BEST drives in the US/Canada

[Inverse inspiring thread]

Me, I try to drive the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway every year, tho the weather usually prevents me (as it did again last year-rain and fog up there will not make it much fun :(). I also have enjoyed driving Route 124 in Ohio along the Ohio River.

In California, Highway 1 between Monterey and Morro Bay is one of my favorites, along with 395 between Mono Lake and just south of Lone Pine.

Several years ago when my family was crossing the US, a friend who grew up in Colorado told me a side trip to make off of 70:
Take 82 toward Aspen, go over Independence Pass, then go up 24 past Leadville and reconnect with 70.

It sure is a beautiful drive, but I don’t think it’s a year-round activity.

The Cabot Trail around Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. Unbeatable.

The Seward Highway south of Anchorage, AK.

Hatcher Pass Road, near Palmer, AK.

Denali Highway, near Denali National Park

Denali Park Highway, Alaska

Alcan Highway, British Columbia/Yukon Territory.

The Oregon Coast Highway and across the border into the Redwood Forest.


And this.

US 302 from Raymond, ME west. Lots of lakes and mountains. East of Raymond you spend too much time sitting in traffic.

I was once driving from Capital Reef National Park in Utah to Bryce, via State Route 12. It was a wild ride, following many hairpin turns and abrupt changes in altitudes, along the spine of a mountain range. The only problem was that I had to concentrate on the tricky driving, and couldn’t stop to take in the amazing scenery. I’d love to return to that road some day.

The Icefields Parkway through Banff and Jasper National Parks.

Yep, a couple weeks ago my dad drove us on a nearby road, and he didn’t constantly check the GPS on this one so he was amazingly accurate on his drive, and we were all scared before because before, he would weave around while trying to check where he was :smack: from Las Vegas to Zion, but on the Zion-Bryce road with amazing views he was a great driver. But afterward I feel sort of guilty that one of us didn’t take the wheel afterward since we weren’t used to the ride and as long as he was not distracted he was the best driver since he had the most experience driving the rental SUV.

In 2011 we drove to Vegas for my niece’s wedding. We then drove up to Seattle to spend a couple weeks. Drove through Death Valley for the first time and then up 395. North of the Yosemite turnoff, we took Hwy 89 to go the west side of Lake Tahoe.

That was an incredible highway, snaking along ridges, massive drop-offs. Even going around Tahoe itself was pretty cool. We were in our '92 Mercedes 300E at the time. Since then, that car has been whanged by a kid and we have a '92 500SL roadster. I so want to do that drive again, in it.

Highway 128 out of Moab, Utah.

The Natchez Trace isn’t too bad…

The Beartooth Highway, according to Charles Kuralt, is “the most scenic drive in America.” It’s in Montana.

best drive? polebridge rd; takes you through Glacier National Park, turns into an offroad poorly maintained trail about 30 miles in and curves over the Canadian border (don’t worry, no border checks there) and then about 20 minutes later it curves back down into the United States all the way getting gorgeous views of large expansive valley prarie and massive mountains and glaciers and the occassional fording of your vehicle across a shallow stream.

It is one of the best drives I have ever been on and an undiscovered treasure in Polebridge, MT only 45 min outside of Kalispell, MT

Beg to differ. Yes, it looks like a scene straight out of a car commercial, as you snake alongside a mountain on one side and a river on the other, but its around four hours long (if my memory serves me) and the scenery doesn’t really change. That would be manageable, though, if not for the damn RVs. There is nothing worse than a beautiful road, totally devoid of police, with lines of sight that stretch for miles, and you can’t enjoy it because you’re stuck behind an RV that’s chugging along at 55 mph. If not for that, I would definitely rank this as an amazing drive. But the views, the quietude, and the sense of freedom are all hampered by such constant slow moving vehicles, and that knocks Seward Highway down from best to merely “good”.

Yes, most of the road is a passing road. But that becomes tedious if you have to pass every few minutes or so, or you get stuck behind a convoy of multiple RVs that can’t be safely passed.

There are many pullouts in which to enjoy the scenery. If all you’re trying to do is get from Anchorage to someplace on the peninsula, then yes, it can be frustrating on a summer weekend. And 55 is the freaking speed limit. It’s idiots who decide that that’s too slow who end up like this actual Seward Highway wreck. The drive from Anchorage to Girdwood is only about an hour, and that portion contains some of the best scenery. A little further is the Portage Glacier road. The trip to Seward is probably four hours.

The Blue Heron Scenic Drive on Prince Edward Island. Great if you enjoy quaint Victorian towns, fjords, cliffs, crazy Scotsmen, and PEI’s famous Martian-esque red countryside.

The Mt. Hood/Columbia River Gorge loop:

East from Portland on US 26 to Mt. Hood. Take a side trip up to Timberline Lodge. (Running around yelling “Here’s Johnny!” is optional.)

Down 35 to Hood River.

West on I-84, eventually switching over to the Historic Columbia River Hwy. (Multnomah Falls, Crown Point, Portland Women’s Forum Park.) A side trip to Larch Mt. is theoretically possible, but that means you weren’t stopping at enough places along the way.

A map of the route. Note: PDF and it goes backwards. You definitely want to do it as above. You want to drive east towards Mt. Hood and north down the Hood River Valley for the best views while driving.

Florida state road A1A through the Keys. I’ve driven it several times, once in a rented convertible, which was awesome.