The United States boasts some of the most spectacular mountain driving routes in the world. These roads are not only a test of driving skill but also offer breath taking views, making them perfect for both adrenaline junkies and families seeking adventure.

Tail of the Dragon, Tennessee/North Carolina

This stretch of road is considered one of the most exciting drives in America. Cutting through the mountains in Deals Gap at the Tennessee/North Carolina state line, the Tail of the Dragon is actually just a portion of the longer US 129, or as some North Carolina folks call it, “that damn road to Tennessee”.

  • Distance: 11 miles
  • Fun Fact: The legend of the Tail of the Dragon has even caught the eye of movie producers, celebrities, and documentary crews. The road is featured in “The Fugitive,” and parts of “Two-Lane Blacktop.”

Pikes Peak Highway, Colorado

Built in 1915, this winding road is the perfect scenic drive, offering views of lakes, mountains, wildlife and ultimately leading to the storied summit of Pikes Peak. 

  • Distance: 19 miles
  • Fun Fact: The highway hosts the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, which sees professional drivers race to the summit during the second oldest motorsports race in America.

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia/North Carolina

The Parkway travels from The Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Cherokee Indian Reservation in NC. Traveling along the parkway, you'll venture through many tunnels, have the opportunity to stop at many overlooks and see wildflowers, wildlife, and waterfalls. There are also numerous hiking trails along the parkway to explore, as well as historic structures. 

  • Distance: 469 miles
  • Fun Fact: The Blue Ridge Parkway was part of The New Deal instituted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Congress.  The New Deal was designed to provide work for those unemployed and poor as a result of The Great Depression.

Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana

This route through Glacier National Park is one of the most picturesque drives in the country. You will see impressive glaciers, beautiful valleys, cascading waterfalls, towering mountains and colorful wildflowers.

  • Distance: 50 miles
  • Fun Fact: The road is one of the most difficult roads in North America to snowplow in the spring. It takes about ten weeks to plow, even with equipment that can move 4,000 tons of snow in an hour.

Beartooth Highway, Montana/Wyoming

The Beartooth Highway climbs 5,000 feet through lodgepole pine forests leading you to an enchanting world made of alpine lakes, 20 peaks over 12,000 feet, glacially carved cirques and vibrant wildflowers. The highway connects the towns of Red Lodge, Montana with Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana at the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

  • Distance: 68 miles
  • Fun Fact: During the spring of 2005, several large mudslides and rockslides damaged or destroyed the Montana side of the Beartooth Highway. It got closed for the rest of the year for reconstruction with an estimated cost of damages worth $20.4

San Juan Skyway, Colorado

San Juan Skyway showcases a diverse landscape featuring high mountains, striking rock formations, gorgeous alpine lakes, and meadows. Surrounded by the 14,000-foot-high San Juan Mountains, the road takes travellers through popular resorts and historic mining towns, but also through some of the most spectacular and best-preserved Ancestral Puebloan ruins.

  • Distance: 235 miles
  • Fun Fact: There is some debate about where the name “Million Dollar Highway” came from, but some believe the name came from the plethora of gold and silver mining that was once in the area, while others think it was because the road cost one million dollars to build.

White Rim Road, Utah

An overland adventure on the White Rim Road in Canyonlands National Park is the kind of remote drive you’ll remember for a lifetime. Along the way, you’ll navigate under towering red rock formations and peer down steep canyon walls carved by the Colorado and Green rivers.

  • Distance: 100 miles
  • Fun Fact: The road was constructed in the 1950s by the Atomic Energy Commission to provide access for individual prospectors intent on mining uranium deposits for use in nuclear weapons production during the Cold War.

Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire

The Kancamagus Highway is scenic drive through New Hampshire's White Mountains. Known for its stunning fall foliage, the route offers beautiful mountain views, covered bridges, and plenty of hiking opportunities. It is considered one of the best fall foliage viewing areas in the world.

  • Distance: 34 miles
  • Fun Fact: Locally known as "The Kanc"
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July 11, 2024 — Tim Hall