US 16 in Wyoming

By | October 31, 2022


US 16
Get started Yellowstone National Park
End Newcastle
Length 470 mi
Length 756 km
West Thumb









South Dakota

According to transporthint, US 16 is a US Highway in the US state of Wyoming. The road forms an east-west route through the north of the state, running from Yellowstone National Park through Cody, Worland, Buffalo, and Gillette to the South Dakota border. US 16 is regularly double-numbered with other roads, such as US 14, US 20 and I-90. The route is 756 kilometers long.

Travel directions

The road begins at the intersection with US 20, US 89, US 191, and US 287 in West Thumb, a hamlet on the west side of Lake Yellowstone, at an elevation of 2,400 meters. The road number chaos around Yellowstone National Park causes many double-numbering and to the northwest, all mentioned numbers are double-numbered.

US 14 also begins here, resulting in a double numbering of US 14, US 16 and US 20 to the east. You pass along the north side of Yellowstone Lake, over a plateau, the real mountain peaks are further away. You are here at an altitude of about 2,400 meters and the road then runs through an area with barely more trees to the east and after about 75 kilometers you leave the immense national park. In addition, you arrive at a maximum altitude of 2,600 meters on Sylvan Pass. The road then continues through a much more mountainous area with steep ridges, with US 16 running through a deeper valley. The mountain peaks around reach up to 3,600 meters. The area is very dry, but not desert-like. One passes through the Shoshone National Forest. The Shoshone River flows parallel to the road, through a shallow canyon. One then passes through the small town of Cody, which is also the largest town in the wider region. Here, US 14 Alternate turns northeast, forming an alternate route further north. Both roads meet again 160 kilometers away. You then cross the windy and very desolate High Plains, at an altitude of about 1,500 meters. Almost nothing grows here and the road is very quiet. To the east you descend slowly, but you still have to go through the Bighorn Mountains. Just before the village of Greybull, theUS 310.

US 16 east of Ten Sleep.

Shortly after, you reach the village of Greybull, a fairly important crossroads in the region, where US 16 and US 20 turn south. The US 16 heads towards Buffalo and will meet the US 14 again a little further on. The US 14continues straight towards Sheridan through the Bighorn Mountains. US 16 and US 20 then run south along the Bighorn River. The valley is still somewhat inhabited with some villages and limited agriculture, but the area consists of desolate plateaus. In Worland, US 16 turns east and US 20 continues south towards Thermopolis and Casper. You then pass through a very barren plateau with low hills. There is only one hamlet in the 100 miles between Worland and Buffalo. The road then enters a canyon to cross the Bighorn Mountains. The road also rises considerably here. One then reaches the 2,946 m high Powder River Pass. Then the long descent to Buffalo, 1600 meters below, begins.

Buffalo is no more than a large village with a regional function. This is where you first cross Interstate 25, which ends one kilometer to the north. Shortly thereafter, it crosses Interstate 90, the highway from Billings and Sheridan to Gillette and Rapid City. US 16 then heads north until the road merges with US 14 at Ucross, the road from Sheridan, and both roads are double -numbered again for the time being.. The road runs through the valley of the Clear River, a tributary of the Powder River. This area is very remote, the nearest slightly larger town is 130 kilometers away. You pass over the desolate prairies of the High Plains, the area is hilly, but there are no major differences in height. The road curves further south to reach the town of Gillette, which is the largest town in the wider region. Both US 14 and US 16 merge into Interstate 90 here and head east.

There are a number of mines in this area, some of which are visible from the highway. Both roads are double numbered with I-90 to Moorcroft, 23 miles to the east. Here US 16 exits to Newcastle in the southeast and US 14 heads north, serving the area around the Devils Tower monument. This is also the last time the two roads meet, US 16 forms a 50-mile route south-east, across the High Plains to Newcastle, a regional town of 3,000 residents. This is where the US 85 crosses. The road then continues for about 15 kilometers until the border with South Dakota. US 16 in South Dakota then continues toward Rapid City.


According to travelationary, US 16 was one of the original US Highways of 1926. The western starting point was US 20 in Worland for a long time. US 20 continued west to Yellowstone. Originally, US 16 ran north of the Black Hills in South Dakota on a route from Moorcroft through Spearfish to Rapid City. The southern route from Moorcroft to Newcastle was numbered US 216. In 1933, US 216 was extended to Custer, South Dakota. US 216 was scrapped in 1934 and US 16 was routed over it, after which the old northern route became part of US 14 only. In 1965, US 16 was extended from Worland to Yellowstone National Park.

The US 16 itself is little upgraded, the route goes through all places on the route. Between Gillette and Moorcroft, US 16 was replaced by I-90 in 1976, but the old route still exists as State Route 51. At Newcastle a southern bypass has been constructed, which is numbered as a truck route of the US 16. The US 16 itself still goes through the center.

Traffic intensities

Daily 1,400 to 2,200 vehicles drive between Yellowstone National Park and Cody, up to 13,000 vehicles in Cody itself, 700 to 1,300 vehicles between Cody and Greybull, 2,000 vehicles between Greybull and Worland, 800 to 1,400 vehicles through the Bighorn Mountains between Worland and Buffalo, 400 to 500 vehicles between Buffalo and Gillette, 1,500 vehicles between Gillette and Newcastle, and 1,700 vehicles on the South Dakota border.

US 16 in Wyoming