Scenic Drives Sure to Leave You Breathless - Page 2
|Greenery along the Natchez Trace Parkway (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)|
Natchez Trace Parkway
Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi
The Natchez Trace Parkway was long ago created by Native Americans and was later used as a link between the Mississippi Territory and what is now Nashville. With a little more than 440 miles to explore, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails to be found. Camping is a budget-friendly option for a multiday trip, too.
Talimena Scenic Drive
The 54-mile Talimena Scenic Drive takes you through Arkansas and Oklahoma. You’ll drive along some of the highest ridges between the Appalachian Mountains and the Rocky Mountains in the Winding Stair and Rich mountains. This area experiences four distinct seasons and can be a great spot to see wildlife such as black bears.
Sky Island Scenic Byway
Just 27 miles long, the Sky Island Scenic Byway is literally a climb from desert to forest. Take a photo of a cactus at the beginning of your drive, and then, 9,000 feet up, take a photo of yourself in the forest. This route is one of the only paved roads to the top of Mt. Lemmon. Enjoy this area for hiking, backpacking, and even skiing in colder months.
Top of the Rockies
Feel like you’re on top of the world as you drive the Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway. At 10,424 feet, the Tennessee Pass is breathtaking. Plenty of wildlife can be seen along this 75-mile stretch before you wind up in the old mining town of Leadville, which is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream.
Beartooth Scenic Byway
Providing a path to the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park, Beartooth Scenic Byway in Montana and Wyoming reaches some of the highest heights in the northern Rockies. In fewer than 54 miles you’ll see snowcapped peaks, lakes, and even glaciers. Plan ahead; this road is only open weather permitting, so check with the DOT before heading out on your trip.
This 125-mile highway links the Alaskan cities of Seward and Anchorage. Starting at the Gulf of Alaska and winding through scenic areas like Chugach National Forest, this road trip is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Seward gives visitors a way to see both the water and interior of Southern Alaska.
Mountains to Sound Greenway
Experience the Wenatchee and Snoqualmie national forests along the Mountains to Sound Greenway, which starts in Ellensburg, Washington and ends in Seattle. Plan to explore the 28 towns that you will pass through, and stretch your legs on the 1,600 miles of hiking trails. This route is also biker friendly, and experiencing it on two wheels can be an excellent way to spend a day (or three) in the great outdoors.