If you enjoy the open air, wind on your skin, exhilarating feeling of a road trip on your motorcycle, you know that location and the routes you pick can make or break your experience. The Southwestern United States has hundreds of scenic routes, ranging from coastal to mountainous, meadows and forests. Here is a list of a few of the most scenic motorcycle routes to help you plan your next road trip.
- Pacific Coast Highway (California)
Ride along the cliffs of the Pacific Coast Highway, about 147 miles, from Carmel to Morro Bay. From breathtaking coastal scenery, including seal beaches and crashing surf, to the thick redwood forests, this ride is definitely easy on the eyes. The route takes you through historic Monterey, several state parks, and over the iconic Bixby Bridge on the way to Morro Bay, where you’ll find Morro Rock, an extinct volcanic cone estimated to be about 23 million years old. If time permits, make sure to stop in Carmel-by-the-sea, or visit the Hearst Castle along the way!
- Peak to Peak Highway (Colorado)
A beautiful 60-mile drive through the iconic Rocky Mountains, this route takes you through the thick forests of the higher elevations and down to the scenic meadows of the lower terrains. You’ll be likely to encounter wildlife on this route too, with plenty of moose and elk in the area. Plan to stop for a hike, or if time permits, camp overnight!
- Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument Ride (Utah)
You can’t beat the view on this 124 mile ride through Bryce Canyon. The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Ride takes you through the stunning multicolored buttes, canyons, cliffs, and mesas, the Capitol Reef National Park, as well as the Petrified Forest State Park where you can stop and check out the petrified dinosaur bones, petrified wood and shell fossils.
- Coronado Trail (Arizona)
Starting out in Clifton, Arizona, this 118 mile takes you along the New Mexico border to Eagar, Arizona. From desert terrain and a pass by the world’s largest open-pit copper mine, to alpine forests and meadows near the White Mountains, this route provides ever-changing scenery as you climb in elevation. This route has a lot of twists and turns, so if you’re up for the adventure, this is the trail for you!
- San Juan Mountain Skyway (Colorado)
Take the loop from Ridgway, CO to beautiful Telluride, CO on the San Juan Mountain Skyway, through the iconic Rocky Mountain range. Pass through historic mining towns, red-rock canyons, and stop to enjoy the hot springs! 225 miles of scenic beauty, this route is a must!
- The Road to Timberon (New Mexico)
Twists and turns and ups and downs make The Road to Timberon an enjoyable 60 mile ride from Ruidoso, NM to Timberon, NM. Enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Lincoln National Forest, the Canyons of Cloudcroft, and the quaint farms and ranches along the way!