Wyoming’s Worst White Knuckle Winter Roads
I know that no matter what areas I pick for this post, somebody will think of someplace worse.
So I'm just looking at some of Wyoming's major cross state routs and pointing out what are commonly the worst, each winter.
Worse will be defined by, ice on the roads, including lots of black ice, and heavy winds.
Lets throw snow drifts in there for good measure.
Some of these areas will be long stretches some will be just a corner to watch out for.
Some of these roads should just be avoided until winter is over.
Lets just get I-80 out of the way right now.
I-80 in Wyoming is the most closed road in the USA. There is a lot of controversy as to why it was ever built where it is in the first place.
Particularly we should look at the stretch of I-80 between Elk Mountain and Rock Springs. More than any other stretch of that highway that area is closed the most.
Some of the highest winds in North American blow snow and ice over the highway, tipping over trucks and trapping vehicles in snow drifts.
You might think that highway 30, between Laramie Wyoming and Walcott Junction would be a better way to go.
There has been some suggestion of rerouting I-80 through there.
Well, it sure as heck is NOT better.
That section of road gets closed for long periods of time. Folks in the towns of Medicine Bow and Hanna get trapped in their towns while that highway is closed.
I-25 in Wyoming between Cheyenne and Chugwater is next on the list.
That area is a hazard mostly due to high winds and have to squeeze through a gap at the bottom of the Laramie range. The wind then dumps out on the a prairie and across the highway.
While we are on I-25, watch out for a turn just after the Glendo Reservoir if you are heading north, or just before of you are heading south.
The state actually has a lit sign up for this one.
It's a high bluff that casts a shadow over the highway. Ice gathers there in the winter and, due to the shadow, won't melt off. It happens to be right on a sharp turn.
If you are driving from Gillette to Midwest in the winter, well, just WOW!
That stretch of road is ICY and the area around Midwest has lots of turns up on a high windy plateau. That one is white knuckle driving all the way.
Muddy Gap Wyoming connects some important highways in the center of the state. 287 and 220. Yet, of course, this had to be in one of the worse areas for snow, ice, and wind.
The area is surrounded by some of the most beautiful mountains in Wyoming. It really is worth the trip in the summer, for the view, and history. But that leads to bad weather conditions in the winter.
This is the same area that made history when a group of Mormons got caught out in this area during a blizzard. Many died.
The Merman Church has a historic museum in this area to commemorate the plight of what happened that winter.
After a winter storm don't even try highways 14 and 16 over the Big Horn Mountains. I know it's a long way around, but find another way or wait until those roads are fully clear.
Mostly watch out for the western side of those highways.
The west side of the bighorns is speed canyons.
The roads get filled with snow and ice, plus wind on hair pin turns.
One mistake and you're sliding through the guardrail and falling down a deep canyon.