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Top 10 Most Beautiful Rides in North America
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Heading out on the highway on two wheels is an exhilarating experience and one that thousands of people do every year, sometimes several times a year. Riding on roads that take you through rugged mountains, alongside crystal clear rivers or blue shorelines opens your mind, and frees your soul, but at the same time, it can be quite an endurance.
Motorcycle sales are booming and if you happen to be the proud owner of a set of two wheels, you might be wondering where you can go. This post can be your inspiration as it introduces not just the top ten motorcycle rides in America, but a few more besides.
10 scenic motorcycle rides that are well worth the ride
If you’ve been riding motorcycles for many years, some of the following motorcycle rides may be familiar. Nevertheless, they’re so spectacular that you might want to visit them again. For those of you who are new to riding, get your tires warmed up with one of these weekend motorcycle rides.
1. Beartooth Highway, Wyoming, and Montana
Also known as US Route 212, Beartooth Highway is popular with riders across the country. You’ll get to experience steep zigzags, thrilling switchbacks, and a claim to the summit which is at an elevation of 10,947 feet.
Beartooth is considered to be a rugged area and if you want to enjoy it safely, you’ll need some riding experience under your belt. It’ll also be to your advantage if you do some planning first.
If you don’t live in the area, you might want to consider shipping your motorcycle there so you can relax and rest before starting your road trip.
Get a Free Instant Quote Today if you want to know how much it might cost to ship your motorcycle to Wyoming and Montana.
2. Green Mountains, Vermont
Scenic Route 100 Byway runs along the eastern edge of the Green Mountains in Vermont. Located in south-central Vermont, as well as spending your days on your motorcycle, you’ll also be able to ski, shop, play golf, hike, and participate in one of the many cultural activities taking place along the route.
This is one of the best motorcycle rides in the northeast and at the same time, also includes Route 108 which connects Cambridge with Stowes. This section of the highway is designated Smugglers’ Notch Scenic Highway because it passes over Vermont’s highest mountain, Mount Mansfield.
3. Smoky Mountains, North Carolina, and Tennessee
Be careful what you wish for if you choose this for one of your motorcycle road trips in the USA. You could spend weeks riding through the Smoky Mountains, experiencing beautiful vistas and twisty roads. It’s also pretty certain you’ll never see the same view twice.
For many bikers, the starting point is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where there are almost 400 miles of highway to explore.
From there, the adventure typically continues into North Carolina or Tennessee.
4. The Jeb Stuart Highway
Also known as US Route 58, you’ll also hear people referring to this highway as The Mighty Python. It starts at Virginia 16 and heads west into Damascus. What it promises is a perfect combination of beautiful scenery and curves.
What makes it even more amazing is that if you pick the right time of the day to hit the road, you won’t encounter another person on two wheels or even four.
This road trip is a relatively short one at only 33 miles, but during your journey, you’ll have to negotiate 318 curves.
5. Death Valley
This has a worldwide reputation for being the driest place in the USA. It also happens to be the lowest point in North America and one of the hottest places on Earth.
A road trip in Death Valley is not for the faint-hearted as it’s considered to be one of the country’s most extreme. It’ll take you three hours to get there from Las Vegas and five hours from Los Angeles.
If you decide to head to Death Valley, tread very carefully and aim to make as little impact as possible because its ecosystem, historical and geographical gems are extremely fragile.
6. Pacific Coast Highway
This breathtaking motorcycle ride runs from Half Moon Bay to Albion (California) and for many, it’s the Holy Grail of rides in North America.
As you leave Half Moon Bay, you’ll have to ensure some San Francisco traffic as you cross the Golden Gate, but once that experience is out of the way, it’s just you, the highway, and the views to contend with.
The road takes you through Muir Woods, over sand beach dunes, and through some quaint coastal communities.
Don’t be in too much of a rush as you wind your way along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Fog can sometimes be a problem, which will keep you on your toes.
7. Angeles Crest Highway
This motorcycle highway runs through the San Gabriel Mountains national monument and the Angeles national forests of southern California. With its spectacular views and twisty turns, you’ll find it hard to believe you’re just 60 miles outside of the Los Angeles area.
Also known as California Route 2, it’s a ride where you need to keep your wits about you because just around any of the right corners, you could find loose rocks strewn across the road.
You might also find the road closed for repair at any time of the year, but don’t be too disappointed because the detours are usually just as spectacular.
8. Going-to-the-Sun Road
Not all routes in this list are passable all year round and this is one of them. It’s in Glacier National Park, Montana, and is only fully passable toward the end of June.
This route has a place in the list because the landscapes have to be seen to be believed. You can take as many photographs as you like but you’ll never be able to capture the true magnificence of this enchanting place.
The road spans the width of the glacier and was completed almost a century ago. The terrain you’ll ride through includes cedar forests, alpine trees, and glacial lakes.
9. Million Dollar Highway
Otherwise known as US 55, the Million Dollar Highway runs from Durango (Colorado) to Ouray (Colorado). Depending on the time of day and time of the year, it can get very busy with traffic, but it’ll keep you interested because it’s just twisty enough.
You’ll need to pay attention because if you lose your focus, you could end up riding over the edge and several thousand feet down a steep cliff.
The route itself is very challenging and in places, there’s no guardrail to stop you from plunging over the edge.
It’s only 25 miles long but is a segment of a skyway that runs between Silverton and Ouray (Colorado).
Why is it called the Million Dollar Highway? It’s believed it has something to do with how much it cost to build each mile of a highway that climbs three mountain peaks.
10. Coast Highway 1, Maine
This 260-mile highway connects Portland with Calais, a Canadian border town. It’s lined with forest and every now and again you get a glimpse of the low-lying coast. There are also several short scenic loops off US Route 1, each one of which curls around its own slender peninsula. You’ll also find quaint seaside hamlets and historic lighthouses lining the route.
Temptations along this route include lobster shacks that draw you in with their tantalizing smells, whale watching, and various boating adventures.
The Cadillac Summit Road spirals up in Acadia National Park until you reach the highest point on the eastern seaboard. As well as the sensational views from the summit, you also get to enjoy thrilling twisties and curves.
More road trips that might tempt you
No list of motorcycle road trips would be complete without the following:
- US Route 66: Other names for this iconic highway include Main Street, USA, Will Rogers Highway, and The Mother Road. In the old day, it was the road that defined the meaning of a road trip. Highway bypasses have since been built to help you get around congested areas and shorten travel time. Nevertheless, you can still travel along Route 66 on the interstate and even some of the original parts of the highway.
- Big Bend National Park: This is a motorcycle ride for dirt lovers and the park is home to River Road, a route that travels through and across many desert washes. You’ll need a sturdy bike to experience this road, but you won’t regret it. Once you get off the main two-lane highway that runs from Terlingua to Presidio, you’ll find it’s one giant off-road playground.
- North Cascades Highway: This route covers 436 miles of sheer beauty. Originally known as the North Cross Highway, you start your journey in the Skagit Valley. Sights along the way include Gorge Dame, Diablo Dam, and beautiful emerald-green lakes.
- Interstate 70: This engineering marvel runs along the Colorado River from Grand Junction to Denver. It’s good enough in the summer, but the winter is a different ball game. For the most part, it stays open all year so you get to enjoy many vistas and scenic spots where you can pull off to enjoy the beauty.
- Redwood Highway: Last on the list is a 175-mile-long stretch that starts at the California-Oregon border near Crescent City and goes all the way to Leggett. The highway runs along the coast and provides you with outstanding views of the Pacific. Take the road inland and on either side are forests of redwoods, some of which are 350 feet high.
If you’re tempted by any of these motorcycle rides, let SGT Auto Transport be a part of the experience. We can help you get to a particular starting point, or make sure your ride is transported safely home so you can travel in a more relaxing way.
Please give us a call at (864) 546-5038 or use our option.
Where is the best motorcycle riding in the US?
The answer to this question depends on what you’re looking for. Whether you want twists and turns, breathtaking scenery, challenging roads, long stretches of highway, or plenty of attractions to stop at, the list above includes the best motorcycle rides in North America.
What state has the best motorcycle roads?
The safest state to own a motorcycle is Montana because there are more than 300,000 registered motorcycles but less than 30 motorcycle deaths every year.
However, if you want to look at this question from a different angle, the states in the US that are the most fun to own a motorcycle, the list is as follows:
- California is the most motorcycle-friendly state
- Colorado is a great state to ride in during the spring, summer, and fall
- Arizona has lots of twisty roads and little traffic
- Washington has some great scenery
- Florida’s climate means you can ride all year round
How long would it take to ride a motorcycle across America?
To ride across America safely and take in some sights along the way, it could take you as long as four weeks to complete your journey.
Is Colorado good for motorcycles?
Colorado may have a relatively short riding season, but it’s a popular destination for motorcycle riders because it has winding roads, scenic byways, thousands of mountain peaks, and seven mountain ranges.
Can you travel cross country on a motorcycle?
Yes, you can travel cross country on a motorcycle and it can be a fantastic adventure if you’ve the time. During your journey, you’ll be able to enjoy the sights, sounds, and people all over the country, more so than any other type of cross-country trip.
That being said, you'll need to do some preparation if you want to make the experience a comfortable one.