10 of the Most Scenic Road Trips for the Most Daring Bikers
Long road trips aren’t just for those who exclusively drive four-wheeled vehicles, but they can be a lot more challenging. In fact, it is recommended that only the most experienced motorcyclists take long road trips. Still, even the most experienced bikers should take into consideration several factors, concerns, and precautions, such as the weather, hydration, first aid, and other essential tools (flashlights, air pumps, duct tape, a swiss army knife, wrenches, etc.), proper footwear, GPS, and possibly getting tired along the way. Long road trips for bikers should be more carefully planned out, not only for enjoyment but also for safety. Here are 10 of the most scenic road trips for bikers.
#1: Route 66
Route 66 is one of the most famous and classic road trips in the United States. Spanning over 2,000 miles from Chicago in the Midwest to the Pacific Ocean in California, the historic Route 66 takes you diagonally through the heart of the U.S. There’s no better route to take if you’re wanting to see both ghost towns and neon signs. Some major cities you’ll be able to pass through are Chicago (Illinois), St. Louis (Missouri), Tulsa (Oklahoma), Oklahoma City (Oklahoma), Amarillo (Texas), Albuquerque (New Mexico), Santa Fe (New Mexico), Flagstaff (Arizona), Sedona (Arizona), and Los Angeles (California). Some famous landmarks to stop and check out along the way include:
- Land of Lincoln in Illinois
- The Will Rogers Memorial in Oklahoma
- Cadillac Ranch in Texas
- Tinkertown in New Mexico
- The London Bridge in Arizona
- Hollywood in California
#2: The Pacific Coast Highway
This road trip runs from Seattle, Washington to San Diego, California in its entirety, but it’s recommended that bikers take the shorter, 550 mile trip along California’s famous Highway 1 instead of making the 1,650-mile trek down the entire west coast because it’s the most scenic from Big Sur to Morro Bay. However, the most experienced, daring, and prepared bikers can still ride from Seattle to San Diego. Some other scenic sights and major cities to see along the way include:
- Seattle (Washington state)
- Olympic National Park (Washington state)
- Astoria (Oregon)
- Dune Country (Oregon)
- Redwood National Park (California)
- San Francisco (California)
- Monterey (California)
- Hearst Castle (California)
- Los Angeles (California)
- San Diego (California)
If you choose the entire route, definitely make sure you’re prepared for this long road trip.
#3: Beartooth Highway
This is only a 68-mile pass between the states of Montana and Wyoming, but this short trip is definitely for the most daring bikers. Along this path, you’ll be able to see some of the most amazing mountain scenery and maybe even mountain goats along with different types of bears. Perhaps the most exhilarating part of this short road trip is the numerous amount of twists and turns along the way. Just keep in mind that this pass is open from June to October, and be wary of possible snow and icy conditions.
Attractions worth visiting: Yellowstone National Park
#4: Tail of the Dragon
Another short trip, this famous motorcycle route in Tennessee is only 11 miles long, but contains more than 300 curves! This is one of the most difficult, yet daring rides that any (experienced) biker could take. Unfortunately, this epic ride does see a few crashes each year, which is why it’s important that only experienced bikers try it out. That’s why it’s so important you have the proper insurance, as insurance for bikers is required in nearly all 50 states, including Tennessee.
Attractions worth visiting: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
#5: Lake Michigan Circle Tour
Follow the 1,100 mile-long path around one of the Great Lakes that will allow you to see four U.S. states: Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. This loop around Lake Michigan brings the chance to see Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan, the Navy Pier in Illinois, and of course, the Harley-Davidson Museum in Wisconsin, which is a must-see for all bikers.
#6: The Three/Twisted Sisters
Either known as The Three Sisters (because it’s made up of the three country ranch roads 335, 336, and 337) or The Twisted Sisters (due to the sharp twists and turns), this road in Texas spans more than 130 miles an hour outside of San Antonio. This is another route reserved for the most experienced bikers, with one section of this road containing 65 curves. This road doesn’t typically see too much traffic, minus the occasional deer and cows passing through.
#7: The Tunnel of Trees Road
This quaint little path at only 20 miles long takes you through some of the most picturesque scenery in Michigan. The M-119 highway in north Michigan really shows its beauty during the fall and spring months, where you’ll get to see the colorful leaves and flowers, respectively.
#8: Grand Canyon South Rim
If you’re not really looking for a road trip that contains many twists and turns, check out this road along the South Rim in Arizona. The scenery in Arizona itself is amazing, with long stretches of desert and desert flora and fauna. It’s also worth it to explore the Grand Canyon as a whole while you’re here. You can also visit some of the slot canyons in the area— Antelope Canyon being one of them, a gorgeous red slot canyon with endless winding walls of sandstone.
#9: Natchez Trace Parkway
For a different type of scenery, check out this 400-mile long road that takes you through the southern states of Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. This is another road that is mostly straight, with scenic views of moss-draped oaks and pine trees. This is a very biker-friendly ride where you’ll be able to find plenty of places to eat and lay your head at night.
#10: The Blueridge Parkway
What’s a more scenic view than taking a nice, long, relaxing drive through the Appalachian Mountains? The Blueridge Parkway spreads 469 miles in the states of North Carolina and Virginia, and is one of the more beginner-friendly road trips with a speed limit of only 45 mph. The curves of this road aren’t as rough and rugged as some of the others mentioned above, but the scenery isn’t any less beautiful. And don’t worry, though this gorgeous road spans more than 400 miles, there are several connecting roads that will take you to restaurants for a quick break and lodging if you want to stay the night. This path is also near some other scenic sights worth visiting, such as:
- The Great Smoky Mountains
- Shenandoah National Park
- The Biltmore Estate
Consider any of these 10 scenic destinations for your next road trip on your bike. The United States offers many more road trips for both the experienced and the beginner biker, and there’s different types of scenery for everyone.
From the endless shorelines of the coasts, to the winding roads of the mountains, and even the straight and flat roads of the lowlands, the scenery never ceases to amaze bikers traveling all across the country. Just remember to be fully prepared for your road trip, no matter which scenic path you choose to take. Even the most spontaneous of motorcycle riders know the importance of still being prepared to make a long, but satisfying road trip.