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View Full Version : Badlands to Hill City, SD to Cody, WY -routes?


JimIrish7
04-24-2021, 06:48 PM
We are new to the 5th wheels and in planning our trip this summer, we want to make sure we have the correct and safest route out to Cody being our first time.
We have a 2020 Dodge 2500 and MC HC 32 ft(281CK)

1. I have heard the route 16 is a real challenge. We have booked a place up in Hill CIty, SD and I am wondering shall I cancel it?

2. Is this the best route out of Hill City over to Cody down 16?

Thanks
Jim

twindman
04-24-2021, 10:45 PM
Route 16 is by far the best (easiest) route thru the Big Horns. It sort of depends on your skills driving and pulling a trailer as to whether you think it is safe. I assume all newer pickups have exhaust brakes. If yours does it will make it much easier to go down the mountain. This also assumes you have a diesel, not a gas guzzler. If gas, I would be kind of concerned about driving in the mountains.
For the very easiest and safest route, take I 25 towards Casper, then US20, and then WY20 back up north. This circumnavigates the Big Horns all together. Of course in my opinion, you then miss the best scenery in WY.

JimIrish7
04-25-2021, 06:03 AM
Ok - thank you.
We have a diesel and exhaust brakes. Anny roads in WY, COLORADO or MT we should avoid as we take the trip this summer?

twindman
04-25-2021, 01:01 PM
There is highway 14A on the west side of the Big Horns. There is a book for mountainous driving (East and West books). It calls this 14A as the 'Oh My God!' hill. It is 10 miles of 10% grade and 8 more of 8%!!!!! My wife won't let me drive it since our first trip on it in 2006 or 2007!
Not recommended to pull across Rocky Mtn Nat. Park. Also skip the highway out of Jacksonville, Wy west into Idaho. Pretty step and windy.


I would recommend you get the Mountainous Driving book too. It shows every main highway west of the Mississippi, I think. Listed by state and has a description of each section.

WeBeFulltime
04-25-2021, 01:31 PM
There is highway 14A on the west side of the Big Horns. There is a book for mountainous driving (East and West books). It calls this 14A as the 'Oh My God!' hill. It is 10 miles of 10% grade and 8 more of 8%!!!!! My wife won't let me drive it since our first trip on it in 2006 or 2007!
Not recommended to pull across Rocky Mtn Nat. Park. Also skip the highway out of Jacksonville, Wy west into Idaho. Pretty step and windy.


I would recommend you get the Mountainous Driving book too. It shows every main highway west of the Mississippi, I think. Listed by state and has a description of each section.

In 2018 we did the 14A pulling our 2018 3791RD with a 2012 F350 SRW PSD. I'm a retired trucker and COULD do it again but I WON'T do it again. Would take the easier route.:eek:

Maks
04-25-2021, 02:09 PM
JimIrish7........
For 4 years in a row, we were storm-stayed in Wyoming due to high winds. We were traveling north/south along the I25/ I90 corridor. This was in the winter and I'm not sure when you are traveling so the winds may not be an issue for you.
Also, you are traveling primarily east/west so that could also factor in.
We will NOT be taking that route anymore.
When you can only see your trailer in one mirror and see semi's on their side in the ditch..... you're in a world of hurt.

Best plan...... shut 'er down and wait it out.

JimIrish7
04-25-2021, 02:47 PM
Ok- thank you

mlh
04-25-2021, 05:06 PM
Rt 14 is one of my favorite roads. It is beautiful. And while in Cody don’t fail to see the Museum. It’s an absolute must see. The first time I saw it two friends in Wyoming one in Dubois and one in Laramie told me I had to see it so I thought I would take 15 minutes to see it. I took two days and I’ve been back 5 times.
Lynwood

mlh
04-25-2021, 05:10 PM
JimIrish7........
For 4 years in a row, we were storm-stayed in Wyoming due to high winds. We were traveling north/south along the I25/ I90 corridor. This was in the winter and I'm not sure when you are traveling so the winds may not be an issue for you.
Also, you are traveling primarily east/west so that could also factor in.
We will NOT be taking that route anymore.
When you can only see your trailer in one mirror and see semi's on their side in the ditch..... you're in a world of hurt.

Best plan...... shut 'er down and wait it out.

My friend in Laramie told me the days the wind blows in Wyoming. It only blows on certain days. It starts on January the first and ends December the thirty first.
Lynwood

rames14
04-25-2021, 05:26 PM
We live west of I25 not far from the Wyoming border. You can hit wind at anytime, but that is the one thing the forecasters never miss. If it’s bad they close the road to high profile vehicles. Read that as semis and campers. Trail Ridge (34) across Rocky Mountain NP, 550 between Silverton and Ouray, 14A in Wyoming and the road to Red Lodge in Montana are some to avoid. They can all be done, but why tax yourself and your equipment?

twindman
04-25-2021, 06:07 PM
We live west of I25 not far from the Wyoming border. You can hit wind at anytime, but that is the one thing the forecasters never miss. If itís bad they close the road to high profile vehicles. Read that as semis and campers. Trail Ridge (34) across Rocky Mountain NP, 550 between Silverton and Ouray, 14A in Wyoming and the road to Red Lodge in Montana are some to avoid. They can all be done, but why tax yourself and your equipment?
Ron, refresh my memory. I don't remember much about the road to Red Lodge, but what I do remember it didn't seem too bad - nothing like 14A.

rames14
04-25-2021, 06:13 PM
The Beartooth Highway is currently closed. Beartooth Pass is over 10,000 feet with big switchbacks near the top of the pass. They get 26’ of snow per year. Hear is a link. https://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/beartooth/

twindman
04-26-2021, 01:55 PM
The Beartooth Highway is currently closed. Beartooth Pass is over 10,000 feet with big switchbacks near the top of the pass. They get 26í of snow per year. Hear is a link. https://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/beartooth/
I have never done more than look down on the beartooth - never drove it. I went to Red Lodge via state highways farther east via Belfry. Yes I agree with not driving the Beartooth while towing!!:D

JimIrish7
04-28-2021, 05:20 AM
Great info-thank you

77cruiser
04-28-2021, 10:03 AM
I drove the Beartooth in a B motorhome in September, beautiful.
Come to think of it drove 16 across the Bighorns in a grand Am after a 3 inch snow.

team bradfield
04-28-2021, 11:25 AM
My friend in Laramie told me the days the wind blows in Wyoming. It only blows on certain days. It starts on January the first and ends December the thirty first.
Lynwood

that is true:lol:

bcrvman
05-02-2021, 03:01 PM
We are new to the 5th wheels and in planning our trip this summer, we want to make sure we have the correct and safest route out to Cody being our first time.
We have a 2020 Dodge 2500 and MC HC 32 ft(281CK)

1. I have heard the route 16 is a real challenge. We have booked a place up in Hill CIty, SD and I am wondering shall I cancel it?

2. Is this the best route out of Hill City over to Cody down 16?

Thanks
Jim

Get one of the Garmin RV specific GPS units. Always set them to fastest time never shortest distance. Also use RV Trip Wizard to plan. It's a web site. Well worth the small cost and now includes a lot of extra functions.

DaveW
05-03-2021, 08:15 PM
Hiway 16 from Buffalo to Ten Sleep is one of my favorite drives last year. It gets high (over 9000 feet) but the scenery is amazing. I think Ten Sleep canyon is like driving through Zion. You'll be fine with engine braking, and they have lots of warning signs. Go at a comfortable pace, and stop for pictures.

mr68gts
05-03-2021, 10:31 PM
How ever you go, stop by the Alpine Inn! Best fillet mignon I've had! They have some German dish too. The only 2 things they make for dinner. We are actually going up there our selves but not with trailer this time in a few more weeks.(next month)
Edit! Btw, were up there 2 years ago this month and there was a blizzard. We went into cody and deadwood in yellowstone. Bring chains just in case. You may need them!
Paul

JimIrish7
05-04-2021, 01:13 AM
Will stop in and get a dinner!