Thoughts on Pocatello

Old Mar 19th, 2021, 05:34 AM
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Thoughts on Pocatello

We're planning a road trip in May and considering a two night stay in Pocatello wedged between our three night stays in Jackson, WY and Park City, UT.

We've never been to Pocatello and are waffling over whether or not it would be worth a visit. I hate the 'is it worth it' question, but I'm having trouble determining if Pocatello has enough on offer for a two night stay.

Our main interest is hiking and having two nights would give us one full day to hike as well as most of our arrival day.

Any thoughts on Pocatello? Are hiking trails easy to access? What else is on offer for visitors?
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Old Mar 19th, 2021, 06:36 AM
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Even going by way of Idaho, Jackson WY and Park City UT are less than 6 hours apart. If you want to spend a night in Idaho, go west on US 30 and spend a night in Lava Hot Springs ID. There are several nice spa type hotels there.
Leaving Lava Hot Springs, you could take a detour over to the Golden Spike National Historic Park in Utah and hike on a section of the historic transcontinental railroad. Don't worry, the tracks are long gone. The present route now goes south of Great Salt Lake into SLC.
If you want to visit another interesting Idaho town, take 22 out of Jackson (becomes 33 at the border) to Driggs. I would never spend 2 nights in Pocatello willingly.
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Old Mar 19th, 2021, 08:36 AM
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Thanks Tom, that seems to be the consensus (also posted this question on TA).

I'll take a look at your suggestions, but we'll probably just stop in Pocatello for lunch and continue on to Park City.
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Old Mar 19th, 2021, 12:09 PM
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Pocatello isn't on the most direct route between Jackson and Park City and I can't think of a compelling reason to go that way.

Places "worth" visiting in south/central Idaho are City of Rocks, Craters of the Moon, Sawtooth National Forest, though none are between Jackson and Park City.

Driggs is fairly close to Jackson. I've driven through/stopped for lunch a few times but have never stayed there. The towns on the back side of the Tetons are quieter and have a different feel.
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Old Mar 19th, 2021, 01:12 PM
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Thanks for pointing that out Patty. I screwed up. When we first came up with the Pocatello idea we were planning to stay in Driggs, but we've since changed to Jackson. Looks like the most direct route is via Evanston, taking 4.5 hours.

Last edited by Melnq8; Mar 19th, 2021 at 01:17 PM.
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Old Mar 19th, 2021, 01:22 PM
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Just looked at the map again. We might detour through Preston and Logan (UT) just to see a bit of Idaho and to avoid the long boring drive to Evanston. We've seen WY (used to live there), but haven't seen much of Idaho.

Thoughts?
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Old Mar 19th, 2021, 02:19 PM
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I haven't taken the route that you describe. An alternative route I've taken is via Montpelier, Bear Lake and Logan Canyon.
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Old Mar 19th, 2021, 08:40 PM
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Oh dear goodness--I lived in Pocatello for 6 years and my parents are still there. Why on green earth you would plan a stop over there is beyond me. I would go from Jackson Hole to Idaho Falls and then I-15 down to SLC and then I-80 up to Park City just because it is very direct. But going by Bear Lake and through Logan Canyon is very pretty.
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Old Mar 20th, 2021, 05:42 AM
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StantonHyde -

Hence the question Thanks for the input.

Someone suggested this route on TA, sounds like Patty's route.

I wouldn't go through Preston. I would take US highway 89 south to Bear Lake, then UT highways 30 to 16 to 39 to 167 over to I-84. This is the most scenic route, but it will add about an hour and a half to your drive for 6 hours total drive time. If this is too long, you can take US 89 to Logan then catch 15 to 84 in about 5.5 hours drive, about the same time as going through Preston, but nicer scenery.
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Old Mar 20th, 2021, 08:02 AM
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Yes, that is Patty's route. You could grab some sandwiches in Jackson and have a picnic lunch any where along your route vs. having to stop somewhere.
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Old Mar 20th, 2021, 10:45 AM
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Wait...Jackson to Idaho Falls to SLC to Park City takes about 5-1/4 hours and goes right through Pocatello right?

Last edited by Melnq8; Mar 20th, 2021 at 11:09 AM.
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Old Mar 20th, 2021, 11:40 AM
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Just so I understand Patty's route...looking at the map - 89 to Logan, 89 to Ogden, join 84 past Unitah then join 80/Lincoln Highway past Echo Reservoir all the way to Park City - with a time of 6:40?

Do I understand correctly that this is the most scenic route?
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Old Mar 20th, 2021, 12:56 PM
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This is the route I took (or pretty close to it) which takes about an hour longer than the most direct route through Evanston https://goo.gl/maps/MeTUPy7Ez8M7VCer6

30 to 16 to 39 to 167 over to I-84 wouldn't go through Logan Canyon. I've never tried that route but it's possible it might be even more scenic.

I've never taken 15 between Jackson and Park City but have driven on 15 through Idaho Falls and Pocatello on the way to/from other places. The most scenic part of that would be Teton Pass leaving Jackson.
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Old Mar 20th, 2021, 01:05 PM
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Thank you Patty, you've been a great help.
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Old Mar 20th, 2021, 01:16 PM
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You're welcome. Glad to help. I've enjoyed many of your trip reports.
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Old Mar 20th, 2021, 06:10 PM
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Yes, it does. It takes 6 hours from SLC to Jackson--I live in SLC now and know the route well. It's 30 mins from SLC to Park City. You could stop in Pocatello for lunch. Or enjoy the more scenic route that Patty took.
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Old Mar 21st, 2021, 05:37 AM
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Thank you StantonHyde.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2021, 06:46 AM
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tomfuller -

We are seriously considering your suggestion of Lava Hot Springs.

I've narrowed down hotel options to Riverside Hot Springs Inn, Lava Hot Springs Suites or Alpaca Inn. Have you stayed at any of these?
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Old Mar 22nd, 2021, 07:27 AM
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Scratch that Tom, I just booked Riverside Hot Springs Inn. Thanks for the tip.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2021, 09:52 AM
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Melnq8,
I'd be curious what you think of Lava Hot Springs. We almost stayed there on our way back from Jackson last October but had a hard time finding a last minute hotel room.
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