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For the next four weeks we will be providing a look at the best motorcycle roads in America broken down by region, with one region covered per week. We’re kicking off this week with the top 20 motorcycle roads in the west. These roads were rated by motorcyclists who have previously ridden these routes – with a score of 10 being the best.

Colorado

Northern Colorado

The Walden Loop – This breathtaking route will take you across the Continental Divide twice at two different locations, past mountain lakes and through Poudre Canyon and along the Poudre River as well as across nearly deserted roads with little or no traffic. The section from Walden to Granby is nearly deserted and open. It consists of approximately 58 miles of great road, all open and little traffic. Overall, the roads are generally great with a few little rough areas around Rt. 34 through RMNP with some narrow spots.
Motorcycle Road Length: 220 Miles
Riders Rating: 9.5

Southern Colorado

The Black Cannon Run – This route ranges from the scrub desert to alpine aspen groves, with spectacular views of the incredible Black Canyon down below. It begins at the Blue Mesa Reservoir and rides along a shelf of mesas and mountains sides diving in and out of canyons for miles and miles. Granted this route is only 32 miles, but its 32 miles of twisty turns and up and down mountainsides, which makes for a great riding adventure!
Motorcycle Road Length: 32 Miles
Riders Rating: 9.3

The “High 5” to Mt. Helens – This is the highest paved road in the United States and goes over 14,264 feet! Do we need to say more?  On this route you will be looking down at most of Colorado’s mountain peaks. The lower elevations are the typical dense forests and switchbacks.
Motorcycle Road length: 24 Miles
Riders Rating: 9

Utah

Northern Utah

Heber to Hannah & the Wolf Creek Pass Loop – Wonderful scenery and beautiful canyons and evergreen forests as you ride through Strawberry Reservoir.  You also get a great view of Redrock canyons as you wind down through the canyon as you drop off the plateau. The road quality is fairly good with about some tight twisty turns, especially around Wolf Creek Pass but there are also some straight or fairly straight roads.
Motorcycle Road Length: 122 Miles
Riders Rating: 9.2

Southern Utah

Southern Utah/Northern Arizona Highway 89 Loop – Vistas range from red rock canyons to overlooks on the Kabab National Forrest. This is a beautiful trip through remote southern Utah & northern Arizona lands. Beautiful scenery and paved, good road conditions make this a great motorcycle route.
Motorcycle Road Length: 316 Miles
Riders Rating: 10

Wyoming

Chief Joseph Scenic Highway – Bighorn Mountains – This is a one of the greatest rides in Wyoming because you can travel three totally different extreme mountain routes in just one day and the routes take you through some of the most unbelievable breathtaking scenery. This is a great full day ride when combined with the Beartooth Highway.
Motorcycle Road Length: 220 miles
Riders Rating: 9.5

Montana

Montana’s Beartooth Pass – This route has endless hairpin curves, countless switchbacks and very good pavement. But besides the fist clenching turns and a whole lot of straight down roads, what really makes this route so fantastic is the scenery with incredible mountains, dense forest’s and rivers.
Note: More of this route is in Wyoming than in Montana yet because it starts and ends in Montana we listed as a Montana route.
Motorcycle Road Length: 50 Miles
Riders Rating 9.7

The Yaak & Lake Koocanusa – This is a heavily forested terrain, which makes it one of the most scenic wild roads in the northwest because there is so much to see. As you climb up over the pass on FS RD 92 you will have excellent views of Montana, British Columbia, and North Idaho. Once you are over the pass you will have some excellent views of Lake Koocanusa. However, this is a true wild country with no services along the way and no cell phone service. The higher elevation areas have significant frost heaves, potholes, rocks and always a possible downed tree but the pavement is in excellent condition from Hwy 2 to the town of Yaak, with great sweepers and a few tight turns.
Motorcycle Road Length: 115 miles
Riders Rating: 8

Idaho

The Devil’s Tail – Located in Hells Canyon, this is the deepest motorcycle road in North America. It is 2000 feet deeper than the Grand Canyon with breathtaking scenery. No wonder riders from all over the world come to Hells Canyon to ride on this famous motorcycle road! However, the Devil’s Tail can be challenging. The road surface has tar snakes and rock falls and hundreds of curves with posted speeds of 10 to 35 mph. Elevation rises from river water level at the Snake River until you reach a high cliff, then back to river level at the dam.
Motorcycle Road Length: 22 miles, 44 round trip
Riders Rating: 9

The Boise to Sun Valley – This trip will give you nearly 250 miles combining tight twisting roads with high speed sweepers. The scenery begins about 10 miles outside of Boise on highway 55 and continues well past Horseshoe Bend along the Payette River until one turns east and travels toward Garden Valley. The climb in the road winds along cliffs that are nearly 500′ to the bottom.
Motorcycle Road Length: 250 miles
Riders Rating: 9

Washington

Spirit Lake Highway – If you like sweepers and scenic views of lakes and rivers then this is the ride for you! This is a great ride as you get miles and miles of sweepers on nearly perfect road surface while getting a scenic view of Silver Lake, Coldwater Lake, Spirit Lake and to top it all off, amazing views of Mt. St. Helens and the destruction it caused from the Johnston Ridge Observatory.
Motorcycle Road Length: 54 Miles
Riders Rating: 9

Mt. Rainier Ramble – The best part about this route is the 14,411 ft. Mt. Rainier, the highest peak in the cascade mountain range. This mountain is a dormant volcano with a distinctive dome shaped peak that is completely glaciated. You will have the pleasure to see many rivers, lakes and canyons; dramatically outlined by the volcanic rock surface. Besides its beautiful scenery, the road is almost ideal for motorcycle enjoyment.
Motorcycle Road Length: 70 Miles
Riders Rating: 9

Oregon

Blue Mountain Scenic Byway - What makes this road such a great ride is that it runs between 84 and 26 along a ridge that’s 2,000 feet above anything else! There are few to no vehicles and has lots of lakes and forests. You also get to ride through Wallowa-Whitman National Forest for almost the entire trip.
Motorcycle Road Length: 183 Miles
Riders Rating: 10

Roseburg to Crater Lake on Wonderful 138 – Highway 138 from Roseburg is quite a scenic road following along the Umpqua River for many miles. The scenery gets even more spectacular once you reach Crater Lake National Park (especially the Crater Lake Rim Road). With the excellent condition of the roads, the many high-speed sweeping curves and some really great scenic spots along the rim, this route definitely is a picture-perfect ride.
Note: The rim road is only open all the way around during very late spring to early autumn.
Motorcycle Road Length: 129 Miles (one way)
Riders Rating: 8

Northern California

(Anything North of Fresno)
Twisty Redwood Ride – If you love big redwood trees, beautiful green forests, creeks and lots of sunshine, this is the perfect ride for you. This section of Highway 1 is in very good condition; it is smooth, has nicely banked corners and is very twisty.
Motorcycle Road Length: 22 Miles
Riders Rating: 10

Senora Pass – This route has breathtaking vistas of snow covered mountain peaks, mountain meadows, wild flowers, wild life and waterfalls. The pavement is quite good for a two-way mountain road. Again, if you like twisty roads, you will really enjoy this ride. This route is twisty near the pass and also steep and narrow with sheer drop off. Perfect for an experienced rider!
Motorcycle Road Length: 79 Miles
Riders Rating: 9.8

Southern California

(Anything South of Fresno)

Caliente to Kernville on Country Rd 483 – This ride will take you back to Old California with rolling hills and two beautiful farming valleys. This road has great views from many points but the best is from the top of the mountain overlooking Lake Santa Isabella and the Kern River valley. This road has everything from hills, down grades, twists and turns.
Motorcycle Road Length: 49 Miles
Riders Rating: 14.1

The Death Valley Run – You will find some of the most spectacular, breathtaking landscape riding on the Death Valley run. What we really like about this road is there is a place in the park where you can look down at one of the lowest points on earth at -280 ft. in one direction and up to Mt. Whitney, one the highest point in the continental US (14,494). The road quality on this route is pretty good for the most part.
Motorcycle Road Length: 161 Miles
Riders Rating: 9.1

Nevada

Valley of Fire Loop – The valley of Fire loop provides amazing scenery of unusual rock formations and parts of Lake Mead are even visible from several parts of the route. Portions of Interstate 15 are good and so is state park road. Be wary of bumps on Highway 167.
Motorcycle Road Length: 131 Miles
Riders Rating: 8.8

The Westergate Pass – The route provides great views of the White Mountains and Sierras with continuing views of vistas throughout the whole route.  You pass through the beautiful Westgard Pass and have fantastic views from its 7,313 feet of elevation. Westgard is the only pass connecting the Owens Valley to Deep Springs Valley.
Motorcycle Road Length: 81 Miles
Riders Rating: 8

These roads are only the few that made our list. Have you ever ridden on one of these roads? If so, please drop us a line and tell us about it!

*Ratings Courtesy of Motorcycle Roads.

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4 Comments on this post

  1. I live in Las Vegas,Nv. and I have to agree that the Valley of Fire route,although short is a nice ride and best if you go between October and April/

    lary koenig / Reply
  2. Where can I get details of the Routs? its pretty hard to tell where you are actually going.

    Ben H. / Reply
  3. As a constructive feedback, I couldn’t but notice that the road described in Washington is actually at two totally separate locations. Hwy 20 which would take you through Washington Pass is about 150miles north of Mt Rainier (and not Rainer).
    Thanks for rectifying.

    Simon / Reply

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