Author Topic: South Idaho to Boulder,Co.  (Read 3171 times)

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Offline jamesofyorkshire

South Idaho to Boulder,Co.
« on: June 14, 2011, 11:18:59 pm »
I'll be heading to Boulder, Colorado from Boise, Idaho.........after Twin Falls, Idaho, any recommendations as to a route that's going to take me over the least elevation?
Am I best following I-84 down towards Salt Lake city or take Hwy 30 from near Pocatello?

I don't really want to sit on an interstate, but I don't want to go mountain climbing either (dodgy knees)!

Offline jamawani

Re: South Idaho to Boulder,Co.
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2011, 09:33:17 am »
James -

I don't get it.  I live in Wyoming and have 100,000 miles of touring experience - most of it in the American and Canadian West.  The West isn't Yorkshire.  To get from Boise to Boulder you have to cross the Continental Divide.  By definition - that implies some mountains.  Yes, there are lower places - but the most prominent is already occupied by Interstate 80 - and although legal to ride - certainly no pleasure.  I-80 is a nonstop stream of traffic - a third of which are 18-wheeler trucks.  (Lorries in British speak)

I am guessing that one reason you have not yet received any replies is that you are asking the impossible.  Either you will have to ride long stretches on I-80 - or will have to chose smaller routes which involve more climbing.  I-84 is similar, but with less traffic.  There is not a continuous service road (Old US 30) along I-84 or I-86 and when there is, it can come to a dead-end with a high fence separating you from the interstate.  Also - you don't say when you are planning to do this trip.  Southern Idaho can be brutally hot in mid-summer with little to no shade for miles.  Doable, but no cakewalk.

There are a number of pleasant possibilities that avoid most interstate sections - but do involve some moderate climbing.  Let me know more about what your plans are and I will offer suggestions.


Offline jamesofyorkshire

Re: South Idaho to Boulder,Co.
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2011, 10:11:25 pm »
Jamawani, I'm sorry my question was so complicated. Seemed straightforward to me.


  • Guest
Re: South Idaho to Boulder,Co.
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2011, 11:10:16 pm »
Sure, it's a simple question, but Jamawani's answer is right. If you don't want Interstates and don't want mountains, you cannot make this trip on a bike.


Offline litespeed

Re: South Idaho to Boulder,Co.
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2011, 06:04:45 pm »
Actually, riding the shoulders of interstate highways isn't all bad. It can be a bit boring but the grades are relatively mild and you get plenty of services at the interchanges.  Often there are parallel roads. Out west you can ride them most anywhere away from big cities. And some states, like Montana and Wyoming, really don't have any big cities.

I think you are worrying too much about climbing the passes. You might be climbing for 8 miles at a whack in your granny gear but, except for the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming (not on your route), the grades generally aren't all that bad. And you are free to rest as often as you want. I have always found the passes easier than expected but I admit that I have a persevering, plodding nature.

You ought to consider going through Yellowstone and Grand Teton Parks if you can. There is no place like it.


  • Guest
Re: South Idaho to Boulder,Co.
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2011, 09:22:53 am »
OP:  If you want to find the least hilly route, familiarize yourself with one of the many bike route mapping sites like and  You can plot routes and see the elevation profiles.  While not 100% accurate because they tend to miss small elevation changes (IMO, is more acurate than, the profiles do give you and good idea of the climbing involved.

Offline jamesofyorkshire

Re: South Idaho to Boulder,Co.
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2011, 08:47:22 pm »
I would have liked to have spent more time on the internet researching routes, but I've had very little internet time for various reasons, sio I was taking the easy way and asking on here! Currently in Soda Springs, Idaho, trying to stay out of this viscious wind by hiding in the library. Early start in the morning should get me over the Montpellier Pass before the wind kicks up again.