There’s nothing like the open road. There’s little better than the feeling and freedom of traveling around the country. The ability to see the sights and soak in the pleasure of a long, uninterrupted ride is one of life’s greatest pleasures.
But when it comes to a great motorcycle ride, you can’t settle on just any old slab of asphalt. There are certain stretches in this country that are nightmares for bikers and bike enthusiasts, and then there are stretches that are an absolute dream.
We’re going to go ahead and bet that you would be interested in the latter. And why wouldn’t you be? You deserve to ride on the best motorcycle roads the U.S. has to offer. Read on, and we’ll walk you through the twelve you should know about.
1. Blue Ridge Parkway
When it comes to the best motorcycle roads in the country, there’s no better place to start than with the stretch of road that is literally known as ‘America’s Favorite Drive.’
That’s right, the 500 mile stretch of Blue Ridge Parkway has quite a reputation. The road stretches through both North Carolina and Virginia, starting and ending in two different national parks: the Shenandoah and the Great Smoky Mountain National Parks. That means you have the option of starting or ending your great big ride in some of the most scenic locations in the country.
The road itself is a gorgeous display of nature and natural scenery. You’ll be making your way through the Appalachian region, and that means countless hiking trails, orchards, and rivers will spring up along your route from A to B. If you’ve ever wanted to make a trip through this region of the country, you’d be hard pressed to find a better route than the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s truly one of the best motorcycle roads the country has to offer.
2. Pacific Coast Highway
If there’s a most famous road on this list, it’s probably the Pacific Coast Highway that stretches from Southern to Northern California. It’s most notable stretch, through Big Sur, has been featured countless times in movies, television, and in commercials.
It’s been filmed so frequently for good reason: the Pacific Coast Highway is simply one of the most beautiful and scenic rides anywhere in the world. Much of the drive will put you thousands of feet above the gorgeous and crystal-blue California waters.
A drive down the PCH, also known as State Road 1, is a great ride for beginners. The speed limit is kept comparatively low here, and the stretch of road is so popular that you can’t go more than a few short miles without running into new towns, shops, restaurants, and attractions.
The popularity of the Pacific Coast Highway might mean you’ll run into a bit more traffic here than you might on some of the other routes on this list. But if you don’t mind a little touch-and-go driving, it can be well worth the once in a lifetime scenery.
3. Tail Of Dragon At Deals Gap
Many of the routes on this list are quite long and can take days of traveling to get through. Some of us don’t have that kind of free time available to us. Need a shorter ride, one that you can get through in one day? We’ve got you covered there too.
The Tail of Dragon At Deals Gap is a surprisingly short road located in the heart of Tennessee. But don’t let the length fool you: this is also one of the most challenging roads to navigate in the country. There’s a reason it has such an eccentric name, after all.
The Tail of Dragon is a mere eleven miles in length, but in that distance, there is an intimidating three-hundred and eighteen different turns and curves. If you decide to take on this motorcycle road, you’ll have your work cut out for you. But if you can handle the challenge, Tail of Dragon can provide quite an enjoyable and adrenaline-pumping experience.
Despite the twists and turns, this road still crosses some of the more gorgeous regions of Tennessee, working its way through lakes and small mountains. If you’re a novice or even average rider, you may want to save this path for later on your bucket list. But if you’ve seen the world of biking and want more, taking on the Tail of Dragon might be the right move for you.
4. Northwest Passage Scenic Byway
Want a little bit of a history lesson along with your bike ride? You could do worse than the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway, which follows more or less the exact path initially forged by Lewis & Clark.
Yes, that means you can take your motorcycle down through Idaho, Montana, and Washington and see what some of the earliest English explorers first saw in the new land of America. In a sense, taking a trip down this long stretch can serve as the best possible history lesson, literally allowing you to step back into an earlier chapter of American history.
And if that wasn’t appealing enough to you, there’s a huge number of other attractions that fill the area and towns off of the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway. Want to go whitewater rafting, camp out, or go hiking? The Byway will give you plentiful opportunities to do just that. All of this combined makes it more than just a great and beautiful trail of asphalt: it makes the byway one of the most quintessentially American roads in all of the country.
5. Beartooth Highway
No list of the best motorcycle roads in America would be complete without chronicling a path that cuts through the Rocky Mountains. And king among such paths has to be the Beartooth Highway.
The Beartooth Highway is the highest elevation paved road in the Rock Mountain region. That means you’ll have the combined benefits of a smooth ride and incredible views and scenery. At it’s highest peak, the highway reaches 11,000 feet above the ground.
The zigzagging road passes through both the Custer and Shoshone National Forests and provides some of the most jaw-dropping views anywhere on the planet. At the very end of the road? The entrance to Yellowstone National Park, positioning Beartooth Highway as kind of the ultimate yellow brick road for nature lovers.
Downsides to the path? The elevation can make it difficult to traverse for many months of the year. Higher elevations mean lower temperatures, and the roads of the Beartooth Highway can get icy, snowy, and deeply dangerous very quickly. If you’re planning to make a trip out to ride this road, you’ll need to plan ahead.
There are a few weeks within the fall and spring where the weather can be perfect for it. But wait too long and you might find that long portions of the highway have been shut down entirely, for the safety of the public.
6. Going-To-The-Sun Road
This gorgeous road in Montana has to have our favorite name on the list, grabbing extra points for capturing the transcendent experience that such a trip can provide. This incredible motorcycle riding road is the only paved path that cuts through Glacier National Park, one of the most notable and popular reserves in the country.
Going-To-The-Sun Road has an amazing reputation, mostly thanks to its natural scenery and incredibly smooth and well-paved roads. There’s enough twists and turns to keep experienced bike riders interested, but not so many that it should prove too challenging to more novice riders.
The pathway itself also isn’t too long: from beginning to end, it reaches just about 50 miles in total. That means you can get through it in a day fairly easily, or split it up over a few days if you want to spend more time exploring or hiking around.
Montana is one of the few states left in the country to have a plethora of natural beauty still untouched. As such, visiting Going-To-The-Sun Road should absolutely be on your motorcycle trip bucket list.
The Best Motorcycle Roads In The United States
As a biking enthusiast, we probably don’t need to convince you of how amazing a few days spent on the open road can be. But what we can do is point you in the direction of some of the most amazing motorcycle roads in the country. The above routes, roads, and highways boast some of the best scenery and smoothest rides in the world.
If you’re a serious biker, you owe it to yourself to spend some time riding down these amazing stretches of asphalt. Want to learn more about the best rides and routes? Check out our blog for more.