the most part, a desolate wasteland. Wyoming has "beautiful desolate", but this ain't it. You will be surrounded by dust, long haul truckers, and scenery that will make you say "huh". The only reason I'd suggest you taking this route would be if you were crossing Wyoming in the dead of winter. Some of the smaller roads and many of the Canyon roads close for bad weather in the winter. Crappy as I-80 may be, it'd be better to be close to civilization (such as it is on this road).

I-25 is much more interesting. You'll drive by the Thunder Basin Grasslands, which are impressive in their...grassiness. You'll go north of the Laramie Mountains, which are pretty. You'll find more in the way of wilderness and less in the way of traffic. Plus, if you're in Wyoming in the late summer, you'll pass endless fields of sunflowers on this road with picturesque mountains in the background. It's impressive.

And, of course, once you're in Dubois you'll have the Wind River Range, you'll be close to the Tetons and Yellowstone, and you'll have all of the mountains and WOW that you can take in. :)
posted by Elly Vortex at 3:54 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks - it'll be in June.
posted by xiw at 4:03 PM on October 23, 2011

Best answer: Definitely I-25!

I did both legs of this earlier this year (in June, right around the longest day of the year). Elly Vortex is right: I-80's a bit of a wasteland; but I-25's not bad - and once you turn off the interstate, the stretch from Casper to Shoshoni is magic late in the evening, when the sun's low in the sky across the grasslands.

(If you can possibly find the time, take the 30-mile side trip from Shoshoni to Thermopolis, up the Wind River Canyon. It is magical. (And, if you're interested in geology, there are signposts along the side of the road pointing out the rock strata, all the way back to 600 million years ago.))
posted by The Shiny Thing at 7:00 PM on October 23, 2011

Best answer: I'm here to agree with everyone else. You take I-25, definitely not I-80. A coworker of mine put it best:
On I-80 you set cruise at 90 (that's mph!) and get out a newspaper. You read the sports section, then check to see if the road is going to curve. You're gonna finish the Sunday New York Times and realize you still have 5 hours to go. And there's nothing else to look at.
Okay, so it's not quite that bad, but it's close. There's no real time savings going one way or the other. The speed limits in Wyoming, outside of the cities, are 65mph on 2-lane highways and 75mph on the freeways. My experience is that these speed limits are frequently ignored outside of the various towns. I've found that I-80 for almost its entire length is the second most boring interstate to drive (I-10 is truly the worst IMO.)
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:27 PM on October 23, 2011

Best answer: I grew up in Colorado and Wyoming. Absolutely take the I-25 route. Alternatively, you may want to consider the alternate route from Laramie to Casper via the Rock River/Medicine Bow Route.
posted by scody at 10:57 PM on October 23, 2011

« Older Need another pair of eyes on this beholder   |   To Second Opinion or Not, what is the etiquitte? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.