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cross country routes from factory thru rocky mts to east coast

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Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2006
Reaction score
Authoried by Clay Hammond of CC

Two main routes out of Washington:

Due east following I-90 thru Missoula, Butte, Billings, Bozeman and Sheridan. This could be considered the northern route. Sheridan is as far as I’ve ever made it on the first day. But after Sheridan you are thru the biggest hills and I generally go direct from there to my end destination, picking out my stops along the way given current wind conditions and cruise performance. If weather is very good and I feel good about the airplane I will sometimes shorten the route some by going direct from Yakima to Butte, MT…stopping in Hamilton, MT usually for fuel along the way. This shortcut takes you over the Selway and Bitteroot Wilderness area, but shaves about one hour off of the first day’s flight, plus its beautiful country and I often stop in at the Fish Lake or Moose Creek USFS strips for some mountain air.

Southern route would be down thru Boise, Logan, Rock Springs, then Laramie or Cheyenne, no one single major highway to follow, but there is civilization underneath you the majority of the time. It is a longer route over higher terrain at times, but still totally doable.

My choice between the two is generally only dictated by the best weather on the day of departure. I plan 3.5 hour legs and have never gotten myself in a spot where there wasn’t an airport available in range. I usually land with about 3-4 gallons left on board and about a half hour to forty-five minute cushion.

Hope this helps!


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