Best of the West: Scenic Drives

I had a lot of time to think and write on this trip (while my wonderful hubby drove), and I’ve compiled a few “best of” lists. The first is scenic drives. There haven’t been many scenic byways we have passed up on this trip because it really just is always 100% better to take the scenic route.

This is our 25 favorite drives, west of Denver. Some of these are remote scenic byways, and some are major interstates, but they each have magnificent views. I should note that these are all legitimate, paved roads. A great amount of our time spent driving scenic roads is on dirt, rocky, rut-filled forest roads or even “off-road” trails. That is it’s own separate experience, and takes a bit of know how. These drives are accessible and for everyone.

1. Beartooth Highway 212, Wyoming and Montana. (Pictured above). This is hands down, the most beautiful drive you will ever take. Make the trip, go out of the way, just do it! I recommend driving from the bottom up, starting in Red Lodge, MT; it’s a cooler experience.

2. Zion National Park via East Entrance to Visitor Center

3. Yosemite National Park via Tunnel View and the Loop around the Valley Floor

4. Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park

5. Going to the Sun Road, Glacier National Park

6. Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway 12, Moab, Utah

7. Highway 89A Flagstaff to Sedona, Arizona

8. Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, California

9. Redwood Highway 199, California and Oregon

10. Million Dollar Highway, San Juan Range, Colorado

11. Highway 14 eastern entrance of Yellowstone National Park to Highway 191 all the way through Grand Teton National Park

12. Highway 163 Arizona, through Monument Valley

13. State Highway 135 St. Regis to Paradise, Montana following the Clark Fork River

14. Dead Indian Memorial Road (I know, the name is awful!) from Klamath Falls to Ashland Oregon

15. Black Canyon of the Gunnison, South Rim Road

16. California Routes 88 to 89 going to South Lake Tahoe

17. Pacific Coast Highway 101

18. US Highway 160 in Colorado over Wolf Creek Pass

19. Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon

20. State Byway 44 through Badlands NP, South Dakota

21. Shoshoni Wyoming to Thermopolis Wyoming, State Highway 20

22. Colorado State Highway 125 through Willow Creek Pass

23. Highway 395 Eastern Sierras, California

24. Interstate 70 through central Colorado

25. Interstate 90 from St. Regis Montana to Coeur d’Alene Idaho

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