Wednesday, June 25, 2014

US Hwy 191: "Unsigned" US Highways

In addition to US191, there are several US Highways which pass through Yellowstone National Park. Among them are US14, US16, US89, US287 and the portion of my old friend US20 that I was not able to drive in April 2013 due to it still being closed for the winter.

Technically speaking, these Highways are "unsigned" in Yellowstone, which simply means that there are none of the typically ubiquitous route signs along the roadways. It also means -- again, very technically speaking -- that they aren't actually considered to be US Highways within the Park.

The reason for this is that US Highways are required to be open for driving at all times. Since all roads in Yellowstone are closed in winter, they do not comply with US Highway requirements.

How do you get around a failure to comply? You say the rule doesn't apply to you. Hence, US Highways in Yellowstone are "unsigned" and therefore aren't actually US Highways. Got it?

Thankfully, GPS mapping systems either don't know or don't care about this technicality. All through the park, your map display will show the US Highway numbers. For example, here's a photo of my display just after I passed the intersection of US191 and US20.

The moment you drive out of Yellowstone, however, it's back to business as usual. Exiting the Park in West Yellowstone, you're greeted with all the appropriate US Highway signs to guide you on your merry way. Since you've also just crossed a state border, there's also a welcome to Montana!

Click here to see exactly where I am posting this from on Google Maps.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

If it's not too late to do so, consider stopping at the junction of US-191 and US-287 ... look just past the actual junction on your left for a nice place to eat; it's got a great 'Montana reputation.'