We’ve previously run down our list of the 4 Best Motorcycle Routes East of the Mississippi, so in the interest of symmetry, here are our top picks for the best rides on the West side.
1) The Beartooth Pass, Montana & Wyoming
Voted the top motorcycle highway by the American Motorcyclist Association in 2013, the Beartooth Pass is a section of the Beartooth Highway the runs from Montana through northern Wyoming. The Beartooth Pass offers exciting twists and turns, stunning mountain vistas, and (maybe best of all) a direct route to the Northeast Entrance of Yellowstone National Park.
Read more about the Beartooth Pass motorcycle route.
2) Grand Canyon South Rim Route, Arizona
President Theodore Roosevelt famously once described the Grand Canyon as “a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world.”
What better way to get the world class view than on top of your favorite motorcycle?
Starting in the city of Flagstaff, 80 miles southeast of the Canyon, head up US-89 before heading east on AZ-63. This will take you to the South Rim of the Canyon (note: there is a $25 entrance fee for motorcycles).
From here, enjoy the museums, attractions, and most of all the views of one of the world’s most stunning natural wonders.
Read more about the South Rim motorcycle route.
3) San Juan Skyway Route, Colorado
A 236-mile loop through Colorado’s scenic Rocky Mountains, the San Juan Skyway should be on every rider’s bucket list.
In addition to gorgeous mountain vistas, the Skyway also stops on historic Old West towns like Durango, Cortez, Silverton, Ouray, and Telluride (needless to say, it’s a good route for skiers and sportsmen too).
The Skyway also includes the so-called “Million Dollar Highway,” widely recognized as perhaps the most beautiful stretch of road in America. a 25-mile stretch between Ouray and Silverton, mountain views don’t get better than the Million Dollar Highway. (Be cautious, though, elevation changes and sharp turns are common.)
Read more about the San Juan Skyway Route
4) California State Route 1, California
A coastal highway that stretches from the Mexico border north to the Bay Area, California’s Route 1 is unlike anything else in the world.
Route 1 is composed of several differently-designated sections along its 655-mile length: the Pacific Coast Highway in the south, the Cabrillo Highway, Shoreline Highway, and Coast Highway. Each has its own distinct personality, but each is united in being absolutely jaw-dropping.
Of particular note is the section in Northern California’s Big Sur region, one of the most stunningly beautiful anywhere on the planet.
Read more about riding California’s Route 1.
Of course, this is just scratching a surface of great places to ride in the West. What are your favorite routes west of the Mississippi? Let us know in the comments!