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US Highway 40, from Salt Lake City to Craig, CO


Jim & Alice

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We are looking at traveling from Las Vegas to the Black Hills, SD, in early May. We plan on catching I-80 at Wendover, west of Salt Lake City, and travel east from there. In order to avoid the heavy I-80 grades (Parley's Summit, Echo Canyon) east of Salt Lake City, I am looking at perhaps taking US Highway 40 from Salt Lake City to Craig, CO, then North from there (CO 13, WY 789) to rejoin I-80.

 

Has anyone ever driven the US Hwy 40, Salt Lake City to Craig, stretch? Any grades to consider? Hwy shoulders Yes/no? Gas stops, etc?

 

Thanks much!

JIm

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If you take I-80 east from Wendover to US40, you will climb Parleys Summit before you get to 40.

I'm not sure why you'd go to Wendover from Vegas.

I used to drive from Ca through Vegas to my summer home in the Black Hills frequently before retiring. I always approached SLC from the south on I-15 and would get off at Provo, go up Provo Canyon (189) to meet US40 at Heber City. Some trips I would then head west on 40 back to 80 and Evanston Wy. Other trips just for variety I would go east on 40 to Craig or Steamboat before heading north.

But as far as US40, its good road, heavy use, no real issues and not much scenery until you get to Steamboat Springs. Hiway 13 north from Craig is a typical back country road through sage brush country, and no services. I always found WY secondary roads to be well maintained.

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While I have been over that route, it has been some years but I question your reasoning for traveling that way. The I-80 route is steep in spots but it is a total of 264 miles from Salt Lake to Creston, WY while your proposed routs is 384. If you have traveled the I-80 route and are bored with it and are looking for a change of scenery and something different, where an extra 120 miles doesn't matter, then go for it as I doubt that you would have any problems but services will be limited. Baggs does have fuel and a few other businesses.

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Thanks, Jim2 and Kirk, for the advice. I am going to go back and check the map on that Heber City access.

 

We have 'some' desire to do these travels in the off-interstate mode, balancing that desire with good roads. Jim, Leaving Las Vegas we will be going North on US 93, boondocking in Ely. Great spot there. Then, from there to Wendover, where we have a couple good options to boondock & fuel up while traveling on I-80 close to SLC.

 

The next leg is the one I am looking at, of course. If we go the US 40 route, we would miss 'Little America' (I-80, ~70 miles into Wyoming) and a top notch boondocking site. But... then we would see some different back country that we tend to prefer.

 

Thanks again, guys. Appreciated.

Jim

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93 to Ely I understand, there are some nice spots and sites around Ely. But north of Ely to Wendover is wasteland and that route forces you to go thru the middle of the crazy SLC traffic. I would consider from Ely, going east on 50 to Delta Ut and 6 NE to I-15 just south of Provo and then exiting to 189 up Provo Canyon to 40. The 50 & 6 route is not very scenic either, but at least it lets you avoid going into SLC traffic, and Provo Canyon is very scenic.

You'll be able to fuel up in Provo area and I'm sure there are some boondocking spots nearby. I know Utah Lake has a nice state park, its got water & elect hookups so not free.

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First, Parley's Summit on I-80 eastbound has a 2-1/2 miles descent of 4-6% which isn't bad at all.

 

We have driven this route: Out of Las Vegas and at Exit 64 on I-15 and Hwy 93, take 93 to Ely then 6 toward Great Basin Nat'l Park. Take 6 to Provo and get on 189 to Heber City, Utah. The surroundings of Heber City is a very nice, scenic area for exploring. Then take 40 east to Craig for a total of 738 miles. From Heber City you could easily do a day trip to the winter Olympic site in Park City. They have some interesting things to check out pertaining to the Olympics. You could also do a day trip into Salt Lake City if you wish.

 

We're like you and try to stay off interstates. We don't even care if it's desolate. We just enjoy the wide open spaces. Safe travels!

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I would consider from Ely, going east on 50 to Delta Ut and 6 NE to I-15 just south of Provo and then exiting to 189 up Provo Canyon to 40.

 

Just wanted to say 'Thanks', Jim for you advice on this. We're still down in Arizona and it will be a couple of weeks before we leave Las Vegas on the next leg of our trip to South Dakota. What we do this trip will probably depend a little on the weather when we leave. The I-80 route is tried-and-true... but its fun to get off the Interstates!

Safe Travels

Jim

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We're like you and try to stay off interstates. We don't even care if it's desolate. We just enjoy the wide open spaces. Safe travels!

 

Thanks, Gypsies! We are looking hard at the route that you and Jim2 suggested... Good to know it works. We'll probably decide when we get to Ely and boondock for a couple of nights.

Safe Travels

Jim

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