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View Full Version : Favorite scenic drives?



redshifter
2009-Mar-02, 01:14 AM
Now that we've discussed our favorite cities/towns, what are some of your favorite scenic drives/road trips? They can be a route you drive all the time, or just once, city or country, etc. I'll start (in no particular order):

Route 20 out of Anacortes, WA over the north Cascades to Winthrop, WA.

Hwy. 2 out of Monroe, WA over the Cascades (this is south of rt. 20) to Leavenworth, W.

Hwy. 14 from Camas, WA through the Columbia Gorge along the WA/OR border.

Hwy. 20 across the Oregon Cascades.

Hwy. 2 from Kalispell, MT to Bonners Ferry, ID.

Hwy. 101 down the entire Oregon Coast to Eureka, CA.

Hwy. 1 south out of Monterrey, CA.

Hwy. 395 through the eastern Sierras in CA.

Hwys. 36/44/89 through the northern CA mountains.

Hwy 191 through the Arches Nat. park area in Utah.

The hwy. that leads through S. Utah, Mexican Hat, and Monument Valley in northern AZ.

Drives I hope to take-many in the SW; CO, UT, NM, and AZ-I love that area.

I'd love to drive the Blue Ridge parkway sometime.

Maybe some New England drives.

I'm sure there will be some great recommendations and experiences coming up in this thread!

Euniculus
2009-Mar-02, 01:23 AM
Hard to pick, hmm...

Biking along Dingle Bay in Ireland. The clouds were gray and it was overcast, but beams of faint sunlight broke through the clouds and reflected off the bay. Very beautiful, but with a surreal touch.

mike alexander
2009-Mar-02, 01:47 AM
Up the Columbia River Gorge from Portland, OR through Hood River to The Dalles. South to the high desert behind Mt. Hood to Redmond. Route 20 through Sisters back across the Cascades all the way to the Pacific coast, across the Willamette valley to Newport. Watch the sunset at Yaquina Bay, then head into town for some clam chowder at Mo's.

There are lots of places to stop and while away the time, from Multnomah Falls to watching the wind surfers at Hood River, from views of the Three Sisters volcanoes from the sagebrush to the purple starfish in the tide pools at Yaquina Bay.

Torsten
2009-Mar-02, 02:20 AM
Oh, there are so many beautiful drives, but a few that stand out:

Hwy 16 Prince Rupert to Terrace, BC.

Hwy 1 through Faser Canyon, BC

Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia.

Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia-North Carolina, then 71/411 through Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC-Tennessee

Icefields Parkway, Jasper and Banff National Parks, Alberta

Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana

Hwy 132 around the Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec

Hwy 26 through Dixville Notch, New Hampshire. I also remember some other narrow roads in New England, with overhanging trees and the foliage in its fall colours. Wonderful on a motorcycle!

And any of the roads in the various parks of southern Utah.

http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh315/TKphotofolder/BAUT/th_Road_in_Zion_Park.jpg (http://s259.photobucket.com/albums/hh315/TKphotofolder/BAUT/Road_in_Zion_Park.jpg)

I once followed a dirt track called the Cottonwood Canyon Road in Utah that leaves Hwy 89 about 40 miles west of Page, AZ and goes north through Kodachrome Basin to a place named Cannonville, near the east entrance to Bryce Canyon Park. That was memorable. It was years ago, and indeed, I exposed a lot of Kodachrome there. I should scan those slides. . . .

Oh, and another one: Heckman Pass on Hwy 20, Tweedsmuir Park, BC

http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh315/TKphotofolder/BAUT/th_Heckmann_Pass.jpg (http://s259.photobucket.com/albums/hh315/TKphotofolder/BAUT/Heckmann_Pass.jpg)

PetersCreek
2009-Mar-02, 02:49 AM
Seward and Sterling Highways, south from Anchorage, down the Kenai Peninsula to Homer, Alaska.

http://www.peterscreekphoto.com/photos/185873807_T6Nhv-Th.jpg
Click for larger version. (http://www.peterscreekphoto.com/photos/185873807_T6Nhv-L.jpg)

Glenn Highway, Palmer to Sutton, Alaska and a bit farther.

http://www.peterscreekphoto.com/photos/483312604_3xmyL-Th.jpg
Click for larger version. (http://www.peterscreekphoto.com/photos/483312604_3xmyL-O.jpg)

Blue Ridge Parkway, between Asheville and Boone, NC. I drove farther north than that once but don't remember a lot about that part of the Parkway.

Highway 2 to Leavenworth, Washington.

Natchez Trace Parkway, in my home state, between Natchez and Jackson, Mississippi.

jrkeller
2009-Mar-02, 03:45 AM
Natchez Trace Parkway, in my home state, between Natchez and Jackson, Mississippi.

That's a good one.

Highway 54, from Van Horn TX, to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Lots of interesting wildlife if you look carefully.

The Davis Mountains Scenic Loop near Fort Davis TX. Highways, 166 and 118. Also takes you by the McDonald Observatory.

Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive in Big Bend National Park

Ranch Road 170 from Persidio TX to Lajitas TX. Takes you along the Rio Grande Valley.

The Lac LaBelle/Gay Rd in the Upper Penisula of Michigan. The road takes you along the Eastern Shore of the Keweenaw Penisula.

Tensor
2009-Mar-02, 03:59 AM
US Highway 1 from Miami to Key West.

Icelandic Route 1 from Reykjavik to Vik.

Autobahn Routes 64-1-62-6 from Trier to Kaiserslautern. In particular, the part that runs through the Ardennes, in Belgium.

Taeolas
2009-Mar-02, 04:02 AM
I'll echo the Cabot Trail. Heck just about any of the road systems in the Maritimes are great, especially in the Fall when the trees erupt.

Other than the Cabot trail, the Saint John River valley route is a great drive. Take the old TCH for hte best views, but even the new TCH has some good sites along the way.

Some of the routes in Vermont and New Hampshire too (can't think of the names) along with the route up in Aroostock County, Maine are great to drive, in the fall and the rest of the year.

hhEb09'1
2009-Mar-02, 04:46 AM
Beartooth Highway (http://gorp.away.com/gorp/activity/byway/mt_beart.htm), it says Montana but it's mostly Wyoming. :)

It's number three on their Top Ten U.S. Scenic Drives (http://gorp.away.com/gorp/activity/byway/topten.htm), and number four on their Top Ten Scenic Mountain Drives (http://gorp.away.com/gorp/activity/byway/topten_mtn.htm).

hewhocaves
2009-Mar-02, 04:55 AM
I enjoy particularly the drive down I-79 from Morgantown south to Rt 19, then Rt 41 then Rt 60 and out to I-64 to Lewisburg, WV in Greenbrier County. I do the trip about twice a month for my thesis research and it takes between 3 and 4 hours.

I also enjoy pretty much every back road in Greenbrier county. It is truly "almost heaven".

gzhpcu
2009-Mar-02, 05:19 AM
I like the Pacific Coast Highway 101 in the States.

And just driving around the lake of Lugano (see here: http://whitemouse.ru/photo/pano/photo.wmb?i=5&j=1&k=14, just click on the photo for a sequence of views.), but then maybe I am biased...:)

hhEb09'1
2009-Mar-02, 05:25 AM
Southwest of Brevard NC, leave Rosman, and take 215 North through the Pisgah National Forest in Transylvania County, winding up narrow roads through thick woods and rhododendron, for ten or twenty miles. Turn left on Macedonia Church Rd, go a mile or so and turn on... Neil Armstrong Road. You will have arrived at PARI, the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (http://www.pari.edu/about_pari/pari-photos/archived-photos/site-photos/photographs-of-the-pisgah-astronomical-research-institute), on the site of a former NASA tracking station, deep in the Carolina woods. Best place I ever worked, except when I was picking up trash as a Boy Scout along the North Fork of the SHoshone River just before the East Entrance to Yellowstone, the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway (http://www.byways.org/explore/byways/2166/).

redshifter
2009-Mar-02, 07:41 AM
[QUOTE=Torsten;1446498]

Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana

QUOTE]


I biked that road on the rare weekend it's open only to hikers/bikers. I won't do that again, it was a tough climb... and I wasn't really in good enough shape to tackle it. I'll drive it next time I'm there. More comfortable for me.

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2009-Mar-02, 07:47 AM
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Graybeard6
2009-Mar-02, 09:58 AM
US 27 from Ocala, FL to Chiefland, FL. It's horse county, and when they have the mares and their foals in the pastures close to the road, I find it hard to keep my mind on driving.
I-40 from Chatanooga, TN to Asheville, NC. Through the Northern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains, then down to Asheville, thomas Wolfe and Biltmore.
PA Route 89 from Titusville to Lake Erie. Two lanes winding through rolling hills. The northern part follows an Indian portage. Be careful after you cross PA Route 5, because the lake is 1/4 mile ahead, and that's the end, literally if your brakes aren't good!

Ivan Viehoff
2009-Mar-02, 10:57 AM
Not telling. Don't want loadsa people turning up and ruining it, they've ruined too many already.

KaiYeves
2009-Mar-02, 03:06 PM
There's a long road by the beach in a certain part of Long Island (Like Ivan, I'm not giving details) that goes by some very nice architecture, a salt marsh, and under a cool little steel bridge. It's nice to bike or walk on in the summer.

Click Ticker
2009-Mar-02, 04:11 PM
U.S. 41 in the Keewenaw Peninsula leading to Copper Harbor, MI.

Skyline Drive over looking the Shenandoah Valley.

I don't know if a really short drive would count, but the Auto Road up Mount Washington in New Hampshire is really cool.

jrkeller
2009-Mar-02, 04:56 PM
U.S. 41 in the Keewenaw Peninsula leading to Copper Harbor, MI.

Especially nice in the fall with the changing colors.

Did you ever drive the arboreal tunnel to Freda, MI?

closetgeek
2009-Mar-02, 05:25 PM
Driving I80 West from NY to the Western end of Penn. My favorite part is the border of Jersey and Penn; as you are approaching it from the East side, the two mountain ranges look like whales facing each other.

I75 heading North through the lower portion of Tenn. you get some pretty mountainous scenory.

Rt 27 on the Eastern end of Long Island, out by Montaulk.

closetgeek
2009-Mar-02, 05:26 PM
There's a long road by the beach in a certain part of Long Island (Like Ivan, I'm not giving details) that goes by some very nice architecture, a salt marsh, and under a cool little steel bridge. It's nice to bike or walk on in the summer.

I think I know what you are talking about and I am totally telling unless you pay me large sums of money :whistle:

farmerjumperdon
2009-Mar-02, 07:34 PM
Beartooth Highway (http://gorp.away.com/gorp/activity/byway/mt_beart.htm), it says Montana but it's mostly Wyoming. :)

It's number three on their Top Ten U.S. Scenic Drives (http://gorp.away.com/gorp/activity/byway/topten.htm), and number four on their Top Ten Scenic Mountain Drives (http://gorp.away.com/gorp/activity/byway/topten_mtn.htm).

That is illogical. How can it be #3 on the scenic drive list, but #4 on the mountain scenic drive?

Trebuchet
2009-Mar-02, 07:46 PM
Beartooth Highway (http://gorp.away.com/gorp/activity/byway/mt_beart.htm), it says Montana but it's mostly Wyoming. :)

It's number three on their Top Ten U.S. Scenic Drives (http://gorp.away.com/gorp/activity/byway/topten.htm), and number four on their Top Ten Scenic Mountain Drives (http://gorp.away.com/gorp/activity/byway/topten_mtn.htm).

But it begins and ends in Montana. When I was a kid, it was called the "Cooke City Road". We did it once or twice a summer. Last time I was over it was around 20 years ago with my wife. We stopped for a picnic at the summit and when we took out our bag of chips (packed at sea level) it was inflated like a balloon! Fun.

jrkeller
2009-Mar-02, 08:22 PM
In high school I lived in Germany and there are several scenic roads that my father took me on. One was the Bergstrasse, the Mountain Road, and the Burgenstrasse, the Castle Road. Both very nice. We also took a trip through the Black Forest from Baden-Baden to Freiburg

hhEb09'1
2009-Mar-02, 08:42 PM
That is illogical. How can it be #3 on the scenic drive list, but #4 on the mountain scenic drive?Exit pollsters

But it begins and ends in Montana. Depends upon where you start! :)

Highway 14 in Wyoming over the Big Horn Mountains is also a personal favorite, it and 14 alternate. For years (more than thirty), whenever I've made the traverse, I've stopped at a little turnout called Sand Turn and gazed out over creation. The Big Horns were a block of basement pushed almost straight up, the younger strata on both sides is nearly vertical. Most incredible.

cosmocrazy
2009-Mar-02, 09:34 PM
The route through Scotland's west coast from Loch Lomond on to Glen Coe then through to Fort William visiting Glen Nevis is a very nice drive and very scenic, then on up to and around Lochness to visit old Nessie!

Seeka
2009-Mar-02, 09:40 PM
Hard to pick, hmm...

Biking along Dingle Bay in Ireland. The clouds were gray and it was overcast, but beams of faint sunlight broke through the clouds and reflected off the bay. Very beautiful, but with a surreal touch.

Euniculus Dingle is stunning, did you make it as far as Ventry? Dingle is probably the one of my favourite places to be. It's only down the road i am so lucky:)

Euniculus
2009-Mar-02, 10:41 PM
Euniculus Dingle is stunning, did you make it as far as Ventry? Dingle is probably the one of my favourite places to be. It's only down the road i am so lucky:)

Didn't make it that far. :)

I do remember getting scolded for not speaking Gaelic. Seems the natives thought I was also Irish and were surprised to find out I was an American.

The Cliffs of Moher were spectacular as well.

Trebuchet
2009-Mar-03, 12:11 AM
Depends upon where you start! :)

I'd have said it begins in Red Lodge, MT, and ends at the park entrance, also in MT. (As are three of the five.) Although I believe there is now a road coming up from the south joining in from Wyoming.


Highway 14 in Wyoming over the Big Horn Mountains is also a personal favorite, it and 14 alternate. For years (more than thirty), whenever I've made the traverse, I've stopped at a little turnout called Sand Turn and gazed out over creation. The Big Horns were a block of basement pushed almost straight up, the younger strata on both sides is nearly vertical. Most incredible.
I feel obligated to vote for Highway 16 instead, my mother having been born in Buffalo!

cjl
2009-Mar-03, 12:16 AM
Trail Ridge Road is quite nice, despite some rather impressive cliffs and hairpins.

hhEb09'1
2009-Mar-03, 02:49 AM
I'd have said it begins in Red Lodge, MT, and ends at the park entrance, also in MT. (As are three of the five.)There are more than five entrances. Some are just harder to get to. :)
Although I believe there is now a road coming up from the south joining in from Wyoming.Ridden that road for over fifty years. It's been there a long time, longer than I've been alive. :)
I feel obligated to vote for Highway 16 instead, my mother having been born in Buffalo!I'll vote for that too! Drove it last August, too.

Trebuchet
2009-Mar-03, 06:37 PM
There are more than five entrances. Some are just harder to get to. :) Ridden that road for over fifty years. It's been there a long time, longer than I've been alive. :)I'll vote for that too! Drove it last August, too.

You're right, of course, about both the entrances and the road up to the Beartooth from Wyoming. I believe my mind was restricting itself to pavement! Even then, that road from Wyoming to the Beartooth may well have been paved even when I was in High School, a couple of millennia ago.

hhEb09'1
2009-Mar-03, 08:42 PM
I think it was paved in the seventies, I'm not sure. Long after my Dad used to let us out at the top of the switchbacks, and let us run to the bottom. More like a controlled fall.

Ivan Viehoff
2009-Mar-04, 02:32 PM
Not telling. Don't want loadsa people turning up and ruining it, they've ruined too many already.
All right, I'll tell you one. Since it is only possible to drive it in a special high clearance 4wd, it is located on a remote island, and only passable about 6 to 8 weeks of the year, not too many people are going to turn up and ruin it.

It's called Gćsavatnaleiđ, which means Goosewater Road, or less romantically F910. It runs from Egilsstađir, the administrative centre of the east of Iceland, to the very centre of the island, where it meets the north-south F26 Sprengisandur road which is much more travelled. The eastern third has recently been mostly tarmacked, since it is the access road to the controversial Kárahnjúkar hydroelectric site. I intended to travel this bit (before it was tarmacked), but a late snowfall that year meant this section was still blocked by snow later than usual in the year, so I had to detour around it. Bit of a shame, since it goes near one of the prettiest waterfalls in the country, and then up over some high ground near the isolated ice-capped peak of Snaefell. It then decends Hrafnkelsdalur into the valley of the Jökulsá á Dal at the farm of Brú i Jökuldal, where I joined it, having followed the road up the river valley. It took me two very hard days to cycle from there to Askja, over an exceedingly rough road through some of the remotest parts of Iceland, which is where I left it on my first journey. Some pictures and description of that first journey here. http://www.rsf.org.uk/routes/iceland03.htm

The second time I travelled it, I did the western end, starting from the centre of Iceland near the Nýidalur mountain hut, on the Sprengisandur route. F910 has a couple of alternatives in this western section, and we chose the old, traditional route, as it is more scenic and remote than the new official road. (Although in the past there was an even older detour now avoided by a bridge over a river, that you used to have to travel up to find a crossing.) The first day took us across the most difficult ford I have ever crossed, crossed places where there seemed to be no road at all, gave us amazing views of the icecaps nearby, and finally brought us to Gćsavötn, Goosewater, itself, a remarkable oasis in the desert, all the more remarkable for having vegetation at an altitude of 900m in the centre of the island when all around is desert. The next day was the most remarkable, as we crossed the highest pass in the country, went right up to the ablating wall of the largest glacier outside Greenland and Antarctica, and crossed over several glacial outwash sands, as well as some remarkable lava fields. Again in places the road seemed to vanish apart from the yellow sticks marking its route. And in one place it went over a boulder field that would have had any car driver moving at below walking pace, like going over giant rounded beach pebbles mostly submerged in sand. Late in the day we crossed a glacial outwash that was several km wide, and then more drier sands that were like cycling across a great beach at low tide, until we arrived on the edge of a sandy lava-field. The following morning was spend mostly walking over these loose sands, with several shield volcanoes in view, and around a lake, to arrive again at Askja. Sorry, no photos on-line for this one yet.

geonuc
2009-Mar-05, 12:23 AM
I drove Titus Canyon into Death Valley National Park this past weekend - awesome!

Going-to-the-Sun road in Glacier National Park is probably my vote for best scenic drive, although the Beartooth highway is danged nice as well.

I've driven a lot of scenic roads. I've been lucky that way.

Tensor
2009-Mar-05, 05:03 AM
Some pictures and description of that first journey here. http://www.rsf.org.uk/routes/iceland03.htm.
Thanks for those pictures Ivan. They brought back a lot of memories of the time I spent in Iceland.

geonuc
2009-Mar-05, 10:19 AM
Sorry, no photos on-line for this one yet.But soon, yes? :)

Iceland is on my list of places to go before I get sent off to the old folks home.

captain swoop
2009-Mar-07, 12:49 AM
Along Bilsdale, over the top and down into Helmsley, Cup of Tea and wander around the mrket. Zoom over to Pickering, down into Scarborough, Lunch then over the moors and coast road through Whitby and then back in the evening sun to Guisborough. In company with ta least 4 other bikers for best fun.

mahesh
2009-Mar-07, 04:27 PM
Here:
http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/stirling/stirlingcastle/

not far from grampa and granma...lovely, breathtaking sight.