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Old 07-14-2015, 10:47 AM   #1
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Best route from San Antonio to West Yellowstone

We are driving up to West Yellowstone with our AS soon. But I am torn about the best route from San Antonio Texas to West Yellowstone, we have three days to get there, which rounds out to about 500 miles a day. Looking for the best route as in the faster route. So many of the routes I am seeing are not on the interstate, and I just never know what I will find on the non interstate roads, which would be fine if we had more time to explore, but not this trip. So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

The routes I saw were through Texas, NM, Utah, Idaho and another Texas Colorado, Wyoming (there were two routes through colorado that google maps generated, one was more east)

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Old 07-14-2015, 11:40 AM   #2
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I would head west and north through Amarillo over to Raton on I 25 N. through Colorado and then northwest over to Yellowstone.
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:45 AM   #3
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Google Maps shows the shortest route from San Antonio north to Lubbock then to Amarillo then to Raton, NM. Hit the interstate north through Denver to Cheyanne. The route cuts off Cheyanne but I'd go through Cheyenne since its only 20 miles longer and is all interstate. Then its off the interstates at Rawlins, Wy north on state highways via Grand Teton. Looks like this route is 50/50 for interstate/state highways. Trying to go around Yellowstone to West Yellowstone is longer but there will be traffic delays driving through Yellowstone and the speed limit is 45mph.

Probably, choosing the same route but head to Idaho Falls via Rock Springs, Wy then head north to West Yellowstone would be better but its 150 miles longer.

I've driven to Glacier Natl Park from North Dallas in 3 1/2 days (about 1800 miles). What we did is leave Friday after work and got about 200 miles under our belt. Stayed at RV parks where we didn't unhitch. Just unplug the shore power and get on the road. Wife and kid slept in the tow vehicle until we found a rest stop to have a quick breakfast and dress into travel clothes. Had quick lunches in city parks. We only towed at 60 mph.

It can be done if you wake up early and expect to drive for 12 hours.

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Old 07-14-2015, 12:15 PM   #4
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I guess another question I should ask is, are there any roads I should avoid between San Antonio and West Yellowstone. I noticed last night that Colorado seems to be under a load of construction right now, it appears they are working mostly at night, but still those narrow walled areas really suck after a while.

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Old 07-14-2015, 12:33 PM   #5
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I would avoid IH25 from Raton to Denver....way too much traffic. I would continue North from Amarillo to Lymon, CO on US HWY 287, then IH 40 to the Denver loop, and around that way.

We went that way last year, and the road is good, traffic light, and you avoid the most horrible traffic between CO Springs and all the way thru Denver.
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:36 PM   #6
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I agree. In 2011 on our first Glacier trip went by way of Raton through Denver. Stayed at Cherry Creek State Park Saturday night. From Colorado Springs to Denver on I25 it was a madhouse; heavy traffic and a traffic jam 25 miles south of Denver, what a mess. Sunday was easy through Denver.

Our 2012 trip to Glacier we avoided I25 and headed north from Childress, TX via Scottsbluff, Nebraska then hit I25 north of Cheyenne. Much nicer experience. Driving north of Amarillo will be similar. It will be hot.

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Old 07-14-2015, 02:12 PM   #7
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Made that trip many times, Lubbuck to Amarillo to Lamar, CO to Cheyenne, WY, then at th Rawlins, WY exit, there is a short cut to Teton/Yellowstone via 287. You will still need to go completely through the Park to get to West Yellowstone, otherwise you should go to Idaho Falls, Idaho and go north on Hwy 20 to West Yellowstone. Nice trip.
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:25 PM   #8
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I would avoid IH25 from Raton to Denver....way too much traffic. I would continue North from Amarillo to Lymon, CO on US HWY 287, then IH 40 to the Denver loop, and around that way.
I think you mean Interstate 70 from Limon to Denver. One word of warning on the Denver loop (E-470): the road is tolled, and you can expect a hefty bill in the mail for using it. It is likely worth it to avoid the heavier traffic and narrower stretches of highway through downtown Denver. From the Denver loop one can pick up I-25 and head north to Wyoming.

Interstate 40 is the next major east-west interstate to the south, running in the tier of states to the south of Colorado - OK, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, etc.
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Old 07-14-2015, 10:08 PM   #9
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One other way to look at is go from Lubbock to Clovis, NM to Santa Fe, then up to Montecello, UT to Moab, then take Hwy 6 to Salt Lake City and north to Pocatello/Idaho Falls and to West Yellowstone. Good roads and nice scenery and you could stop at Arches NP on the way.
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Old 07-15-2015, 11:55 AM   #10
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I would head west and north through Amarillo over to Raton on I 25 N. through Colorado and then northwest over to Yellowstone.
My suggestion is I-35 north from San Antonio to I-70 in Kansas. I-70 west to I-25 (Denver). Actually it is better if you take E-470 around the northeast quadrant of Denver, if you don't mind a toll road. I-25 north to Casper, WY. I do not remember the state of US highway designations from there but from Casper let your GPS route you to Cody, WY. From Cody just follow the signs.

You are right it will be about 500 miles each day but you will have interstate highway all the way to Casper. Overnight camping should be no problem. The highway from Casper was good a year ago when I last drove it. Good luck have fun!
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Old 07-15-2015, 12:45 PM   #11
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Avoid I25 through Colorado Springs and Denver at all costs.
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:16 PM   #12
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We live in Cody and visited family in San Antonio. Our favorite route is straight up to Nebraska over to Cheyenne then to Casper up to Cody then you can you in east entrance of the park over to west ( if you want to go through the park) other wise I would go to Cheyenne stay on interstate to rock springs and up through Idaho to west. Hope that helps. If you decide to go through Cody and need any overnight suggestions let me know
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:21 PM   #13
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Avoid Colorado almost altogether by going through Clovis, NM then to I-40 over to Gallup, then north to Farmington and Cortez, CO, then continue on 491 to Monticello, UT. Continue north to Moab, hit I-70 to Hwy 6 to Price and come out on I-15 which will take you to Salt Lake City. From there go I-15 to Idaho Falls the take Hwy 20 to West Yellowstone.
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:42 PM   #14
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One other way to look at is go from Lubbock to Clovis, NM to Santa Fe, then up to Montecello, UT to Moab, then take Hwy 6 to Salt Lake City and north to Pocatello/Idaho Falls and to West Yellowstone. Good roads and nice scenery and you could stop at Arches NP on the way.
This would be by far the best way to go as it completely takes the front range of Colorado off the route and the time and cost of having to go through Yellowstone park or the 10% grade up over Teton Pass west of Jackson to avoid the park . I would not mess with Santa Fe , but go through Albuquerque instead , then a few miles north on I-25 to Bernalillo then NW on US 550 to Bloomfield , then west on US 64 to Shiprock and pickup US 491 to Monticello , Utah . Have traveled this route from Central Texas dozens of times and would never consider any other alternative , 550 across NM. has been widened to 4 lanes and was smooth as glass the last time we drove it . Gasoline or Diesel will be a bargain in Bernalillo as well . The road over Soldier summit in Utah does not have steep grades and is also 4 lanes.

Have Fun !
PS the 550 route is 20 plus miles shorter than the route through Gallup .
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