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Driving SLC to Jackson; Advice Please

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Plan to drive SLC to Jackson & back in early to mid February. I'd just assumed taking I15 to Idaho Falls and then crossing Teton Pass would be the easiest route. Is there any benefit to taking 89? or to cutting off onto 30/34? Thanks for any advice Bears can offer.

post #2 of 8

Jim - There are several options for travelling from SLC to Jackson.  The quickest and probably easiest route is I-15 to Idaho Falls and over Teton Pass.  Another option is I-15 to Idaho Falls, route 20 up through Rexburg and route 33 to Driggs/Victor.  If you are interested in a scenic drive, you could take 89 up through Logan, Bear Lake, and to Jackson from the south.  In the summer, this route is a bit longer than I-15, but is much more scenic.  In the winter, the drive time will likely be even longer.  This would be the same for taking 30/34.

 

The stretch from Idaho Falls to Swan Valley on route 26 is a mostly 2-lane highway that has wide open stretches for a portion of the drive.  It is normally clear, but is prone to blowing/drifting if there is new snow & wind.  It was closed for a day due to blowing/drifting snow when we we headed to Targhee a couple years ago.  We had to wait in Idaho Falls for a few hours while they finished cutting a path through the snow using the monster highway snow-throwers - quite impressive to watch!!

 

My recommendation is to check the weather just prior to heading up to Jackson and make your decision on which route to take.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

NtS, Thanks much for that, pretty much what I expected.

Don't know the exact dates yet, but expect to ski Jackson for four to five days during the 

Feb  7-15 period. Will be on lookout for a mythical Bob Peters sighting!

post #4 of 8

I "might" take I-15 through IF if the weather was very bad.  If this is the case, then Teton and Pine Creek Passes will be very nasty and the Antelope Flats between IF and Swan Valley will be whited out and scary.  Most locals would take route 15 to Lava Hotsprings then travel through Soda Springs, Freedom, and Alpine to Jackson.  The other route is to take route 80 to Evanston then head north through Cokeville, Afton, and Alpine to Jackson.  Don't go through Logan or Bear Lake.  There are a few weird discrepancy's with the signage north of Cokeville that can add a few miles to the trip.  Look at the map and take the direct line.  It makes no sense at all to go through Rexburg.

 

I like the drive over Tin Cup Pass on the Soda Springs route.  It's very scenic.  It can be gnarly if the weather is bad.  The Cokeville route is a little better in bad weather.  Both of these routes take 4.5 - 5.5 hours.  Either of NeedToSkis routes will be much longer.  If you come to Jackson from IF pay attention to where you are because the signage is wrong in Swan Valley.  The signs will point you to Jackson through Alpine.  You will want to go over Pine Creek Pass through Victor and over Teton Pass to Jackson. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedToSki View Post

Jim - There are several options for travelling from SLC to Jackson.  The quickest and probably easiest route is I-15 to Idaho Falls and over Teton Pass.  Another option is I-15 to Idaho Falls, route 20 up through Rexburg and route 33 to Driggs/Victor.  If you are interested in a scenic drive, you could take 89 up through Logan, Bear Lake, and to Jackson from the south.  In the summer, this route is a bit longer than I-15, but is much more scenic.  In the winter, the drive time will likely be even longer.  This would be the same for taking 30/34.

 

The stretch from Idaho Falls to Swan Valley on route 26 is a mostly 2-lane highway that has wide open stretches for a portion of the drive.  It is normally clear, but is prone to blowing/drifting if there is new snow & wind.  It was closed for a day due to blowing/drifting snow when we we headed to Targhee a couple years ago.  We had to wait in Idaho Falls for a few hours while they finished cutting a path through the snow using the monster highway snow-throwers - quite impressive to watch!!

 

My recommendation is to check the weather just prior to heading up to Jackson and make your decision on which route to take.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks much TPJ

post #6 of 8

In Feb 2009 I went to Jackson (twice) from Park City, and took the Evanston/Big Piney route. Very quiet, very flat and straight until the last bit through the range. And Evanston has a particularly good walmart!  Second trip was a bit character-building as I left Jackson late one afternoon during a heavy snowfall, and apparently the ploughs stop around 5pm. So being on the actual road was challenging at times as it disappeared.

post #7 of 8

Hit Grand Targhee on the way to Jackson Hole!  You will not regret it.

post #8 of 8

I just drove up via the Evanston through Alpine route, in pouring rain. Had to slow down due to poor visibility. I would say it's a pretty safe route even in poor weather. Not too much big up downs. Part of the route is turny, but not really that bad.

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