U.S. Route 287

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U.S. Route 287 marker

U.S. Route 287
Route information
Auxiliary route of US 87
Length: 1,791 mi (2,882 km)
Existed: 1935 – present
Major junctions
South end: US 69 / US 96 / SH 87 in Port Arthur, TX
North end: US 89 in Choteau, MT
States: Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana
Highway system

U.S. Route 287 is a north–south United States highway. It is 2,882 km long.[1] It serves as the major truck route between Fort Worth, Texas and Amarillo, Texas, and between Fort Collins, Colorado and Laramie, Wyoming. The highway is broken into two segments by Yellowstone National Park, where an unnumbered park road serves as a connector.

The highway's northern terminus is in Choteau, Montana, 100 miles (161 km) south of the Canadian border, at an intersection with U.S. Route 89. Its southern terminus (as well as those of US 69 and US 96) is in Port Arthur, Texas at an intersection with State Highway 87, five miles (8 km) up the Sabine River from the Gulf of Mexico. It intersects its parent route U.S. Route 87 twice, overlapping it from Amarillo, Texas to Dumas, Texas, and then crossing it in Denver, Colorado.

US 287 is the shortest route between Denver and Dallas-Fort Worth.

Route description[edit]


U.S. 287 originates at its southern terminus in Port Arthur, TX as a branch of State Highway 87. From Port Arthur, U.S. 287 is co-signed with U.S. 69 and U.S. 96 to Lumberton, where U.S. 96 diverges to the northeast and the co-signed U.S. 287/69 continues northwest until U.S. 287 and U.S. 69 diverge in Woodville. Continuing northwest, U.S. 287 merges with I-45 in Corsicana and follows the interstate to Ennis, where it branches off and continues through Waxahachie, crossing I-35E and continuing north through Tarrant County, where it encounters and briefly merges with three different interstates (I-820, I-20, and I-35W). From Fort Worth, U.S. 287 continues north to Wichita Falls and continues just south of the Oklahoma border before entering the Texas Panhandle.

The highway continues through Amarillo, where it intersects I-40, and then runs north to Kerrick and crosses into neighboring Oklahoma.


In Oklahoma, U.S. 287 remains within Cimarron County, located at the end of the Panhandle. After crossing the state line north of Kerrick, Texas, the highway intersects State Highway 171 at its southern terminus. U.S. 287 continues northwest, crossing the Beaver River, toward Boise City, the county seat. On the east side of town, the highway becomes concurrent with U.S. 56, U.S. 64, U.S. 412, and Oklahoma State Highway 3. These five highways then enter the traffic circle in downtown Boise City. U.S. 287 emerges from the north side of the circle, as well as U.S. 385 and OK 3. These three highways head north to the Colorado state line. OK 3 ends there, while U.S. 287 and U.S. 385 continue onward into Colorado.


View south along U.S. Highway 287 in Larimer County, Colorado

From Oklahoma, U.S. 287 and U.S. 385 enter into a very rural part of Colorado. They continue in a north/northwest direction through the state. The two highways pass through the town of Campo, and make an interchange with U.S. 160 on the outskirts of Springfield. In Lamar and Carlton, the highways make an interchange with U.S. 50. Here U.S. 385 heads east on U.S. 50, and U.S. 287-U.S. 50 continue to the North. Just outside the town the highways make a sharp turn toward the west, and the road heading north is CO 196. South of Wiley, U.S. 50 heads west, while U.S. 287 turns north toward Wiley. East of Eads, Colorado U.S. 287 turns toward the west again, briefly merging with C-96. In Eads C-96 continues toward the West, while U.S. 287 turns toward the North. Near Kit Carson, U.S. 287 again turns toward the west and merges with U.S. 40. Near Limon, the two highways make 2 interchanges with I-70 before passing through Limon. Then the two highways merge with I-70. Near the outskirts of Denver U.S. 36 merges with the group of highways making the road, I-70, U.S. 287, U.S. 36, U.S. 40.

Just past E-470, I-70 and U.S. 36 split to follow a more northerly course, while U.S. 287 and U.S. 40 continue west into Downtown Denver on Colfax Avenue. The I-25, U.S. 6, U.S. 87, and U.S. 85 interchange marks U.S. 287's second junction with its parent route, U.S. 87; the other is in Texas. Shortly thereafter, at a cloverleaf interchange with Federal Blvd, CO 88 runs South, U.S. 40 continues west on Colfax, and U.S. 287 turns toward the north on Federal Blvd. After crossing U.S. 36 Denver-Boulder Turnpike, U.S. 287 turns west onto 120th Avenue where it overlaps CO 128. Just before meeting U.S. 36 again in Broomfield, U.S. 287 bends back to the north, leaving CO 128 which continues west through an interchange with CO 121 and U.S. 36. At Baseline Road in Lafayette, CO 7 joins U.S. 287 for about a mile, before CO 7 splits to the west on Arapahoe Avenue towards Boulder. It intersects CO 119 as it enters Longmont on the very busy Main Street, and then it intersects CO 66 at the north edge of town. The road bypasses Berthoud en route to Loveland, where U.S. 287 splits into the pair of one-way streets Lincoln Avenue (northbound) and Cleveland Avenue (southbound). It then divides the Loveland cemetery. This is the only cemetery in the US with a US highway dividing a cemetery. Continuing north, U.S. 287 passes through Fort Collins on College Avenue, merging with CO 14 at Jefferson Street. On the edge of the mountains at Ted's Place CO 14 splits and heads west into Poudre Canyon, while U.S. 287 continues north into Wyoming. The section of U.S. 287 between Fort Collins, Colorado and Laramie, Wyoming carries very heavy truck traffic and is regarded as quite dangerous.[2]


U.S. 287 enters Wyoming through a pass between the Laramie Mountains to the east and the Medicine Bow Mountains to the west. In Laramie, U.S. 287 crosses I-80 and merges with U.S. 30 and the two highways continue to head North. After passing Medicine Bow, these highways turn west-southwest and return to I-80 near Walcott, where they merge with the interstate west until Rawlins. U.S. 287 branches off from I-80 and U.S. 30 and heads into the town. U.S. 287 merges with State Highways 76, 80, and 30 for a short distance just outside Rawlins, though WYO 76 ends when U.S. 287 branches to the northwest as a stand-alone highway. It is also possible to take the Business U.S. 287 (WYO 80, WYO 30) into Rawlins. In Downtown Rawlins, WYO 80 and 30 head toward the west while Business U.S. 287 heads to the north, merging with WYO 789 where WYO 30 and 80 split off the highway. A short while later Business U.S. 287 and WYO 789 merge with regular U.S. 287 which made a detour around the city. U.S. 287 and WYO 789 stay merged all the way to Lander, Wyoming, where WYO 789 heads toward the northeast and U.S. 287 heads toward the northwest. U.S. 287 merges with U.S. 26 in the very mountainous terrain of West/Central Wyoming, and the two highways head west. The highways enter Grand Teton National Park and make a big interchange in the town of Moran. In Moran, U.S. 287 and U.S. 26 meet U.S. 191 and U.S. 89. U.S. 26 heads south merging with U.S. 191 and U.S. 89. U.S. 287 heads north merging with U.S. 191 and U.S. 89, and as it reaches Yellowstone National Park, becomes an unsigned park road and continues into Montana.


US 287 north of Yellowstone National Park

U.S. 287 in Montana begins at the West Entrance of Yellowstone National Park in West Yellowstone, terminating a concurrency with U.S. 20. U.S. 287 and U.S. 191 split north of the town. U.S. 287 heads toward the northwest, merging with MT 2 north of Sappington, and running northeast. At I-90, MT 2 ends and U.S. 287 continues to head north. In Townsend, U.S. 287 merges with U.S. 12 and the two highways continue north. At I-15 (near Helena), U.S. 287 continues north on I-15 and U.S. 12 heads west through downtown Helena. Northeast of Wolf Creek, U.S. 287 and I-15 split with U.S. 287 heading northwest and I-15 heading northeast. U.S. 287 ends at U.S. 89 in Choteau.


When US 287 was first commissioned in 1939, it extended only from the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park to Denver, Colorado. The route was extended southward to the Gulf Coast at Port Arthur, Texas in 1940, and northward into Montana to US 89 at Choteau, Montana in 1965. US 89 continues north of Choteau into Alberta as Provincial Highway 2 through the major cities of Calgary and Edmonton, connecting with a Canadian link to the Alaska Highway in the latter.

Included in the route of US 287 is former US 370, which was commissioned in 1926 and connected Amarillo to Bowie, traveling concurrently with US 70 between Vernon and Wichita Falls, Texas.

The Canada to Gulf Highway Association, which later became the U.S. Highway 287 Association, was active from the 1910s until the 1970s to promote US 287 as a popular tourist route, and was composed of members from businesses and organizations in cities along the route.

The Wyoming state transportation department started widening US 287 in 2009.[2]


According to an article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, plans are being discussed for U.S. 287 to be designated as an interstate highway running from Beaumont, Texas to the Canadian border in Montana.[3]

Major intersections[edit]

Southern segment
US 69 / US 96 in Port Arthur. US 69/US 287 travels concurrently to Woodville. US 96/US 287 travels concurrently to south of Lumberton.
I‑10 in Beaumont. The highways travel concurrently through Beaumont.
US 90 in Beaumont
US 190 in Woodville
Future I‑69 / US 59 in Corrigan
US 84 in Palestine. The highways travel concurrently through Palestine.
US 79 in Palestine
I‑45 in Corsicana. The highways travel concurrently to Ennis.
US 77 in Waxahachie
I‑35E in Waxahachie
US 67 in Midlothian
I‑20 in Arlington. The highways travel concurrently to Fort Worth.
I‑20 / I‑820 in Fort Worth. I-820/US 287 travels concurrently through Fort Worth.
I‑30 in Fort Worth
I‑35W / US 377 in Fort Worth. The highways travel concurrently through Fort Worth.
I‑820 in Fort Worth
I‑35W / US 81 in Fort Worth. US 81/US 287 travels concurrently to Bowie.
US 380 in Decatur
US 82 west of Henrietta. The highways travel concurrently to Wichita Falls.
US 281 in Wichita Falls. The highways travel concurrently through Wichita Falls.
US 82 / US 277 in Wichita Falls. US 277/US 287 travels concurrently through Wichita Falls.
I‑44 in Wichita Falls. The highways travel concurrently through Wichita Falls.
US 70 / US 183 in Oklaunion. The highways travel concurrently to Vernon.
US 183 / US 283 in Vernon
US 62 / US 83 in Childress
I‑40 in Amarillo. The highways travel concurrently through Amarillo.
I‑27 / I‑40 / US 60 in Amarillo. US 60/US 287 travels concurrently through Amarillo.
US 87 in Amarillo. The highways travel concurrently to Dumas.
US 54 in Stratford
US 56 / US 64 / US 412 east of Boise City
US 385 north of Boise City. The highways travel concurrently to Lamar, Colorado.
US 160 south of Springfield
US 50 / US 385 in Lamar. US 50/US 287 travels concurrently to south of Wiley.
US 40 east of Kit Carson. The highways travel concurrently to Denver.
I‑70 / US 24 east-southeast of Limon. US 24/US 287 travels concurrently to west of Limon.
I‑70 in Limon
I‑70 in Limon. The highways travel concurrently to Aurora.
US 36 in Byers. The highways travel concurrently to Aurora.
I‑225 in Aurora
I‑25 / US 6 / US 85 / US 87 in Denver
I‑70 in Denver
I‑76 in Berkley
US 36 in Westminster
US 34 in Loveland
I‑80 in Laramie
US 30 in Laramie. The highways travel concurrently to .
I‑80 south-southeast of Walcott. The highways travel concurrently to east of Rawlins.
US 26 west-northwest of Morton. The highways travel concurrently to Moran.
US 26 / US 89 / US 191 in Moran. US 89/US 287 travels concurrently to north-northwest of West Thumb. US 191/US 287 travels concurrently to north-northwest of West Yellowstone, Montana.
US 20 north-northwest of West Thumb. The highways travel concurrently to West Yellowstone, Montana.
Northern segment
I‑90 northwest of Three Forks
US 12 in Townsend. The highways travel concurrently to Helena.
I‑15 / US 12 in Helena. I-15/US 287 travels concurrently to northeast of Wolf Creek.
US 89 in Choteau


  1. ^ Droz, Robert V. U.S. Highways : From US 1 to (US 830). URL accessed 18 May 2006. [self-published source]
  2. ^ a b The Associated Press (April 19, 2009). "Wyo begins widening 287". Casper Star-Tribune. Retrieved August 22, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Market Street, restaurants eye spot next to Mansfield High". star-telegram. Retrieved 2017-02-14. 

External links[edit]

Browse numbered routes
SH 286 TX SH 288
US-283 OK SH-325
US 285 list SH 291
WYO 273 WY WYO 290
MT 287 MT US 310