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The Best Motorcycle Roads in America


There are plenty of people who use motorcycles primarily as a means of getting from point A to point B on their everyday commutes. But riding a motorcycle is also an experience that should be savored, especially when you’re able to get out on the open road and see the country as it was meant to be seen.

So what are some of the best motorcycle roads in the country? Here are a few favorites for their scenery, twists and turns, hills and dips and places to stop.

Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway | Credit:
  • Blue Ridge Parkway: The Blue Ridge Parkway has been called “America’s Favorite Drive” many times over the years. It stretches from Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and curves throughout some beautiful Appalachian countryside. The hills, orchards, small towns, campsites and more make this a great route. It’s also in close proximity to the Appalachian Trail, which is a favorite for hikers.
  • Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument: This monument is a gorgeous desert favorite. While there are plenty of hiking trails, you can see a lot more of the area on motorcycle. There area lot of different roads around the National Monument (some more paved/finished than others). It’s well worth a visit.
Beartooth Highway
Beartooth Highway | Credit:
  • Beartooth Highway: This is another highway that’s developed a reputation for being one of the most beautiful and scenic drives in the nation. It’s the highest-elevation paved road in the northern part of the rocky mountains, and provides an opportunity for you to take in some of the high mountains on a save, smooth road. Keep in mind it closes down over the winters for heavy snowfall and ice. But it is open spring through fall, and is a national favorite for good reason.
Pacific Coastal Highway
Pacific Coastal Highway | Creator: Paul Giamou | Credit: Getty Images/Aurora Creative
  • Pacific Coastal Highway: Officially dubbed State Route 1 in California but more frequently referred to as the PCH, this is a road that runs along the Pacific Ocean and is one of the most high-traffic highways in the entire world. It’s a very easy ride because it has slower speed limits and cuts through a lot of towns and cities. The road stretches 655.8 miles and gives you some fantastic views of the ocean and coastline.
  • State Route 36: Speaking of popular California roads for motorcyclists, State Route 36 stretches about 250 miles east to east between Fortuna and Susanville. It’s famous for going right through the redwood forests of California. The twists and turns can become a bit complicated, and the scenery is distractingly gorgeous.
Tunnel of Trees Road
Tunnel of Trees | Credit:
  • Tunnel of Trees Road: M-119 in Michigan goes along the western coast of the state toward the northern part of the lower peninsula. It’s only about 30 miles, making it one of the shorter roads on this list, but it’s still completely beautiful, especially during the fall when the leaves have changed colors. It’s got a lot of traffic and is narrow, so it requires a bit of patience, but it’s very beautiful and can easily be added to a larger motorcycle trip in the state.
  • The Tail of the Dragon: World-famous, this Smoky Mountain pass between North Carolina and Tennessee features an 11-mile stretch of highway with 318 curves. Part of the appeal is that it lies adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as well as the Cherokee National Forest, and is almost entirely undeveloped, wrapped in nature. That means no cars or trucks pulling out onto the highway and cutting off riders. However, that doesn't mean you can just cruise absent-mindedly! With so many turns, you have to be focused and present as a rider. Because of the rural location, it can take a long time for ambulances or other emergency services to arrive to the scene of an accident, and many people have lost their bikes or their lives on that stretch of road.
  • The Twisted Sisters: This is one of the more challenging but rewarding rides you’ll find in the United States. It encompasses 100 miles across three state routes in Texas (335, 336 and 337) and features a whole lot of twists, turns, climbs and drops. This is a route that should only be left for experienced riders.
Needles Highway
Needles Highway | Credit: Custer State Park Resort
  • Needles Highway: The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota is also close to one of the favorite motorcycle roads in the country, the Needles Highway. There are some beautiful sites and some very cool landmarks along the way, including Mount Rushmore just off the highway.
  • Going-to-the-Sun Road: This highway in Montana is the only paved road that travels through Glacier National Park, one of the most gorgeous national parks in the country. While it’s not particularly long (about 50 miles), it can easily be added to other roads around the area. It has a number of complicated twists and turns that can make it slightly challenging, but it has smooth asphalt and some remarkable views of the countryside.

Pick one of these roads to add on to your next motorcycle road trip, and you’ll have a ride you’ll remember forever!

Where are your favorite places to ride in your state?Let us know in the comments below!

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