End of US highway 191

Approx. time period

North Terminus

South Terminus

1926-1934

West Yellowstone, MT

Idaho Falls, ID

1934-1937

Bozeman, MT

Idaho Falls, ID

1937-1962

Bozeman, MT

Brigham City, UT

1962-1963

Bozeman, MT

Tremonton, UT

1963-1972

Malta, MT

Tremonton, UT

1972-1981

Malta, MT

Idaho Falls, ID

1981-1982

Malta, MT

West Yellowstone, MT

1982-1992

Malta, MT

Chambers, AZ

1992-1997

Malta, MT

Douglas, AZ

1997-present

(near Loring, MT)

Douglas, AZ


Click to view map
(about 74 k)

Note: since I don't have access to a comprehensive collection of historical road atlases, much of the info on this page is based on the research of Robert Droz; click here to view his site. Photo credits: Justin Cozart; Chris Elbert; Julian Macdonald; Ed Wilson; me


US 191 was an original 1926 route, but it ran only about 125 miles: from US 91 in Idaho Falls to West Yellowstone MT. At the time, its parent (US 91) ran from the Canada border to the L.A. area. In a sense, the two routes have now switched places: today US 191 runs from Canada to Mexico, while US 91 has been shortened to only about 110 miles in length. However - because there are no US routes through Yellowstone National Park - some consider US 191 to have two segments: a north segment from Canada to West Yellowstone MT, and a south segment from Yellowstone's south entrance to Douglas AZ (you can click on those links to view photos from those points).


In 1934, the north end of US 191 was extended to junction US 10 in Bozeman MT. The photo below is looking east on Main Street (US 191), approaching the intersection of 7th Avenue:

me, Mar. 2000

Today, US 191 is routed straight through this intersection, to Main's interchange with I-90, with which it is co-signed all the way to Big Timber. To turn left (north) on 7th is to also head west on Business Loop I-90. The eastbound business loop turns left onto Main from 7th, and follows US 191 east to I-90. (The big green sign is a bit underinformative, in my opinion, because I-90 is straight ahead too; that's how one gets to Livingston.)

Anyway, back when US 10 still existed in Montana, it was routed along the same roads as today's Business Loop I-90: westbound US 10 came in on Main to this intersection, and was then routed north on 7th. To continue west on Main was to find oneself at the north beginning of US 191. In other words, the red truck with headlights on has just turned off southbound 7th (or what used to be eastbound US 10) onto westbound Main (or what used to be the beginning of southbound US 191). If you follow the arrow pointing to the airport, it's pointing to the sign assembly shown in the photo below:

me, Mar. 2000

This shot was taken from the south side of Main from South 7th. North 7th is offset a bit: you can see its sign at far right - it heads off to the left at the Conoco sign. The I-90 directional sign (pointing north on 7th and east on Main) indicates the historic route of US 10. Both the burgundy car and the red pickup are about to reach what used to be the north end of US 191.


According to Robert Droz' pages, the north end of US 191 was extended to Malta MT in 1963. The photo below shows the signage looking north on Central Avenue (US 191) at North 1st Street (US 2), where the US 191 designation used to end:

Wilson

By the time that photo was taken, US 191 had been extended north, co-signed to the left for a couple blocks with US 2, so the "TO" banner is a bit misleading. This next shot is looking south from US 2, at what used to be the north beginning of US 191:

Elbert, July 2004


US 191 was extended north from Malta in 1997 - this time to the Port of Morgan on the Canada border. The photo below is looking north at the border, at the end of US 191:

Macdonald, 2001

On the left side is the US customs office. The green sign instructs people leaving the USA to report to the Canadian customs office - which is the building in the distance on the right side, shown close-up below:

Macdonald, 2001

US 191 has ended now; this is just north of the border. You may be able to make out "Monchy", the Canadian name for this portal. That's Saskatchewan highway 4 continuing ahead.


The details I've been able to find on the history of US 191's south end are more sketchy. It appears that - sometime in the 30's or 40's - US 191 was extended south from Idaho Falls to Brigham City UT. The photo below is looking south on Main Street (UT hwy. 13 and former US 30S) at 1100 South Street, at the former end of US 191:

me, Mar. 2001

Northbound US 89 and US 91 go left. Originally both went straight ahead southbound (along with eastbound US 30S), but now only US 89 is ahead. US 91 now goes right to its southern terminus at I-15/84. The interstate shields are incorrect: they should either be green Business Loop signs, or else it should say "To I-15/84". Closer to the intersection, you might just be able to make out the "End U-13" sign; it's shown close-up below:

The shot below is looking west on 1100 South/US 91:

me, Mar. 2001

The next left turn used to be the south beginning of US 191.


According to Robert Droz, the US 191 designation was truncated back to Tremonton UT in 1962. The first one is looking south on U-13 (locally known as Bear River Boulevard, as I recall) at what used to be the south end of US 191:

me, Mar. 2001

The cross road is Main Street; downtown Tremonton is one mile to the right. US 30S once followed the same route as Business I-84 does today: northbound was right on Main, southbound was straight ahead on Bear River Blvd. The photo below is looking west on Main (or southbound on historic US 30S):

me, Mar. 2001

30S went right at the intersection ahead, and left was the south beginning of US 191 (after 1962). Before 1962, US 191 was co-signed with US 30S into Brigham City (see section above). By the way, those are the Wellsville Mountains in the background. They claim some distinction: "steepest vertical rise", or something along those lines.

This last photo is looking north on Bear River and former US 30S, which went left ahead:

me, Mar. 2001

The red van is about to be at the former south beginning of US 191.


In 1972, US 191 was shortened, such that it ended once again at its original terminus: Idaho Falls (or at least near it - more details on this page). This lasted until 1981, when US 191 was truncated back to West Yellowstone MT. The following year brought a big change for US 191... but the description of that change depends on how you choose to view it. Either a.) US 191 was extended south to Chambers AZ via an implied route through Yellowstone, or b.) a separate, southern segment of US 191 was commissioned to run from the south entrance of Yellowstone to Chambers. Either way, this represented a significant change from the original intention of US highway 191: now it skipped Idaho altogether, and served a completely different part of Utah.

Cozart

That photo shows modern signage at what was once the south beginning of US 191 at Chambers.


In 1992, US 191 was extended east from Chambers about 6 miles on I-40 to Sanders AZ, and then south along what used to be US 666 all the way to Douglas AZ. Or at least close to Douglas; you can view photos from there on this page.






Page created 14 May 2000; last updated 07 April 2006.
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