Driving to the west coast

I’m relocating in August, from the east coast of Canada all the way to the west coast. I’ll be driving through the US as gas prices are much lower in the States, and the highway system is also a bit fancier than some parts of Canada. Also, I have more friends I can visit and crash with overnight if I drive through the States. All of them from KH! :heart:

I’ve planned my overnight stops in several locations, but I haven’t figured out where to stop in between the Chicago area, and Boise, Idaho. I’m not looking for people to stay with. Just some recommendations of what some good overnight stopping points might be.

I’m wondering, if as a single driver, I can make the trek between Chicago and Boise in two days, or if I should break it up and make the drive over 3 days. Has anybody made that particular journey before?

Thanks in advance for any advice or suggetions people can offer!

Sounds like you’ll be taking Interstate 80; I went that way when I moved from N. Idaho to Michigan. You might be able to make it in 2 days between chicago and boise, but they’d be long days. If you’re spending the night in the chicago area, you could probably get all the way through Iowa in one day, which would put you around Omaha or Lincoln Nebraska. Maybe even a little further west in Kearney or North Platte. Then there’s lots of Wyoming to drive through and it would depend how far you got the day before as to where to stay. There aren’t many towns to choose from - Cheyenne, Laramie, Rawlins, Rock Springs and Evanston. There’s a really high mountain pass between Cheyenne and Laramie. I didn’t see it marked well on my maps and was really surprised when I got there. I was pulling a trailer behind my car and had gone that route because I thought there weren’t any passes. It was the 2nd unmarked one I found…

Thank you for the information, Sue! That helps, because now I know the names of some of the towns, I can figure out where some good stopping places might be. I’m not familiar with that area at all, so when I was looking at a map, it was hard to distinguish the towns that might have hotels from the small communities that show up on the map.

Since I’m traveling alone, I think I’ll try to split it up over 3 days, instead of making the drive in two days. Also, my car is little and only has 3 cylinders and will be filled with my belongings, so if I have to go over a mountain pass, I figure it will be slow going for me.

I just drove from NJ to WA at the beginning of May. My SO relocated out to be with me. We drove it together. I can attest to the draining of energy from continuous days of driving. And we shared the driving duties!

I would highly suggest you limit your driving time to 8 hours or less each day, that’s including the stops for meals, potty breaks and such. And taking the time to visit and relax along the way is a good thing too! We tried to get hotels with pools and swam each day to ease the stiffness from sitting in the car.

Another suggestion is to build in an extra day in case you start to get behind as you drive. We got behind, but with two of us, managed to do a really long day to make it up. You won’t have that luxury.

As to route, may I suggest I-90 until western MT, then drop down at Butte on I-15 into ID? Then pick up 84 to Boise… You’ll have a pass by Bozeman, MT, one before Butte and then one from MT to ID, but you’re kinda stuck with going through passes to get over the Rockies. Fortunately the traffic out West is light enough, any pass you go over, you’ll see other people struggling too, including the big trucks!


edited to add: Have fun! It’s great to travel that far, we had a blast!

Taking I 90/15/84 is quite a bit longer than I80 and has 3 passes. There’s only the one pass west of Cheyenne and it’s about the same as the one going into Butte.

Welcome to the ‘wet coast’ :slight_smile:

Duh. You’re right. What was I thinking? :think:

Oh, wait! I wasn’t! :roflhard:

Dilly, if you’re passing through the Seattle area from Boise to BC and like tea, give me a holler, I do know where there’s good tea in the gosh-darned coffee addicted town! :thumbsup:


Thanks for the information! When I’m planning more specifically, I’ll be sure to map my route on the I80 and I’ll look for accomodations in some of the cities mentioned.

I’m not sure about stopping for tea. At that point, I’ll be on the home stretch and will just be so excited to get to my destination that I’ll likely just be zipping through as fast as I can. But I’ll keep a tea-stop in mind if I think I’ll be ready for a break around then. Thanks!