I-80 Versus I-70 Wyoming or Colorado

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Chris is Cruizin, Mar 18, 2021.

  1. Chris is Cruizin

    Chris is Cruizin Bobtail Member

    Mar 18, 2021
    Hey Truckers,
    I had a load to Salt Lake City UT from Indiana and I-80 West closed due to weather, had to route down to I-70 and it was a total nightmare! But I didn’t have to chain up. It was Snowing in the Mountains at Vail & Eisenhower Tunnel. I made it to Salt Lake City UT eventually. But I have to go back East so do I have to take I-80 or I-70 (Again) which one is easier on the driver? Grades, Traffic, Wind, and Ice? I know weather is the main concern. But what about being heavy versus having a light trailer? I’ve never taken I-80 thru Wyoming ever. I’ve only been driving a year so anything helps. Thank you.
    austinmike and Trucker61016 Thank this.
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  3. Antinomian

    Antinomian Road Train Member

    Feb 17, 2013
    Wyoming is easier, if it's open. I never take I-70 west of Denver in the winter. There are two easy 8500 foot passes in Wyoming. The I-70 route has two steep 10,500 foot passes. Just pay attention to wind warnings in Wyoming. That's a more frequent problem than snow.
  4. Truckermania

    Truckermania Road Train Member

    Oct 13, 2011
    I-80 is open now and the weather is good the next few days so I would take that if I were you.
    tscottme and Trucker61016 Thank this.
  5. nredfor88

    nredfor88 Road Train Member

    Sep 26, 2019
    I80 Wyoming any time it’s open over I70. Especially if you are pulling a tall trailer, so you don’t have to take the US6 Eisenhower Tunnel bypass. Avoid that when slick.
    tscottme and Trucker61016 Thank this.
  6. Dave_in_AZ

    Dave_in_AZ Road Train Member

    May 4, 2015
    See What If It Snows thread for instructions.
  7. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2009
    1918 Anywhere, USA 90210
    80 all day. 70 is nice scenery, but a little more challenging between Denver and Grand Junction.
    tscottme Thanks this.
  8. SoulScream84

    SoulScream84 Road Train Member

    Mar 21, 2020
    LMAO. "70 is challenging"? Have some of you ever been off the big roads?
  9. nofreetime

    nofreetime Road Train Member

    Oct 22, 2013
    If chain law is in effect on 70 then 80 is easier if not then 70 is easier. Although I think you'll see more wrecks on 80 regardless due to the ice & high winds so I believe it's probably more dangerous. I think most people would just answer 80 because they don't want to chain and I'm one of them but the frequent conditions on 70 are snowpack vs ice on 80 and traction on snowpack is a hell of alot more than traction on ice.
  10. kemosabi49

    kemosabi49 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Jan 13, 2013
    SW Arkansas
    There are some good downgrades there but the danger there has been blown out of proportion. Indeed there are some companies that don't allow their trucks to cross the mountain on 70. I learned how to go down mountains with no Jake and drove for 4 years before I ever drove a truck that had one. I went most of the passes in the west and by the time I actually had a Jake it was a walk in the park. Some of the non interstate passes have the most amazing scenery you will ever see. Give me a 2 lane anytime.
  11. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    I prefer I-80 vs I-70. Wyoming will likely be windy and sometimes they warn the roads are "closed" to lightweight & high profile vehicles, meaning light & empty 18-wheelers and RV. The road isn't legally closed to those vehicles but you will be punished severely if you blow over driving where they "close" to lightweight trucks.

    The mountains on I-80 in WY are steeper going East than going West. You can handle the steepest on I-80 as a rookie unless you decide to race. They cut the speed limits in bad weather.

    Parleys Summit east of SLC on I-80 will be the hardest part of the trip. It's steep & curvy. Lots of drivers do it with just a few cuss words. You can too.
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