Table of Contents
- How to Choose a Scenic Bike Route
- Top 10 Most scenic Road Bike Routes in USA
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thought
Cycling is a fantastic way to explore the stunning natural beauty of our beloved United States.
Whether you like the peaceful coastal roads or challenging mountain bike trails, Regardless of whether you like paved roads or dirt roads, there are countless scenic road biking routes all across the USA that can offer unforgettable cycling experiences.
But with so many options, sometimes it’s hard to choose the perfect bike route. But in this article, we will explore some of the most scenic road bike routes in the USA. We will highlight the unique features and attractions of each route that will help you choose the right destination.
How to Choose a Scenic Bike Route
Choosing the right scenic route can be critical when you are planning your bike trip. It should be full of scenic beauty and should be suitable for your fitness level & riding style.
Here are some tips for choosing the right route for your next road cycling adventure:
The scenery along the route is one of the main reasons to choose a scenic road bike route. So you must look for routes that offer natural beauty, such as mountains, forests, or coastlines.
Also try to consider routes that offer stunning views of historic landmarks or different cultural attractions.
2. Consider Your Fitness Level
Second thing we’ll talk about is about your very own fitness level.
The distance, terrain, and elevation gain of the route should be appropriate for your fitness level. You may be a beginner like many other people. So it’s best to start with shorter and flatter road cycling routes. I personally always choose this kind of route when I go out with my family.
On the other hand, if your experience level is high then look for a challenging ride. Try to tackle a longer and more hilly route.
3. Check the Weather and Season
The weather and season can affect the road conditions and scenery. As a matter of fact, it can hamper some of the beautiful views you’re looking for.
So, before choosing the scenic bike route, make sure to check the weather.
Trust me, amenities can be a major factor. That is why apart from the scenic views, you should always consider the availability of:
- Rest stops
- Water fountains
- Eating places
- Bike shops
So, consider all of these 4 factors before selecting your final route.
Top 10 Most scenic Road Bike Routes in USA
Enough of the wait! Check out the 10 most scenic road bike routes in our country. Hopefully, each of these places can make a place in your heart.
1. Blue Ridge Parkway – North Carolina
First, we have the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. It is a 469-mile scenic road cycling route that runs from Virginia to North Carolina.
And trust me when I say this, it’s absolutely stunning.
The elevation gain is around 5002 feet. But where’s the starting point? Well, it is in the Shenandoah National Park. Once you start from there, you’ll ride past waterfalls and forests filled with wildflowers.
Our group always loves the panoramic views of the Appalachian Mountains and valleys. And Of course, there are other rolling mountains as well.
Also, we don’t love this allrounder route just because of its natural beauty.
You can find different historic sites and cultural attractions in the towns along the way. There are many places to take a break as well.
So, if you’re looking for a scenic road cycling route that will take your breath away, head to the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.
2. Crater Lake Loop – Oregon
Next up, we have one of the world’s purest and most picturesque lakes for you. If this wasn’t in your bucket list, try to include it right away.
The Crater Lake Loop in Oregon can offer you a stunning beautiful bike ride. It comes with the offerings of breathtaking views of Crater Lake. But what’s so special about it?
So hear me out.
Crater Lake in Oregon was formed during an epic battle between a sky god and the god of the underworld. The fight was so intense that it destroyed a whole volcano, Mount Mazama, about 7,700 years ago.
But hey, at least something beautiful came out of it! Today, the lake is considered sacred to all Americans. It is considered a picturesque lake.
The loop is 32 miles long and It starts from Crater Lake National Park. It has around 3892 feet of evaluation gain.
The ride can take you through a landscape of mountains, forests, and pristine waters. We always love the dramatic views of the places.
I’m sure you will love it too.
It consists of some must-see places too. The must-see spots along the loop include Rim Village and Wizard Island. Drop by there to get a good time.
3. San Juan Islands – Washington
If you are looking for a combination of calm, peaceful, and beautiful then this is the place for you.
San Juan Islands is located in the northwestern corner of Washington State. The islands are known for their breathtaking natural beauty & outdoor recreation.
And if you’re a cycling enthusiast then there’s good news! Cycling is one of the best ways to explore this archipelago, with many bike-friendly roads and trails to discover.
Some of our group members always go there between May and September. You should fix your plan between this time too to enjoy a scenic ride.
One of the most popular cycling routes in the San Juan Islands is the 20-mile loop on San Juan Island. It starts and ends in the charming town of Friday Harbor. Along the way, you’ll pass by stunning coastline, rolling hills, farmland, and lush forests.
Not just that! After your ride, be sure to explore the town of Friday Harbor. There you can enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants, browse the local boutiques, or simply relax by the harbor.
One more thing. I suppose you are an adventurous cyclist like us. So if you have more time, consider taking a ferry to one of the other islands, such as Orcas Island or Lopez Island.
No matter what you choose to do on the San Juan Islands, you’ll surely get an unforgettable experience.
4. Going-To-The-Sun Road, Montana
We have another bucket-list-worthy cycling route for you. As we are talking about Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana, it is one of the most iconic scenic drives in the US.
Truth to be told, it is personally one of my most favorite ones. So, how do you start?
You can kick-off your epic journey from West Glacier, Montana on the Going-To-The-Sun Road.Our favorite place is Lake McDonald. If you go there, take the west entrance and thank me later.
This 50-mile-long road winds through Glacier National Park, offering jaw-dropping and sweeping views of snow-capped peaks.
Remember one thing. You should have some climbing legs if you want to fully enjoy this place.
Because among the 50 miles, a dozen of those miles feature over 3,000 feet of scenic climbing.
Also the climb will provide some challenging routes for you. With an elevation gain of over 3,000 feet it can get tough if the skill levels are not up to the mark.
You should know about one special place. The climb to Logan Pass might have your legs feeling the burn.
But trust us when we say it’s worth it for the stunning views.
There’s more. When you pedal past glacial lakes, shimmering rivers, and lush wildflower meadows, you will understand the true beauty of nature.
All in all, the Going-To-The-Sun Road from West Glacier is a must-ride for anyone looking to experience the beauty of Montana.
5. Mt. Evans Climb – Colorado
If you’re looking for a tough but rewarding bike climb, then Mt. Evans route is an absolute must-try.
Starting from Idaho Springs, the 27.6-mile ascent takes you through stunning aspen and evergreen Creek Canyon.
As the highest paved road in the U.S., this route takes you to the summit of 14,271-foot Mt. Evans. You will undoubtedly love the views of the Rockies and the Eastern Plains.
The climb itself is a three-hour workout. Scared? Don’t be. Once you reach the top, all of your efforts will be worth it.
What about the elevation profile? Well, it is said that the elevation gain is more than 6700 feet.
Now let’s talk about the best part.
Once you pass Echo Lake, you might get lost in the beautiful surrounding peaks and valleys.
Don’t forget to pack a jacket, as it can get pretty chilly at the summit. One of my friends made the mistake and he still regrets it.
One more thing before we close it down. Always be prepared for a thrilling 28-mile descent back down to town.
So overall, while the climb is definitely a tough one, it’s definitely worth it for the once-in-a-lifetime views.
6. A Ride Through Time – Utah
Utah is home to some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the world.
We think there’s no better way to experience them than on a bike. So if you take a ride through the state’s stunning landscapes it’s like taking a journey through time.
We are talking about Utah’s State Route 12. This scenic route stretches over a hundred miles through some seriously stunning landscapes. We absolutely love the ancient granaries and thick forests there.
When you get to cruise between Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks, you’ll know you’re in for a treat.
There are some other places as well. Like the Escalante National Museum. You get the opportunity to feel a glimpse of what life was like in the past.
The road’s have some serious ups and downs, with an elevation of 7,500 feet and some serious drops into the farming lands of Cannonville and Tropic.
But don’t worry, you’ll get your climb on as you cruise back through the awe-inspiring Dixie National Forest.
So to sum things up, a bike ride through Utah is sure to be a journey you’ll never forget. You will definitely enjoy and get comfortable riding there.
7. The Pinky Traverse – Michigan
Why bother going anywhere else when you have Michigan’s stunning Leelanau Peninsula? It’s got everything you could ever want –
- Cherry orchards
- Historic lighthouses
- Charming ports
- Sandy beaches
Let’s drive into the details. This beautiful region is located on the Third Coast of the Great Lakes. The trail is flat. And it traces over 25 miles.
So if you’re fond of flat trails, you should give it a try.
You get to cycle through quiet byways and dedicated bike trails. This scenic bike route will offer you the views of Lake Michigan’s pristine shoreline along the way.
It’s not just a very well known place for us road cyclists. The place is also pretty much a favorite to many hikers and joggers.
So, we hope you will visit there ASAP.
8. Oregon Coast
You have heard about the Oregon Coast right? According to some of our young members, it’s like the ultimate cycling destination with its stunning coastline and chill vibes.
The weather’s pretty cool, especially from July to September. so it’s the perfect time to plan your trip.
The real adventure starts when you hit the cliffside trails and get those breathtaking views of the waterfalls, tide pools, and lighthouses. These will surely make you day.
And don’t even get me started on the sandy beaches! It’s like a paradise for beach lovers.
However, when you go there try to ride your bike a bit slowly. And don’t worry, it’s not because the road is dangerous. It’s because you will get to enjoy the epic views of lighthouses and wave-crashed sea stacks.
Overall, it represents what a scenic road bike route actually is. So, pack the gears and get there quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is the longest motorcycle trail?
Answer: The GDMBR or Great Divide Mountain Bike Route is known to be the longest motorcycle trail in the world. It is around 2700 miles in length. You can even go there for bikepacking as well.
Question: What speed does Maps bike at?
Answer: Around 10 mph(16kph). Google Maps takes this number as an average speed.
Question: How many km should a beginner cyclist ride?
Answer: Anywhere between 15 and 30 kilometer
Question: Which country is best at road cycling?
Answer: According to the current rankings, Belgium.
There you have it. We hope that these top 8 most scenic road bike routes will live up to your expectations. No matter with whom you are with, friends, family or solo, the beauty will definitely leave a positive mark in your life.
So, take your time, plan the trip properly, take all the necessary equipment and ride safely. Till then, Take Care!