Angela and Troy are a couple of passionate riders from the Great White North (Alberta). After thousands of miles riding together, they put their heads together and came up with the following list of 10 + 1 of the best rides they have been on. A great reference for anyone looking to discover new roads on the more Western/Central area’s of our beautiful continent. For the full blog, click here! It contains pictures, videos and further details on each area for those planning an adventure of their own!
For the full blog, click here!
In our opinion and experience this is The Top 10 Best Motorcycle Rides in North America. For us what makes it on the list is how you describe it, not only to yourself but to others.
- Do you describe it with enthusiasm and vigor as you tell them of the road, the scenery, the smells and the people you met on the way?
- Do you dream about this as a perfect motorcycle road?
- Is it a ride that that you would take time off work; sneak away and do over again?
- Is it a ride when sit around with fellow enthusiasts you explain to them how great it was, enough to convince them that they may want to go and find out for themselves?
- Is it firmly engrained in your memory?
Yes this is how we came about The 10 Best Motorcycle Rides in North America. When the smoke cleared and we compared notes, we were both surprised that only 5 rides were the same. The debate began that lasted many hours, a few heated words, a number of laughs and some great memories.
1. Blue Ridge Parkway (USA)
Virginia and North Carolinas all American road is the incredibly, scenic Blue ridge parkway. The parkway runs for 469 miles starting from nearby Waynesboro Virginia to the southern terminus near the Cherokee Indian reservation in North Carolina. Our experience and the attached map took us on approximately 200 miles down the parkway to one of the hidden treasures, Tuggles Gap. The Blue Ridge Parkway was built to connect Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We are sure the engineers where motorcyclists as this road allows no commercial traffic or business. The pavement is smooth, the beautiful views are amazingly endless and rode during the week it can be a motorcyclists favorite lonely road.
2. Top of the World Highway-(Canada-USA)
Although Alaska (highway 5) and Yukon (highway 9) is only 79 miles long , do not plan on riding this scenic road at your redline. This incredible highway may not be for the faint of heart as you will find yourself in the last frontier. The mostly hard packed gravel road with the occasional mile of pavement will amaze your senses as well as your motorcycles. The highway actually starts in Dawson City Yukon Canada and ends around Chicken Alaska although the nearest main center is Tok another 80 miles to the south.
3. North Cascades Highway (USA
Washington’s state highway 20 from Burlington on the western edge to the arid heat of Okanagan on the eastern slope has to be one of the hidden treasures in the motorcycle world. We owe local Native American tribes many thanks for using this corridor as a trading route and leaving today’s engineers a challenge that succeeded in making a road made for riders. The North Cascades provided motorcyclists a close up view of one of the nicest ranges in western north America. With the construction of the Diablo dam and the ensuing Diablo lake many years ago has provided riders with one of the most beautiful viewpoints anywhere in North America. Not to mention a very well maintained and underutilized road.
4. The Black Hills of South Dakota-(USA)
Although synonymous with Sturgis and the biggest motorcycle rally in the world; the black hills of South Dakota should not be over looked. Where else in North America can you take in two great iconic and patriotic engineering marvels; Mt Rushmore and the Crazy horse monument all in one great riding day.
Take the long way to these giant masterpieces and you may find yourself on the twists and turns of Iron Mountain Road or the incredible spheres that reach for the sun on the needles highway.
If crowds and traffic are not your thing, ride the black hills before or after the rally.
This is what biking is.
5. Mexico Federal Highway 1 -(Mexico)
The Transpeninsular Highway as it is more commonly known runs down the Baja Peninsula for over 1000 miles. Starting just south of San Diego in the city of Tijuana to its terminus in the resort town of Cabo San Lucas this ride will leave you breathless. If wide open spaces, low arid deserts, high mountain plateaus, beautiful ocean views, great local people and some pretty damn good pavement are your thing; start planning.
This is one of our favorites and one not need be too troubled with safety.
We found the local people friendly, the military were fascinated and the scenery was something we will never forget.
6. The Kananaskis Trail – (Canada)
As part of Alberta Canada’s highway 40 this portion south of the Trans Canada Highway leads you up the highest paved road in Canada, The Highwood Pass. It is located just west of the city of Calgary. Snow on the peaks and common sense tells you this ride must be closed in the winter months.
Riding through Canada’s Rocky Mountains is something to behold and this lesser traveled route through the Kananaskis Range and Peter Lougheed provincial park is no exception. The emerald green lakes, crystal clear rivers, amazing snow capped peaks, abundant wildlife and great pavement with long sweeping corners will want you coming back for more.
7 . Death Valley – (USA)
California’s Death Valley is probably one of great surprise for a motorcycle ride top 10 list. But taken for what it is, on simplicity alone if you have not rode the hottest place in north America and probably the world, you may be missing out.
Leaving Pahrump on highway 178 west you would not even know the Valley exists until you climb high through the colorful mountain range and as you start to descend you immediately sense something else, not necessarily heat but perhaps middle earth.
Most riders turn around at Furnace Creek and head back to Vegas but recommend heading westerly on highway 190 towards Owens Lake as the views from this area and the twist and turns of this crater like oasis will be ever entrenched in riders memory.
8. Beartooth Highway and Chief Joseph Scenic Byway – (USA)
These two rides that are in Montana and Wyoming could have by themselves been two separate inductees in the top 10. Their close proximity to each other and the fact that they can be and should be rode in one day hopefully attracts you to ride these incredible highways.
Following the series of switchback and steep zizags will find you at the 10,947 ft mark at the top of the Beartooth pass, and as you make your way down and up the Chief Joseph highway you will find yourselves at the equally beautiful but not quite as high, dead Indian pass at 8,071 ft.
This encompasses one of the most beautiful motorcycle rides of your lifetime.
Note-It can snow at any time at the higher elevations. Pack appropriately.
9. Highway 89 and 89A Jerome to Wickenberg – (USA)
Arizona has some great biking roads and this ride is the best of the best in the desert state. Highway 89A from Jerome to Prescott is a series of switchback, hairpins and long sweepers that will awaken your senses. It is said to have well over 100 curves in a 12 mile stretch.
Once south of Prescott on the 89 another great series of twists and turns as you eventually descend down Yarnell Hill which offers spectacular views of the Sonoran Desert.
Allow some time for this ride as you may just want to turn around and ride it in the opposite direction.
10. Going to the Sun Road -(USA)
Another fantastic ride in Western Montana and some have said the most scenic ride in the USA, they may not be far off. Going-to-the-Sun Road is an engineering marvel and the only road that crosses Glacier National Park. Through this route you rise and transverse the Continental divide at Logan Pass.
The scenery is amazing, the smells of the evergreens and the snow capped peaks will leave your senses dazed. Take a day off work and ride it during the week, what you lose in pay will be rewarded in memory.
10 + 1. For the “honourable mention” from BC, click here!