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rt. 287 north to Wyoming??

Groveland...
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rt. 287 north to Wyoming??

MY wife and I will be landing in Denver and then driving north/northwest up to Rawlins, WY. If I go 25 north to 80 west it will take almost 4 hours. We would be forced to drive into Cheyenne and then head west to Rawlins, WY. Looking at the map ,there is rt. 287 that branches off rt. 25 north around Ft. Collins and goes to Laramie, WY. It apears that would be a more direct route. BUT..is it? What kind of road is it? Any nice scenery? Thanks for all your help.

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Windsor, Colorado
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1. Re: rt. 287 north to Wyoming??

Of course the most scenic route is over Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park assuming your trip is when it is open. That does add at least 2 1/2 hours to your trip.

U.S. Highway 287 is the preferred route for scenery as opposed to I-25 and highway 80. It is 2 lane to the Wyoming border and then varies from the Wyoming border to Laramie. Sadly, this section of 287 has made the news here in Fort Collins and in Wyoming due to the high fatality rate resulting from traffic accidents along the route. People speculate about the reasons for this - the number of trucks on the route, students driving between Colorado State University and the Unversity of Wyoming, the lack of passing lanes in places, etc.

Here is a good description of 287 from AA roads.

"U.S. 287 crosses into Wyoming from Colorado about eight miles south of Tie Siding. Just over a mile north of the state line, U.S. 287 reaches a summit of 8,106 feet on the Pumpkin Vine Hill. Several sections of U.S. 287 through here, including near the summit of Pumpkin Vine Hill, are three lanes, with two lanes heading southbound and one lane heading northbound. In this three-lane situation, Wyoming law allows vehicles heading northbound to pass using the left southbound lane, causing some to refer to that lane as a "suicide lane."

U.S. 287 gradually descends into Tie Siding and Laramie, the Gem City. There are several miles of snow fences all along this route, which protect the road from blowing snow and ground blizzards. The drive along U.S. 287 between the state line and Tie Siding is fairly mountainous, with passing lanes available in both directions. Once the highway descends into the Laramie Basin, it is a fairly straight, two-lane road with clearly marked passing zones. The speed limit for this section of U.S. 287 is 65 mph. There are two bridge crossings over the Union Pacific Railroad. This segment of highway has its own set of mileposts unrelated to the whole mileage of U.S. 287 in Wyoming.

In winter, this road is both desolate and dangerous. Ground blizzards are common, as the wind picks up the loose snow and blows it toward Nebraska. During the worst of the ground blizzards, it is impossible to see. We traveled this road one evening in late September, and we encountered a full blizzard. We were lucky to find a truck to follow all the way from the Wyoming-Colorado state line to Laramie. Once we arrived in Laramie, we were stranded, as the highway department closed the road behind us.

Upon reaching Laramie, U.S. 287 becomes Third Street and merges with Bus. Loop Interstate 80 and U.S. 30 near downtown. U.S. 287 provides a pretty good glimpse into Laramie: the south end near the interstate is built for travelers and tourists, the middle runs through downtown and provides access to the University of Wyoming, and the north end hits the grocery stores, K-Marts, and other shops typical of medium-sized Wyoming towns."

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2. Re: rt. 287 north to Wyoming??

We usually take 287. Do note fv1989's concerns. The road itself is really good. It's scenic. One issue is that you will burn a lot of time going through the core of Fort Collins. All in all, you will save a little but not a lot of time. FYI, if you do I-25 to I-80, you will not go through Cheyenne at all so there's no loss of time.

Good luck.

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Temple, Texas
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3. Re: rt. 287 north to Wyoming??

I have been wondering about this also for a July trip.

Google Maps shows 3:37 and 250 miles using 287.

Google Maps shows 3:40 and 233 miles for I25 and 80.

Are these accurate?

Park City, Utah
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4. Re: rt. 287 north to Wyoming??

Roy, my guess is that you have your mileages reversed. The two routes are similar drive times but shorter distance on 287 than I-25/80.

Norwich, United...
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5. Re: rt. 287 north to Wyoming??

You could have a look at various point along the road with StreetView, here's one: http://goo.gl/yU5H2d

I found a dashcam video on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WL2HAnOw98c

Temple, Texas
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6. Re: rt. 287 north to Wyoming??

So which route do you think would be the fastest to Rawlins? I would be leaving the Double Tree Hotel on Quebec in Denver at about 2:30 p,m, on Tuesday July 21. Heading to Jackson with overnight in Rawlins. It will be a long day since I am flying in from Austin that day and getting the rental car at Double Tree, so I just want to get to Rawlins as quickly as possible. I just want the fastest route.

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Santa Fe, New Mexico
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7. Re: rt. 287 north to Wyoming??

The routes will be almost identical time wise (maybe a 5 minute difference), but I do think that it will be quicker to take the 4 lane interstates, I25 to I80. If you take 287 you have to drive through Fort Collins, which may add on more time (it did for us) and if you get behind a slow moving truck, rv or driver, might be awhile before you can pass.

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8. Re: rt. 287 north to Wyoming??

It is a beautiful drive, you won't regret it! It is a two lane highway, with many passing lanes, and it is a shorter route to hook up with I-80. You may not read this in time, but I hope you took the road less traveled!

Fort Collins...
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9. Re: rt. 287 north to Wyoming??

I drive to Laramie frequently from Fort Collins and it's almost exactly the same time no matter which route you take. We've timed it before and it's a matter of a few minutes different. I like the 287 route best, it's much prettier.

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10. Re: rt. 287 north to Wyoming??

What about traveling 287 driving my RV towing my car behind?? Is the road narrow and steep?