Monument Valley

The U.S. offers a lifetime’s worth of scenic driving destinations. So many, in fact, that this list could easily contain thousands of entries. Each state has unique driving opportunities that can range from remote off-road trails to multi-lane highways traveling through beautiful natural vistas. Below you will find some of the best national parks, highways, byways, scenic loops, paved roads, and dirt trails.

None of the trails listed here require vehicle modifications beyond a decent set of off-road tires. Trails marked with a “4×4” icon indicate that the road requires 4×4 capability to successfully traverse.

National and State Parks

1. Yellowstone National Park – The most famous national park in the country has to be Yellowstone.

2. Arches National Park – Over 2,000 natural sandstone arches carves by the elements.

3. Grand Canyon National Park – The canyon is up to 18 miles wide and up to a mile deep.

4. Mojave National Preserve – 1.6 million acres with a number of scenic routes.

5. Redwood National and State Parks – Home to the world’s tallest trees.

6. Crater Lake National Park – A deep blue water lake ringed by a road and scenic overlooks.

7. Great Smokey Mountains National Park – Forested mountains with a number of scenic roads.

8. Yosemite National Park – 1,200 square miles of waterfalls, valleys, forests, and wilderness.

9. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – Recently voted the Most Beautiful Place in America.

10. Bryce Canyon National Park – A unique destination described as a “forest of stone.”

11. Zion National Park – Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is the primary route through this national park.

12. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area – Follow Rt. 611 along the Water Gap.

13. Acadia National Park – Granite peaks and forested scenery along the coast of Maine.

14. Adirondack Park – The largest protected wilderness east of the Mississippi.

15. Badlands National Park – 244,000 acres of rugged beauty and prairie land.

16. Little Missouri National Grassland – Over 1 million acres of grassland and rugged terrain.

17. Glacier National Park – Going-to-the-Sun Road offers 50 miles of spectacular scenery.

18. Mount Rainier National Park – Scenic views of glaciers, forests, meadows, and the Mount Rainier volcano.

19. Olympic National Park – An amazing mix of Pacific Ocean beaches, forest valleys, mountains, and wildlife.

20. Saint Croix National Scenic River – 255 miles of scenic river, much of it bordered by highways and roads.

21. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – 40 miles of picturesque Lake Superior shoreline.

22. Death Valley National Park – The hottest, driest, and lowest place in the United States.

23. Rocky Mountain National Park – Scenic views with five drive-in campgrounds.

24. New River Gorge National River – 70,000 acres along the New River with many scenic miles.

25. Petrified Forest National Park – One of the world’s largest concentrations of petrified wood.

26. Big Bend National Park – A multi-faceted experience that includes mountains, desert, and river areas.

27. White Sands National Monument – 275 square miles of white sand dunes.

28. Everglades National Park Road – A 40-mile drive that runs through the Everglades.

Scenic Highways and Trails

29. Ozark Highlands Scenic Byway – A 35-mile route through the Ozark National Forest and into Eureka Springs.

30. Blue Ridge Parkway – Many scenic and recreational opportunities along the this 469 mile drive.

31. Wisconsin Great River Road – Part of the Great River Road driving experience. 250 miles, 33 riverside towns.

32. Historic Route 66 – No longer a contiguous highway, but stretches of The Mother Road do endure.

33. Pacific Coast Highway – Officially 130 miles of Hwy. 1 in California. Unofficially, 1800+ miles of scenery.

34. Skyline Drive – A 105-mile route running north and south along the Blue Ridge Mountains.

35. The Extraterrestrial Highway – 98 miles of high desert valleys in Nevada. You never know what you’ll see.

36. Pikes Peak Highway – Drive to the summit of Pikes Peak, 14,110-feet above sea level!

37. U.S. Route 163 (Monument Valley) – Famous sandstone buttes that have become an icon of the American west.

38. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park – For a fee you can drive a 17-mile dirt road through the valley.

39. South Dakota’s Black Hills – The Black Hills and Badlands feature 101 miles of scenic byways.

40. Haines Highway – A 153 miles highway that connects Haines, Alaska, with Haines Junction.

41. 4x4 Kahinahina Scenic Drive – The upper road around Mauna Kea in Hawaii. 4×4-required.

42. Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive – A 115-mile woodland drive through six Wisconsin counties.

43. 4x4 Old Coast Road – A 10.5-mile dirt road in Big Sur, California. 4×4-preferred.

44. 4x4 Oracle Control Road – A 25-mile rough and winding loop. Also called the “Old Mt. Lemmon Highway.”

45. 4x4 Jackson Cabin Trail – A 13.9-mile Arizona backroad. 4×4-required.

46. Mount Evans Scenic Byway – 15 miles of Colorado Mountain road. Highest paved road in North America.

47. Trail Ridge Road – Found in the Rocky Mountain National Park.

48. Old Fall River Road – A winding dirt road through the Rocky Mountain National Park.

49. 4x4 Mosquito Pass – An open mountain pass in Colorado. Highest unpaved road in the U.S. 4×4-required.

50. Hells Canyon Scenic Byway -A 193-mile road through national forest land in Oregon.

51. Moab Scenic Byways – Three scenic byways located around Moab, Utah.

52 Overhill Skyway – A 44-mile paved road through the southern Appalachian Mountains.

53. Ghost Ranch, New Mexico – A 21,000-acre retreat and education center.

54. Lancaster Amish Country – Lancaster County’s picturesque Amish country.

55. Great Divide Highway – 29-miles through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Wisconsin.

56. Great Lakes Circle Tour – Drive all the way around each of the Great Lakes.

57. Lake Minnetonka Loop – A 40-mile tour of the Minnetonka area in Minnesota.

58. Rim of the World Scenic Byway – A 107-mile road through the San Bernardino National Forest.

59 Denali Highway – 135-miles of mostly gravel road offering amazing Alaskan views.

60. Sweard Highway – A 127-mile route across the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. Named an All-American Road.

61. Hawaii Belt Road – Hawaii State Routes 11, 19, and 190 that circle the Island of Hawaii.

62. San Juan Skyway – A 233 mile road in Colorado traveling through historic towns and scenic landscapes.

63. Patchwork Parkway – Scenic Byway 143 is a 55-mile road follows Native American migration routes.

64. Natchez Trace Parkway – 444 miles through historic areas of Mississippi and Tennessee.

65. Mount Shasta-Cascade Loop – 445 miles of driving near Mount Shasta and the Lava Beds National Monument.

66. Sheyenne River Valley National Scenic Byway – A 63-mile winding roadway in North Dakota.

67. Standing Rock National Native American Scenic Byway – A historic route linking South Dakota and North Dakota.

68. Talimena Scenic Drive – 54 miles of views and scenery through Oklahoma.

69. U.S. 395 – A scenic drive through Mono County, California.

70. Overseas Highway– A unique highway that links the Florida Keys. Designated an All-American Road.

71. Cape Cod Lighthouses – A 160-mile circuit starting at Cape Cod Canal.

72. Willow City Loop – 22-miles of paved road through rugged Texas scenery.

73. Pine Barrens Byway – This route runs through New Jersey’s Pinelands.

74. Beartooth Highway – Another All-American Road located in Montana.

75. 4x4 Land Rover Experience– Land Rover offers driving experiences in Vermont, North Carolina, and California.

[Photo by Moritz Zimmermann]



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August 24, 2011

RoverGuide

Articles, Buying & Ownership, Land Rover Models

Driving, Off-Road, Travel

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