The Most Scenic Mountain Drives in the United States

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The United States boasts some of the natural scenery worldwide. With mountains and picturesque coastal routes there are scenic drives that promise unforgettable adventures, for travelers. Whether you have a passion for nature or just love the excitement of a road trip embarking on a journey. A trip through the mountain roads of the United States is the ultimate experience! Join us as we explore some of the mountain routes spanning the country and their sights. Mountain goats, bighorn sheep, hot springs, and spectacular views to boast a few!

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Going-To-The-Sun Road – Glacier National Park, Montana

One of the most iconic drives in the United States is the Going-To-The-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana. This 50-mile scenic road winds through the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Offering breathtaking views of alpine meadows, pristine lakes, and towering glaciers. The road takes visitors to Logan Pass at the Continental Divide. This provides access to some of the park’s most stunning hiking trails. Due to heavy snowfall, the road is typically open from late June to early October. Making summer and early autumn the best time to visit. Lodging options are available on the western edge of the park in Kalispell, which also has an airport.

Skyline Drive – Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Located in Virginia, Skyline Drive is a 105-mile mountain road that runs through Shenandoah National Park. Starting in Front Royal, just an hour west of Washington, DC, this scenic drive offers panoramic views of the Shenandoah Valley and the Piedmont region. With 75 overlooks along the way, visitors can enjoy spectacular vistas of rolling hills, dense forests, and vibrant fall foliage. The drive is especially beautiful during the summer and autumn months. Plan to spend a full day exploring Skyline Drive and don’t miss the opportunity to witness a mesmerizing sunset from one of the west-facing overlooks.

California State Route 180 (King’s Canyon Scenic Byway)

For those seeking a unique and diverse driving experience, California State Route 180, also known as the King’s Canyon Scenic Byway, is a must-visit. This state road takes travelers through two stunning national parks in quick succession. Starting at the General Grant Grove of Giant Sequoias in Sequoia National Park, the road continues for another 50 miles through the Western Sierra to King’s Canyon National Park. Along the way, you’ll be surrounded by ancient forests, towering granite cliffs, and breathtaking vistas. Fresno, California, is the nearest major city to King’s Canyon, offering convenient access to this scenic route for a day trip or to experience the many nearby small towns.

Cades Cove Loop – Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

Deep within Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the 11-mile Cades Cove Loop offers a leisurely and picturesque drive through an early 1800s European settlement. This scenic drive provides visitors with an opportunity to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the mountains while exploring historic cabins, churches, and mills. Take your time as you meander through the loop, enjoying the fresh mountain air and the chance to spot wildlife such as deer and black bears. Plan for a picnic along the way and make a stop at Cable Mill, which offers restrooms and a glimpse into the region’s past. Convenient lodging options can be found in nearby Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, with the nearest airport located in Knoxville.

The Overseas Highway – Miami to Key West, Florida

For a truly unique and unforgettable driving experience, the Overseas Highway is one of the best scenic drives. Stretching 110 miles from Miami to Key West, this scenic drive takes you across a series of breathtaking bridges, connecting the islands of the Florida Keys. As you drive along the highway’s sandy beaches, you’ll be surrounded by the sparkling turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean, with plenty of opportunities to pit stop at charming seaside towns and enjoy the local art and culture. The drive culminates in beautiful Key West, known for its vibrant nightlife, stunning sunsets, and laid-back island vibes.

North Cascades Scenic Byway – Northern Washington

The North Cascades Scenic Byway in Northern Washington offers an unparalleled journey through some of the most dramatic mountain landscapes in North America. This scenic drive takes you through the heart of North Cascades National Park, offering breathtaking views of turquoise blue glacier-fed lakes, towering mountain peaks, and cascading waterfalls. Be sure to stop at the Washington Pass Overlook for a photo opportunity and explore the charming towns along the way, such as Winthrop and Mazama. Keep in mind that the road is closed during the winter due to heavy snowfall. The nearest major airport to North Cascades is Seattle granting access to the Pacific ocean.

Beartooth Highway – Southwest Montana

If you’re looking for a mountainous adventure, the Beartooth Highway in Southwest Montana is one of the best places the United States has to offer. This 68-mile mountain pass takes you from the town of Red Lodge, through the remote and ecologically diverse Beartooth Mountains, and into the northern entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Along the way, you’ll be treated to awe-inspiring vistas of snow-capped peaks, pristine alpine lakes, and abundant wildlife. The Beartooth Highway offers a truly unforgettable driving experience, with numerous pullouts and overlooks for photo opportunities. The nearest major airport is in Billings, Montana, providing easy access to this scenic route.

US Rt 163 – Monument Valley, Utah

US Route 163 is a 64-mile highway that winds through the Navajo Nation in Southern Utah, showcasing the dramatic and stunning landscapes of Monument Valley. As you drive along this iconic route, you’ll be surrounded by towering red rock formations. Vast desert landscapes and panoramic vistas that have been immortalized in countless movies and photographs. The drive through Monument Valley offers a sense of freedom and solitude. Allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the red rocks of the American Southwest. Plan for at least two hours to fully appreciate this drive and make sure to capture the unforgettable sunsets. The nearest major airport to Monument Valley is in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Park Loop Road – Acadia National Park, Maine

Nestled on Mount Desert Island, Park Loop Road is a 27-mile scenic drive that encircles Acadia National Park in Maine. This picturesque road offers the most scenic drives and views of the rugged coastline, with rocky cliffs meeting the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way, you’ll pass by pristine beaches, dense forests, and charming coastal villages. Take your time to stop and hike some of the park’s scenic trails, capturing the beauty of the changing seasons through your camera lens for the best views. For affordable accommodations, consider staying in nearby Bangor, Maine.

Trail Ridge Road – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

The Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, is a 48-mile mountain route. It takes you on a journey through the breathtaking landscapes of the Rockies known as the “Highway to the Sky,”. This scenic drive starts in Estes Park and winds its way up to Grand Lake. Reaching elevations above the tree line and offering sweeping views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. With its hairpin turns and steep gradients, the Trail Ridge Road is an exhilarating drive that showcases the rugged beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Plan for at least half a day to fully appreciate this scenic route. The nearest major airport is in Denver, providing easy access to the park.


The United States is known for its mountain routes offering a variety of landscapes and stunning views. From the Going To The Sun Road, in Glacier National Park to the Trail Ridge Road. In Rocky Mountain National Park each drive allows you to experience the natural beauty. Diversity between Montana’s wilderness or enjoying the allure of the Florida Keys these scenic mountain drives promise unforgettable moments. So start your journey and embark on an adventure. Uncovering the hidden treasures of these mysterious and breathtaking American roads.

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