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I90 or I80 - Driving Back to the Midwest? Traffic, Construc

Wisconsin
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I90 or I80 - Driving Back to the Midwest? Traffic, Construc

I've heard some horror stories from some people who were recently at YNP about the traffic jams at the East entrance. We are spending our last 2 days of vacation at Colter Bay Village in the Grand Tetons (after spending 5 nights in YNP). We were planning on heading home to WI by going through YNP and out the East entrance and then taking I90 home. Based on the info about traffic due to construction at the East entrance and traffic on I90 because of tehe bike rally, I'm now considering taking I80 back. I hear it's a "boring" drive with little scenery but maybe it will be less stressful. Grand Tetons to Cheyenne, WY and then Cheyenne to Omaha, NE and then Omaha to WI.

Has anyone taken a similar drive? How was it?

Does anyone have feedback regarding their experience with delays exiting through the East of YNP?

Any recommendations of things to see in Cheyenne or around I80.

As always, your help is greatly appreciated.

Illinois
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1. Re: I90 or I80 - Driving Back to the Midwest? Traffic, Construc

When are you coming home? We've been there twice and we drove there last year from northern Illinois and hit the Black Hills the weekend the rally was ending. There was a lot of bike traffic coming the other way but I never noticed any backups or delays due to it, just more vehicles on the road than normal.

When we left last year we went out the East entrance which was under construction last year as well. Just before we got to the entrance we saw cars pulled over so we stopped-mother grizzly and 2 cubs!-but the car behind us kept going. We watched the bears for 20 minutes or so and then went on our way. When we got to the entrance the car that had gone by was 1st in line for the wait to get out. We waited a few more minutes and then were on our way. So, basically I guess if you hit it completely wrong, it was a 30 minute wait last year. Have not been watching this site much lately so maybe it's worse but 30 minutes isn't terrible.

I think my in-laws took 80 back last year and had no problems. Really, 90 isn't that much more scenic. Badlands and Chamberlain are nice but there's still lots of "kill me I'm so bored" areas, namely all of southern Minnesota!!!! Just driving back into YNP will slow you down so if you can get from the Tetons quick to Cheyenne that's probably not a bad idea. However, I wouldn't let the bike traffic scare you off if you'd rather take 90, especially if you won't be on the road the Friday-Sunday that the rally is ending.

Wisconsin
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2. Re: I90 or I80 - Driving Back to the Midwest? Traffic, Construc

librarychick - I was told that the delay recently was almost 2 hours. That scares me more than any bikers could. I'm not worried about the bikers from a people perspective, just a traffic and speed perspective.

We would be driving from Sheridan to Sioux Falls on Friday, August 11. Isn't that the closing weekend?

Thanks for the response.

Rochester Hills...
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3. Re: I90 or I80 - Driving Back to the Midwest? Traffic, Construc

Ask the rangers when you get there, as construction keeps changing. We just got back this week and the east entrance was closed every night from 8 p.m to 8 a.m.

We drove out I-90 way (more or less) and had planned on coming back on I-80 but so many people said there was a lot of construction on I-80 through Iowa and that there was a lot of truck traffic on that road. So we came back on I-90 again. The nice thing about I-90 is that there seemed to be no state troopers at all until we hit somewhere in Minnesota. So you can travel fast. There were a lot of prairie fires through Montana and northeastern wyoming with a lot of smoke, but it didn't slow us down.

When we hit Albert Lea, MN we headed south and picked up I-80 by the Illinois/Iowa border so as to miss Wisconsin (heavy Wisconsin Dells traffic, lots of cops, 65 mph speed limit). We were heading back to Detroit, MI and Chicago traffic was the only problem we hit the whole way.

West Yellowstone, MT
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4. Re: I90 or I80 - Driving Back to the Midwest? Traffic, Construc

The East gate WILL close every night from 8PM - 8 AM except for Labor Day Weekend (if the construction crews are on schedule they will take that weekend off). This is a large long-term construction project.

We have been through that area four times this summer and have had delays from 1/2 hour to 1 hour for road construction. However, the worst traffic backups were later in the evening as everyone rushed to make it in or out of the gate. The next time through, we changed our timing to mid-morning and it was better.

There has been road repairs on I-90 intermittently throughout this summer. You can call for updates 1.800.226.7623 or just visit the web site for what is happening http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/