There’s nothing like the feeling of waking up to clear skies and taking the bike out for a ride. Between your favorite local back roads and a few good friends to share the road with, what could be better?
The one thing that might top this is taking a trip to check out the best motorcycle roads in the United States!
Sure, these locations are unfamiliar. They don’t have your favorite stops. Their streets won’t feel as natural to ride for the first time like the roads you know do.
But, that is the beauty of the adventure – to discover all that’s out there from the comfort of your motorcycle.
Here are 10 of the best motorcycle roads to check out this year.
1. Pacific Coast Highway, California
The Pacific Coast Highway runs along the Pacific Coast Trail, taking riders and hikers alike from the California-Oregon border to San Diego.
This long stretch of land has everything an adventurous biker could hope for. It takes you through big cities, gorgeous natural scenes, and everything in between.
Some of the most noteworthy parts of PCH are Monterey and Big Sur.
Monterey is a magical destination, where the California coast welcomes you with open arms. Take a ride down to the Fisherman’s Wharf or the local aquarium, or cruise to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.
Nearby, the 17 Mile Drive is a detour worth taking. Or, head down to Big Sur for even more adventure.
On the way, you’ll pass over the Bixby Bridge. This is a massive structure – running 714 feet long at 280 feet high. It is the perfect vantage point to enjoy California’s beauty.
2. Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana
If you’d rather see campgrounds and national parks instead of coastlines, head to Montana. Here, Going-to-the-Sun takes you through 5 Glacier National Parks.
Pass through the mountains and take in the sights on this two-hour ride. You’ll cover about 50 miles and enjoy a plethora of beautiful scenery.
Not to mention, this road is fairly calm. A highway nonetheless, but not as crowded as some of the other best motorcycle roads on this list.
3. Beartooth Pass, Wyoming
To kick things up a notch from Going-to-the-Sun, head straight to Beartooth Pass.
This is not a road for the faint of heart. Experienced, adventurous bikers will have a blast, though.
Beartooth Pass takes riders on a journey of many ups and downs, with few guardrails and the beauty of Wyoming right in front of you. Enjoy looking at mountains, dense forests, rivers and great rocks.
Careful if you end up on part of the pass that has some snow covering it! Even though this road is only open from mid-May to mid-October, at an elevation of roughly 10,100 feet, there are some days the snow can still be found.
Other than that, consider this pick of the best motorcycle roads to let your inner daredevil out for a joy ride.
4. Needles Highway, South Dakota
Needles Highway is a road worth taking any time of year. But, if you plan to go here during August, expect to be joined by many other bikers.
This is because many of them will be headed to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The event is popular with riders from far and wide each year, and Needles Highway takes you straight there.
In fact, the road just feels like it was made for this purpose.
Keep your eye out for deer, antelope, and even bison as you cruise along the highway’s curves. Then, enjoy the thrill of the two tunnels entirely made out of granite.
5. San Juan Skyway, Colorado
The one catch about most of the best motorcycle roads in America is that you either have to be headed somewhere, or plan to turn around at some point.
The unique thing about San Juan Skyway, though, is that it is all one big loop around a section of the Rockies! You can hop on at any point, see the whole highway, and end up right where you started.
Along the way, you’ll find the natural beauty of the great big out there and the high-class villages built for skiing and summer sports. There are also historic mining towns and national parks to enjoy.
Once completed, you will have seen everything from red rock canyons to hot springs and river valleys. Not to mention the amazing mountain range that accompanies you every step of the way.
6. Tunnel of Trees, Michigan
The Tunnel of Trees is exactly as it sounds, and more.
This is a stretch of roughly 30 miles of pure, dense forestry that runs along the Lake Michigan shore. On one side, you’ll see beautiful cabins and vacation homes poking through the trees. On the other, the sun shining on the lake will catch your eye.
You can enjoy this road in the middle of summer as tourists and locals alike come in and out.
Or, plan to take on the Tunnel of Trees during August or September when the leaves start to change. This completely transforms the experience, creating a dream-like setting for all fall-weather lovers.
7. Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina
Blue Ridge Parkway is another top-notch scenic ride to discover on the best motorcycle roads of America.
On top of the beauty of nature, there is a sense of history in the air. Blue Ridge Parkway takes you through many civil war sites. There are also old mill sites that are still in operation today.
Crossover from Virginia to North Carolina and find the mountains of the east coast.
Not exactly the Colorado peaks or the Wyoming wonders, Blue Ridge definitely holds its own special charm. The Smokies are a sight any motorcycle rider is lucky to experience, and the many stops and overlooks make it easy to truly take them all in.
Plus, you get to enjoy the mountains from the road at a 45 miles per hour limit. This may sound too slow, but you’ll be too busy looking around (and enjoying your safety) to care.
8. Tail of the Dragon, Tennessee
What do you call an 11-mile stretch with over 300 twists and turns packed in? The Tail of the Dragon, of course.
Named appropriately for the winding roads that resemble a dragon’s tail, this is one of the most popular destinations of all the best motorcycle roads in the United States. Simply put, it is a motorcycle enthusiast’s playground!
The road is made for the most daring adventurers in your group. Some of the tightest curves even have nicknames, and there is a “Tree of Shame” standing in honor of those who couldn’t master this tricky little stretch of land.
Plan this trip with enough time to enjoy riding the tail more than once.
This lets you work off the nerves of the curves and truly enjoy the experience. There are plenty of fun stops and hotels to rest at once you’re done, too.
9. Cherohala Skyway, Tennessee
For a much more relaxed experience, skip the Tail of the Dragon and head to the Cherohala Skyway.
Also in Tennessee, this is where you can see the true beauty of the Tennessee mountains and forestry. The Skyway takes you through two different national parks – the Cherokee and the Nantahala.
Together, the two are a sight you won’t soon forget. Enjoy this 43-mile ride going up and down about 5,400 feet of elevation. Along the way, the mountains and forestry accompany you while you go at a steady pace.
The road is equally as safe and beautiful during the day as it is at night. Motorcyclists and drivers can share it with ease, although it is mostly a low-traffic area.
10. Twisted Sisters, Texas
The last, and certainly not the least, destination on our list of the best motorcycle roads in America is the Twisted Sisters. Fun fact, this is actually not one road!
The Twisted Sisters is the nickname given to routes 335, 336, and 337 in Texas. Combined, these roads cover about 100 miles, with some areas being more difficult than others.
Keep in mind they are called “twisted” for a reason.
In fact, there is a 15-mile piece that has something like 65 curves – basically a mini Tail of the Dragon! Proceed in this part with caution.
If you need to stop at any point along the way, there are many things to do. Kick your feet up at a quick road stop and keep riding, or take a detour to discover some unique Texas sights.
Some things that are easily accessible from the Twisted Sisters route include:
- The Lone Star Museum
- Stonehenge II
- Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop
- Lost Maples State Natural Area
There really is something for everyone on this pick of the best motorcycle roads.
Take on the Best Motorcycle Roads in America This Year
Now that you have your list of which roads to travel this year, it’s time to get going!
Make sure your bike is running in top condition and all your riding gear is ready. Call up a few friends to see who wants to join you and let the adventure begin.
Don’t forget to check for motorcycle events and rallies happening this year along the roads you’re riding!