Crossing the Rockies in a R182

I am planning a trip this summer with my wife in my Cessna 182RG (non turbo) from Montreal to Alaska. I would like to cross the Rockies in Montana, Idaho and Washington and then North. Do you think it is feasible and do you have any advise on the best route and altitude. Thx for any advises.


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  • Scott ShererScott Sherer COO Forum Moderator

    I have done many trips from Wisconsin to California and Nevada over the decades but never in a single engine airplane. I'm looking forward to hearing what others have to say on this.

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Cessna Owners Organization Forum Moderator and Cessna Owners Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Flying/living 27 NNW of Denver since 1992; crossed the Rockies many times from north WY to south ABQ- Super Cub, Citabria, 182 and both turbo and non-turbo 210s. Currently fly Husky and 59 182 over the divide for fun; I carry portable O2 since I'm now old, fat and cripple.:):) Get some high altitude and mountain training, don't go IFR or strong winds= no issues; actually quite enjoyable. OBTW; don't fly at gross weight and make sure you know how to lean for high altitude. 182 is plenty strong enough if above is applied.

  • Wow Jake, very nice trips and nice experience with different aircrafts! i just bought an Inogen G5 for my oxygen and will get a high altitude training since flying in the eastern is quite low terrain. Why not flying IFR??? Ant suggestions where to get a mountain training on my way?


  • Single engine IFR over the mountains is about the same as night flying over the mountains; which, BTW, I've done both many times. Don't do as I do............. In this part of the flying world (higher elevations), if it's IFR it's usually t-storms (high wind) or ice and landing a sick airplane in the mountains without visuals is usually bad. We were very involved with our maintenance and "thought" our planes were bullet proof. Never had a problem in 43 yrs; but, we were playing the odds on every flight. Also, consider that I'm 71, haven't flown IFR for 20 yrs and don't fly at night anymore; gotten conservative in my old age. Also, I'm retired and in no hurry to get anywhere.:):) As they say: opinions are like ass holes- everybody has one and almost all stink.:):)

    Mountain flying training: no specific suggestions; but, contact most any FBO at KBJC (tower), KBDU or KLMO (NW of Denver) and I bet they have good training. If you have trouble shoot me a text and I'll help. 303-356-7767 Good luck


  • Thx for your wise advises, I'll do my homework to find a mountain flying school and thx for cell number.


  • edited January 29

    Why go so far south to cross the rockies? If I were you i’d fly one of the many VFR routes that are on the Canadian Sectionals. They basically follow the Highways through the passes.

    The diamonds represent the passes to fly

    lI’d recommend getting some instructional help in Calgary Springbank CYBW at the flying school there. They are at the start of the mountains and fly the routes pretty regularly. There is no real need to go very high if you follow the sectional routes on the VNC. The routes trace the passes through Check foreflight for the best routes. But if you do decide to go further south be prepared to go high We flew the tour over Glacier NP and were at 10,500 feet in 2022

    This is the VFR route from Calgary past Banff

  • Hi Bruce,

    I want to go in Montana before crossing so why not do it in the states and I prefer a strait line but the view seems awesome in the canadian valleys. What was your route for the Glacier NP? Do you fly a 182 and how was the performances at those altitudes?

    Thx for the info


  • Bold Method has a good mountain flying online course. Understanding weather, winds, and high altitude performance key. Fly lower than gross weight. VFR, morning flying, nominal winds is beautiful. Also recommend training with local knowledge. In Colorado some passes also have weather stations. Read the ODPs for mountain airports. Have flown 182p 12.5k then briefly to 14k and even 16.5k with oxygen. Interesting to experience the performance near the ceiling.

  • Great advises


  • sa_180sa_180 Flight Attendant

    I have flown from Anchorage to Texas and back in a 180, VFR. Can share my route and notes if you are interested. I pretty much followed the Land Lease route of WW2

  • Helena to Coeur D' Alene is an easy hop in good weather and gets you through the Rockies. We've done it in a 172 so a 182RG will be even better. With your speed and range you can of course fly a longer leg. Go in the morning when the denalt and winds are low. TFRs for forest fire ops can affect the route. Missoula is another great town and airport. Glacier is beautiful and touristy.

  • edited February 18

    sorry for the late reply.

    We had planned our route through Glacier Park as a leg from Billings Montana to Alberta. We flew the eastern slopes up until we got to the valley entrance near Big Spring Lake and exited out through Logan Pass. It was spectacular. The 182 had no issues at 10500 as we entered. We had briefed the weather and wind situation and were ready to turn around and exit if it got too scary. There are AFIK no vfr fly routes through US passes marked and they are not mapped like a Canadian sectional. I’d definitely get some local knowledge and training on a route through any passes you plan on using.

    enjoy the trip.

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