As an avid cyclist, you’ve probably already explored all the routes in the city where you live, or maybe even within the state. And if you already feel bored by your local roads and highways, it is high time to take your cycling experience to the next level. Fortunately, the United States can brag about a countless number of routes that are perfect for pedalling. Sure, transportation of your road bike will require some effort, but the awe-inspiring views of the East and stunning coastline of the West are definitely worth it.
Below, you will find a list of the best destinations for road cycling in the United States. Apart from Big Sur Highway 1 in California and Crater Lake Rim Road in Oregon, it includes Edge Of The Wilderness Scenic Byway in Minnesota, Going-To-The-Sun Road in Montana, and Skyline Drive in Virginia. Continue reading and choose a cinematic destination for your next cycling adventure!
1. Big Sur Highway 1, California
The Big Sur Highway 1 is a breathtaking stretch of coast that is 71 miles long and located in the beautiful state of California. The route is also referred to as “PCH” for “Pacific Coast Highway” and it runs parallel to the Pacific Ocean. The highway is open all year round, however, it becomes very crowded during summer weekends and holidays. In addition, there are many sharp turns along the road, so be careful!
If you’re looking for a quiet and peaceful cycling experience, then the Big Sur is definitely not the place for you. The highway is a part of the Coast Route. If you don’t mind the crowds during summer weekends and holidays, there are some ample parking lots located along the way to safely leave your vehicle while you explore the road on your bike. After all, this is the most scenic stretch of road in California and one of the most iconic destinations for road cycling in the United States! If you don’t have a two-wheeler adequate for this type of a place, you can find recommendations regarding the best road bike under 1000 here.
One of the most iconic locations along the Big Sur Highway 1 is Bixby Bridge. It is a famous bridge that spans a deep gorge of Bixby Creek and dramatically rises above the Pacific Ocean. And if you’re still not tired of your ride by now, make sure to take a detour to see Nicholas Flat Bridge and Pt. Lobos State Reserve!
2. Crater Lake Rim Road, Oregon
For all those who prefer quieter and less crowded routes, you might want to check out Crater Lake Rim Road in Oregon. The first thing that you should know about Crater Lake Rim Road is that it is not really suitable for inexperienced cyclists. The reason for that is the fact that there are numerous steep descents on this route which require some advanced skills. However, if you have already mastered descending or if you are an experienced cyclist in general, Crater Lake Rim Road is definitely worth visiting!
The route starts at the Crater Lake National Park Headquarters and runs along the rim of the Crater Lake for about 8 miles. In addition to gorgeous panoramic views of the lake, there are also numerous viewpoints along the route where you can admire other interesting sights such as Wizard Island and Hillman Peak. What is even better, if you’re lucky enough, you might get to see some wildlife such as deer or elk! However, be advised that Crater Lake Rim Road is closed during Winter and Spring seasons (November through April).
3. Edge Of The Wilderness Scenic Byway, Minnesota
As you might already know, the United States has a lot of routes that are perfect for road cycling. Edge Of The Wilderness Scenic Byway is yet another example of this fact, and it is definitely worth visiting! The route is located in Northeast Minnesota, and it runs parallel to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. So, if you have some experience with a canoe, you can combine your road cycling experience with a beautiful canoeing trip!
The Edge Of The Wilderness Scenic Byway is about 47 miles long, and it crosses through the heart of the “Mighty Arrowhead” region of Minnesota. Despite its length, the EWC Byway is actually quite easy to navigate. There are two main access points to the byway; one is located at the intersection of US Highway 2 and County Road 8 (near Ely); while the second access point starts at County Road 16, just east of Willow River State Park.
In addition, there are numerous scenic turnouts along the way, which allow visitors to take a break and enjoy the beauty of the Mighty Arrowhead! If you’re planning on visiting this route, make sure to check out Rock Cut State Park and Jack Pine Trail.
4. Going-To-The-Sun Road, Montana
If you love breathtaking views and an epic road trip, Going-To-The-Sun Road in Montana is definitely for you! This route is about 50 miles long, and it goes through Glacier National Park. It is closed during Winter and Spring seasons, however, it opens for public traffic again during the Summer season.
Located in Western Montana, Going-To-The-Sun Road is a famous route for road cycling in the United States. However, be aware that this route is not suitable for inexperienced cyclists because of the many sharp turns and switchbacks throughout the ride.
One of the most interesting parts of Going-To-The-Sun Road is located in Logan Pass. Here, you can see stunning views of Mount Hoffmann and Grinnell Glacier. However, don’t forget to stop at other fascinating viewpoints such as Hidden Lake Overlook and Sunrift Gorge Overlook! Finally, if you want to experience one of the most thrilling parts of Going-To-The-Sun Road, be sure to take an offroad bike tour through Logan Pass Overlook Trail!
5. Skyline Drive, Virginia
Skyline Drive is a scenic road that stretches across several counties in Virginia and there are many scenic turnouts along the road where cyclists can stop and admire the incredible views of Shenandoah Valley. In addition, Skyline Drive offers a unique biking experience because cyclists can enjoy both uphill and downhill riding! If you’re looking for quiet scenery away from any urban areas, Skyline Drive in Virginia is definitely for you. This road is best enjoyed during the Fall season because of the impressive colours of autumn leaves.
Skyline Drive in Virginia extends for about 105 miles and takes about eight hours to drive from end to end. However, one of the most popular parts of Skyline Drive is Little Stony Man Summit which offers plenty of amazing views. Little Stony Man Summit is located at an elevation of 4,011 ft above sea level. It’s also worth mentioning that after making it to Little Stony Man Summit, you will have panoramic views of Shenandoah Valley.
Road cycling is a great way to explore and visit some of the most scenic destinations in the United States. However, if you’re not an experienced cyclist or if you have never used a road bike before, then it is always better to start with shorter routes and less challenging roads. So, what are you waiting for? Choose one of the above-listed routes and enjoy your next cycling adventure!
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*Disclosure: Collaborative Post
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