TOP 10 MOTORCYCLE ROADS IN AMERICA
What Are The Best Motorcycle Roads In America for 2023?
- San Juan Mountain Skyway: CO
- Blue Ridge Parkway: VA, NC
- Going-to-the-Sun Road: MT
- Needles Highway: SD
- Natchez Trace Parkway: TN, AL, MS
- Beartooth Highway: MT, WY
- Twisted Sisters: TX
- Tail of the Dragon: TN, NC
- Peak to Peak Highway: CO
- Cherohala Skyway: TN, NC
This is our 2023 guide for the top ten best motorcycle rides in the United States. This list takes into consideration the various components of what makes a motorcycle road truly great - scenery, adventurousness, road pavement quality, and of course, twisties in America! We even have the link to the direct Google Maps route for every motorcycle ride on our list. Here you will find the best states for motorcycle riding. Your next motorcycle trip adventure starts here!
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What kind of motorcycle roads should make it on a Top 10 List for America?
If you're willing to travel to the other side of the country just to motorcycle a particularly great road, then that makes our list for the best motorcycle rides for 2023!
SAN JUAN MOUNTAIN SKYWAY
LENGTH: 129 miles
RIDE TIME: 3 Hours
This great motorcycle ride has the incredible scenery you would expect in the Colorado Rockies. The San Juan Mountain Skyway traverses multiple mountain passes that rise more than 11,000ft above sea level. There's countless number of hairpin turns and switchbacks (many without guardrails). Included on this route is the famous "Million Dollar Highway". This part of the ride is about 25 miles in length and is between Silverton, CO and Ouray, CO.
While you could motorcycle the San Juan Skyway in one day, it would make for a long ride if you only make a few stops. It's best to allow for 2 days, as there is so much to see and experience along the way. Keep in mind the snow sticks around a lot longer up here in the spring and arrives again early in autumn. You'd be safest to plan a ride in July or August.
Check out more great motorcycle rides in Colorado.
BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY
This gorgeous 469 mile road includes Shenandoah National Park's Skyline Drive and connects south to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The National Park Service dubs this "America's Favorite Drive", providing scenic views to crests and ridges of five major ranges within the Appalachian Mountain range, and even a few short tunnel adventures.
How long does it take to motorcycle the entire Blue Ridge Parkway? At an average speed of 45 mph, it would take a little over 10hrs if riding nonstop. So allow 2 or 3 days to ride. You'll have to detour off the Parkway for any fuel or lodging. Also, caution is needed if riding at dusk or dawn, especially in Shenandoah Park region, as deer will always be spotted along (or on!) the road.
Check out more great motorcycle roads in Virginia and North Carolina.
LENGTH: 50 miles
RIDE TIME: 2 Hours
One of the best motorcycle roads in the USA is the Going-to-the-Sun Road. This epic route in Montana is an engineering masterpiece. It's one of the few roads in the entire country that was built just to carry people to scenery. That would describe this tremendous 50 mile mountain road which carves through the Rocky Mountains in Glacier National Park. This two-lane road is quite narrow and winding, and features numerous hairpin turns. The road is so narrow, there are size restrictions on what vehicles can actually travel on it. According to the National Park's website, Going-to-the-Sun Road was designed to blend into its mountain setting. The road's highest point, at Logan Pass, reaches an elevation of 6,646 feet.
The entire ride itself takes approximately 2 hours, but the trip will invariably be much longer if you're stopping to take photographs or take a short hike. It can easily turn into a half-day motorcycle ride or longer.
But if you're planning a motorcycle trip through Montana in 2023, don't miss the awe-inspiring Going-to-the-Sun Road. Massive glaciers, beautiful valleys, cascading waterfalls, towering mountains and colorful wildflowers all make this one of the great motorcycle rides in America for 2023.
Check out more great motorcycle roads in Montana.
LENGTH: 39 miles
RIDE TIME: 1.5 hours
There are more than a few spectacular motorcycle roads in the Black Hills and Custer State Park region, but SD-87 is one of the finest. The highway is named after the high granite "needles" it winds among, and passes through two tunnels blasted through sheer granite walls. It's an extremely impressive ride that includes sharp turns, narrow tunnels, granite spires and world class views. Enjoy the sensation of threading your motorcycle through the eye of a needle! Mt Rushmore is off of Needles Highway, which is reason enough to take this ride. This scenic motorcycle route is located about 30 miles southwest of Rapid City. It will be the one of the best motorcycle rides for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in 2023. Keep in mind the Needles Highway is open from April to October.
Check out more great motorcycle roads in South Dakota.
NATCHEZ TRACE PARKWAY
While most of the rides on this list are exciting challenges, sometimes you just need a relaxing cruise to clear the mind. That's where the Natchez Trace Parkway comes in. This national parkway is a two-lane road that extends 444 miles from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee. The National Park's website calls it "A Drive through 10,000 Years of History". It roughly follows the "Old Natchez Trace" a historic travel corridor used by American Indians, "Kaintucks," European settlers, slave traders, soldiers, and future presidents.
There's a few reasons why this motorcycle road is so unique and should be on a top 10 list for America. Firstly, commercial traffic is prohibited, so traffic is generally light. The parkway is clean, smooth and relaxing. You wont be dealing with bumpy roads. Another benefit is the scenery. While there may not be epic mountainside views, the scenery is unique, because instead of utility poles and buildings, the Trace is lined with forests, farmland, creeks and countryside vistas. And best of all? There's no stop signs or stop lights! Just cruise among the beautiful scenery and historic sites.
Check out more great motorcycle roads in Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi.
It's been called "the most beautiful drive in America" - The Beartooth Highway is a section of U.S. Route 212 in Montana and Wyoming between Red Lodge and the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park. It passes over the Beartooth Pass in Wyoming at 10,947 feet above sea level. You’ll get the sensation of being on a roller coaster as you ride down this road. With little in the way of guardrails, you can fully enjoy the amazing scenery. You'll see everything from mountains, forest, rivers, rocks, snow and tundra. You will want to pull off to one of the many pullouts and peer over the edge.
From its panoramic mountain views and thrilling switchbacks, Beartooth Highway is a motorcycle road you'll never forget!
Just remember Beartooth Hwy is a seasonal roadway and is only open to motorcycle riders from May to October in 2023.
Check out more great motorcycle roads in Montana and Wyoming.
THE TWISTED SISTERS
TEXAS (TX 334, 335, 336)
LENGTH: 112 miles
RIDE TIME: 2.5 hours
Many riders call this great motorcycle ride Texas' own 'Tail of the Dragon', and for good reason. This loop ride is without a doubt, among the most challenging motorcycle rides in America. The Twisted Sisters motorcycle ride carves and twists among clear rivers, through the dense green hills of Central Texas. There's constant switchbacks for miles, sweeping curves looking out over some nice vistas and some nice downhill curves - all of which offers motorcyclists an extremely technical, fun ride to navigate. In one 15 miles section, you'll ride through no less than 65 curves! Most motorcyclists agree that spring time is the best season to ride here as far as the scenery. The flowers are in bloom everywhere and the colors are terrific.
There was some recent construction that blocked some of this loop, but the work has been completed and it's all ready to enjoy for the 2023 motorcycle riding season. Enjoy this roller coaster road through some of the best scenery in Texas!
Check out more great motorcycle roads in Texas.
TAIL OF THE DRAGON
Possibly the most infamous route among motorcyclists is the Tail of the Dragon, also known as Deals Gap. This stretch of U.S. 129 is a beautiful piece of road, perfectly engineered in banking, immaculately paved, and combining a pleasing rhythm of tight turns - the appeal of this adventure is actually just riding it. Tail of the Dragon is one of the most challenging rides as it boasts a whopping 318 curves in just 11 miles. And while there are no intersecting roads or driveways to hamper your travel, the sheer popularity of this road means there will almost always be many riders in front of you and behind you.
There are occasional events and rallies at Deals Gap, so check before you go to make sure the traffic isn't too intense. Remember, Deals Gap is a challenge even for skilled riders. Motorcycle crashes are unfortunately quite common here. This road is on list list because it's truly a once in a lifetime experience by motorcycle. You just don't want it to be an END of life experience!
Still, this road is truly like no other, and is a definite "bucket list" for any accomplished motorcyclist for 2023.
Check out more great motorcycle roads in Tennessee and North Carolina.
PEAK TO PEAK BYWAY
COLORADO (CO-119, 72, 7)
LENGTH: 61 miles
RIDE TIME: 1.5 hours
The Peak to Peak Byway was established in 1918 and provides spectacular mountain scenery of the Front Range Mountains in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The route has an excellent variety of twisties mixed with long sweeping and tight, quick corners.
From Golden, CO take Hwy 6 through Clear Lake Canyon Park to reach Hwy 119, the beginning of the Peak to Peak. Riders will experience majestic views and terrific scenery on this fine highway. Feel the cool, clear air with elevation over 8000ft in Black Hawk, while the north end in Estes Park is over 7000 ft. May through September will be the best time to ride to the summit due to the less probability of snowfall. Have a great ride, bring your camera, and enjoy one of the best motorcycle rides in the United States for 2023!
Check out more great motorcycle roads in Colorado.
"A drive among the clouds", this motorcyclist's dream route reaches elevations of over 5400 feet high. This road connects Robbinsville, North Carolina with Tellico Plains, Tennessee. This gem is full of extraordinary mountainside forest scenery. The Cherohala Skyway takes the motorcycle rider on a long and sweeping ride through the high ridge lines of remote national forests just west of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Traffic is typically light and the curves are challenging and consistent on this route through some of the most scenic areas of the Blue Ridge mountains. While the Tail of the Dragon gets most of the praise for its legendary curves, many will testify the Cherohala is more enjoyable. It's a longer ride and there's much less traffic! Another benefit to this ride is that it's close to so many other great motorcycle rides, including the Hellbender 28 and Deals Gap.
Be sure to check out more of these great motorcycle roads in Tennessee and North Carolina.
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PLACES TO RIDE MOTORCYCLES NEAR ME
Alabama - Arizona - Arkansas - California - Colorado - Connecticut - Delaware - Florida - Georgia - Idaho - Illinois - Indiana - Iowa - Kansas - Kentucky - Louisiana - Maine - Maryland - Massachusetts - Michigan - Minnesota - Mississippi - Missouri - Montana - Nebraska - Nevada - New Hampshire - New Jersey - New Mexico - New York - North Carolina - North Dakota - Ohio - Oklahoma - Oregon - Pennsylvania - Rhode Island - South Carolina - South Dakota - Tennessee - Texas - Utah - Vermont - Virginia - Washington - West Virginia - Wisconsin - Wyoming
Which state has the best motorcycle riding?
Montana and Tennessee usually score the highest in owning the top motorcycle roads in America. Montana has the Beartooth Highway, Going-To-The-Sun Road, Northwest Passage Scenic Byway, all of which are truly epic. Tennessee boasts the world-famous Tail of the Dragon, as well as the Cherohala Skyway and Natchez Trace Parkway, which make the country's top ten lists every year.
What Are the Best Motorcycle Destination?
The varied national parks in America make for fantastic motorcycle trip destinations. The roads are usually excellently maintained, and the scenery is the best you'll find in the United States. There are 63 National Parks scattered across the country. From Acadia National Park in Maine, to Joshua Tree National Park in California, you'll see a tremendous amount of diversity, and experience the best America has to offer from your motorcycle!
How Do I Choose the Best Motorcycle Routes Across America?
GreatMotorcycleRoads.com is the best place to plan a motorcycle trip across America. We cover the best rides in every state, and include motorcycle map links to the direct Google maps routes. These map links can also be converted into GPX files which you can upload onto your personal GPS unit.