The vast expanse of the USA, stretching from the amber waves of grain to the majestic purple mountain majesties, boasts a network of roads that are as diverse as the nation's tapestry of cultures. One such road, the Million Dollar Highway, is often touted as America's crown jewel of roadways, leading adventurers through awe-inspiring terrains and offering unparalleled vistas. Further north, the Iron Mountain Road, with its dizzying 314 curves, 14 switchbacks, 3 pigtails, and 3 tunnels, stands as a testament to man's desire to conquer nature, providing a thrilling drive that's not for the faint-hearted.
Journey to Colorado, and you'll find yourself face to face with the infamous Black Bear Pass - a road that promises not just breathtaking beauty, but also adrenaline-pumping excitement. For the off-road enthusiasts, Engineer Pass offers an opportunity to get up close and personal with Colorado's high mountain terrains, challenging drivers to push their limits amidst staggering beauty. Not to be outdone, Utah’s Canyonlands beckons with the Shafer Trail Road, an iconic route that cuts through the heart of some of the most stunning canyons, making you feel like you're driving through the very pages of history.
In the USA, each road is a journey, an exploration, a challenge, and a story. They are gateways to discovering the grandeur of the nation, to feeling the pulse of its land, and to embracing the spirit of adventure that is quintessentially American. Whether bathed in the golden hues of sunrise or shrouded in the mysteries of twilight, these roads promise experiences that linger long after the journey's end.
In the US state of Colorado, there’s a special highway built in the late 1880s: the Million Dollar Highway. It's one of the nation’s most spectacular drives. You'll be on the "outside" for a while with a hell of a view to your right (let the passenger look. You'll want to watch the road). Forget standard driving safety measures like guardrails and shoulders.
From the rugged peaks of Colorado to the lush heights of the Appalachians, America is a land of vast and varied elevations. Yet, not all adventures require hiking boots or mountain climbing gear. Some of the nation's most breathtaking vistas are accessible through the winding stretches of tarmac that ascend its mountain ranges. Buckle up as we take you on a coast-to-coast journey, state by state, unveiling the USA's highest paved roads. Whether you're a motor enthusiast, a road trip lover, or someone in search of unparalleled scenic drives, this guide promises to elevate your travel experiences—literally.
Kahekili Highway is a strip of one-lane paved road framed by rock on one side and sheer cliff drops on the other with a length of 21 miles, running from Kapalua to Wailuku. It’s a legendary road known for its snaking turns, narrow passages, and dangerous road conditions, though nowadays that last factor is gone, since the road was completely repaved not too long ago.
Deadman Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 1.104m (3,622ft) above the sea level, located in Umatilla County, in the U.S. state of Oregon. Drivers attempting to negotiate the pass are in for a challenge: heading northwest, you're forced to climb more than 2,000 feet in elevation that's chock-full of double-hairpin turns, as well as 6 percent grades. Heading southeast, the scenario flip-flops, and your brakes need to be operating at their full potential.
Iron Mountain Road is a demanding 17 miles scenic drive, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, with 314 curves, 14 switchbacks, 3 tunnels and 3 pigtails (turns which loop over their own road, allowing the road to climb rapidly).
Black Bear Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.915m (12,844ft) above the sea level, located in San Miguel County iin the U.S. state of Colorado.
Engineer Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.901m (12,800ft) above the sea level, located in Ouray County, in the U.S. state of Colorado. It’s mostly a first gear ride because the road is rough and rocky. It's one of the highest roads of Colorado.
More than 230,000 membership of the American Motorcyclist Association voted for more than 100 roads, to choose the best motorcycling roads in the United States. The roads were voted on the entries via the AMA’s website.
Shafer Trail Road-Potash Road is the name of an iconic drive located on the east central edge of Utah, in the western United States. It requires extreme caution at the best of times for vehicles and mountain bikes, but especially so in inclement weather and at night. It’s at times so narrow that only one car can pass at a time.
Located on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, in the USA, Deals Gap, also known as Tail of the Dragon is said to be one of the most scenic drives in the USA. Featuring 318 curves, this winding mountain road is unlike anywhere else in the world.
Beartooth Highway is a 67 mile stretch of US Highway 212 with breathtaking views of the Absaroka and Beartooth Mountains, in Wyoming and Montana, climbing to an astounding 10,964 feet above sea level. It's one of the highest roads of Wyoming.
Located in the City of Wildwood, in St. Louis County, in the US state of Missouri, Zombie Road is considered one of Missouri's most haunted places. It's one of the Top Haunted Roads in the world.
Part of Utah Route 261 Moki (or Mokee) Dugway is a staggering, graded dirt switchback road carved into the face of the cliff edge of Cedar Mesa. It consists of 3 miles of steep, unpaved, but well graded switchbacks (11% grade), which wind 1,200 feet from Cedar Mesa to the valley floor near Valley of the Gods.
Oh-My-God Road is a very exciting drive located on the boundary of Clear Creek and Gilpin counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. With room enough for barely two cars to pass slowly, this road will surely feel a little dangerous to you.
Going-to-the-Sun Road is one of the most amazing highlights of Glacier National Park in Montana, USA. This engineering marvel is one of the most senic drives in the world. It is one of the most difficult roads in North America to snowplow in the spring.
Loveland Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.660m (12,007ft) above the sea level, located on the boundary of Summit and Clear Creek counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. It’s said to be the highest road in the nation that is kept open year-round.
Pikes Peak, cheesily called “America's Mountain", is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 4.302m (14,115ft) above the sea level, located in El Paso County, in the U.S. state of Colorado. Along the way you’ll encounter some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world as you wind your way through an alpine wonderland of scenic beauty, mountain reservoirs, beyond timberline, overtaking the clouds… It's one of the highest roads of USA.
Alaska has some of the coldest roads in the planet but there’s one more extreme than the rest: the Dalton highway is one of the most isolated roads in the world. If you can drive this road you can pretty much drive anything: a trip to America’s last remain of wilderness. It’s said to be the loneliest road on the planet.
Overseas Highway is one of the most beautiful scenic drives in America. This highway - the southernmost leg of U.S. 1 - is where the visitors from Florida's mainland can cross countless coral and limestone islets through that special world of the Florida Keys. It's one of the most scenic drives in the world. It's mostly over water, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the ocean and of course, the incredible sunrises and sunsets depending on when you’re driving.
The most dangerous city for driving in the U.S. is Orlando, Fla., according to a new government report. Although rates have declined in recent years, car crashes still are a leading cause of death in the U.S. In 2009, 34,485 people died in car crashes in the U.S., and 22% of them were aged 15 to 24. The new findings appear in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report(MMWR).
Siskiyou Summit is a mountain pass at an elevation of 1.314m (4,310ft) above the sea level, located in Jackson County, in the U.S. state of Oregon.
There are many ways one could gauge the danger of driving in a particular city, but this list uses the cities with the greatest number of vehicular deaths as a barometer of the danger level.
Imogene Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 4.012m (13,162ft) above the sea level located on the boundary of San Miguel and Ouray counties, in the U.S. state of Colorado. The road is accessible by four wheel drive vehicles, and is not for the novice drivers. It's one of the highest roads of Colorado.
Needle’s Eye is a tunnel blasted through sheer granite walls located in Custer County, in the U.S. state of South Dakota.
Waipio Valley Road is a short steep road located in the Hamakua District of the Big Island of Hawai’i, in USA, restricted to 4x4's. It is the steepest road of its length in the United States. The road is steep enough to destroy brakes on the way down, with some 45% grade sections.
Mount Evans is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 4.310m (14,130ft) above the sea level, located in Clear Creek County, in the U.S. state of Colorado. The road to the summit, the iconic Mount Evans Scenic Byway, is said to be the highest paved road in North America.
California's Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) is a portion of State Route 1 (SR 1) running along the Pacific coastline of the U.S. state of California, from Los Angeles to San Francisco. It’s heralded as one of the most scenic drives in USA.
Hart’s Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.891m (6,204ft) above the sea level, located on the border of Okanogan and Whatcom counties, in the US sttate of Washington. It’s accessible by car and is said to be the highest point in the State of Washington that one can drive a 2wd car. End of the road "after" Hart's pass, at the gate to Slate Peak Lookout, is at 7,488 feet of elevation.
Located in the western United States, Colorado is notable for its diverse geography, from vast prairie grasslands to the majestic mountains, rushing rivers to desert landscapes. It’s classified as one of the mountain states, located in the Rocky upland part of the USA. Colorado is unlike anywhere else, ranging from alpine mountains, arid plains and deserts with huge sand dunes, deep canyons, sandstone and granite rock formations, rivers, lakes and lush forests.
Opened in 1861, Mount Washington Auto Road is an unmatched driving experience you will always remember. It is a toll road that extends from New Hampshire Route 16 in Pinkham Notch to the summit of Mount Washington, in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. It’s one of the hardest and most epic climbs you can ride on two wheels.
Red Mountain Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.358m (11,018ft) above the sea level, located on the boundary of Ouray and San Juan counties, in the US state of Colorado. At this elevation, the pass is one of the highest paved passes in Colorado.
Located in Southern California, in USA, the twisting two-lane Ortega Highway is one of California’s bloodiest drives.
Alpine Loop is the name of a spectacular drive located in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, USA. The road climbs up two 12,000-foot passes (Engineer Pass and Cinnamon Pass) and is recommended for high clearance four wheel drive with short wheel base.
Mosquito Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 4.026m (13,208ft) above the sea level, located on the boundary between Lake and Park counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. Drive at your own risk. It's one of the highest roads of Colorado.
Gold Camp Road is the name of a highly scenic dirt trail running from Colorado Springs to near Victor. With an eerie history, it’s said to be haunted.
An important part of defensive driving is to make good choices about when and where you drive. To help you minimize your risk, we've compiled some useful facts. Putting them all together suggests that you run the least risk of a fatal crash by driving on Christmas Day between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. The risk is even lower if Christmas falls on a Monday.
The challenging Pan-American Highway is one of the biggest adventures in the world. It’s a network of roads covering almost 30,000 kilometres (19,000 mi) from North America to South America. It’s said to be the longest road on Earth.
Apache Trail is the name of a scenic desert drive located in the south-central part of the U.S. state of Arizona. It’s said to be one of the most scenic drives near the Phoenix area.
Sensabaugh Tunnel is the name of a tunnel surrounded by rumors of murder, death and satanic rituals located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. It should be avoided at all costs. It is a place where demonic apparitions appear, where car engines die, and where the shrieks of eternally trapped women and babies echo. It’s one of the most haunted tunnels on Earth.
Schofield Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.272m (10,734ft) above the sea level located in Gunnison County, in the U.S. state of Colorado.
Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is the name of a stunning drive located on the Pacific coast of the U.S. state of California. The road is regarded as one of the best motorcycling roads in central California.
Rampart Range Road is the name of a very scenic unpaved drive located in the U.S. state of Colorado.
Route 666, also known as "The Devil's Highway", the "Highway to Hell" or "Satan's Highway" is a lonely, deserted stretch of road meandering through almost 200 miles of rugged, sweeping desert wilderness, with a long history of accidents and apparitions.
Straddling between Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, in the U.S. state of California, Angeles Crest Highway is one of the most scenic drives in the USA.
Whitney Portal Road is a short but spectacular drive that takes you about halfway up Mount Whitney, the highest summit in the contiguous United States, in Inyo County, in the US state of California.
Located in Passaic County, in the US state of New Jersey, Clinton Road is said to be the scariest road in America. This place has become infamous due to the strange activity which occurs at night. This includes satanic cults, KKK gatherings, ghost sightings, and some kind of hell hound. It's one of the Top Haunted Roads in the world.
Pacheco Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 417m (1,368ft) above the sea level, located in Santa Clara County, in the U.S. state of California. The road has developed a reputation for being the source of strange experiences and hauntings.
Phantom Canyon Road is one of the most scenic and historic drives in Colorado, in the Western United States. This unpaved scenic road connects Cañon City and Victor, going through Phantom Canyon and increases in elevation from 5,500 to 9,500 feet.