There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of iconic places to ride your bike in the USA and there are tons of “10 best places to ride” lists on the Internet, but his list is a bit different. All a trail needs to be included is a cool name. Even though we picked treks based on their name alone, any one of these could easily make it onto a “best places to ride” list as well. They’re all exceptional.
01// Georgia’s Dragon
It’s only right that Georgia’s Dragon, also known as the Suches Loop, should be the first entry on this list. It sounds like a trail that’s worth conquering. The loop is a 42 mile circle that touches the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Chattahoochee National Forrest and, most importantly… Georgia’s BLOOD MOUNTAIN. Full disclosure, the name of the last place on this list also has the word dragon in it.
02// Needles Highway
Needles Highway, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, is a unique place to visit. The landscape is like no other place in the world. It’s also one of the roads that lead to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Don’t go too fast or you might miss a bison on the side of the road.
03// Beartooth Pass
Montana and Wyoming
This road is known for it’s ups and downs, hairpin turns, and switchbacks. Plan this trip ahead of time because the highway isn’t always available. It generally opens seasonally from the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend to mid-October depending on snowfall.
04// The Hellbender 28
The Hellbender 28 is the Tail of the Dragon’s (#20 on this list) lesser-known neighbor. The turns are a bit more gentle and sloping, which might give you a little more time to appreciate the scenery. If you’re in the area, take a short detour to the 480ft tall Fontana Dam. Magnificent!
05// Going-To-The-Sun Road
This road is probably the hardest trail to visit on this list, but that’s also why it’s one of the coolest. It’s located in a remote part of Montana near the Canadian boarder and goes through Glacier National Park. The sweeping panoramas are like nothing else.
06// The Snake
The Snake goes through Cherokee National Forrest and is full of twists and turns. This road boasts “489 curves, 3 mountains, 1 valley packed into 33 miles!” There are also some bridges and beautiful lakes.
07// Grand Army of the Republic Highway
This highway covers over 300 miles across the northern top of Pennsylvania. This is one of the few outings on this list that sticks to populated areas. You’ll see lots of little towns and villages.
08// The Grand Staircase
The Grand Canyon might be the most famous canyon in the world, but it’s not the only one that’s worth seeing. This run will give you the chance to see Red Canyon and Bryce Canyon. Grand Staircase was the last place to get mapped in the lower 48 states. The area was named a national monument in 1996.
09// The Black Canyon Run
This canyon may not be as grand as the most famous canyon, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t impressive in it’s own right. A good deal of this twisty 32-mile trek is spent on panoramic mountainsides. Some consider these the best roads for riding a motorcycle in all of Colorado.
10// Rattlesnake Pass to Wallowa Lake
Washington, Idaho, and Oregon
Snakes, Dragons, and dangerous animals is what we looked for when we started working on this list. This run won’t take you through Idaho, but you will see it on the other side of the water as you ride along the Snake River. You’ll see a bit of everything here with mountains in the distance, flat grasslands, forests, and lakes.
11// The Copperhead Loop
One thing we’ve learned from putting this list together is that winding roads remind people of giant snakes. Copperhead Loop is a 77-mile circle in the Nantahala National Forrest. Presumably, locals have kept this road somewhat secret because it’s completely badass, or maybe as a public service because it can be challenging. You may want to skip this one if you aren’t a more experienced rider.
12// The Arkansas Dragon
This is the 2nd dragon on this list and we think it deserves its namesake. Trucks are not allowed on this road because the place is all switchbacks.
13// The Lost Highway
It’s not lost, though some people say locals won’t tell you where it is. The Lost Highway is located between Bakersfield and San Luis Obispo. This trek might be worth putting on your bucket list just so you can say you found a place that’s said to be lost.
We like this one because it’s just called Antlers. Like a model or a singer, it only has the one name. The roads in the area are said to be pristine and the scenery is majestic. A lot of amenities close early in the area so make sure you’re gassed up and you pack plenty of food and water before you hit the road.
15// Heber to Hannah & the Wolf Creek Pass Loop
Lots of hills and mountains with some flatlands thrown in, this ride will show you canyons, mountains, lakes, and the Unita National Forrest. This 122-mile trip has exciting turns mixed with long curves that give you time to appreciate where you are.
16// Shiner’s Run
Some say is one of North Carolina’s best-kept secrets and is the reason why the road is never too crowded. Keeping with the snake theme, many locals call this highway “The Rattler” instead of Shiner’s Run.
17// Twisty Redwood Ride
You may think of California as just being Los Angeles, San Francisco, and wine country, but it’s actually the 3rd largest state in the US. There’s a lot of natural beauty outside of the cities that’s worth seeing. The Twisty Redwood Ride is the west coast’s version of Deal’s Gap and as the name says, it’s twisty! It’s also unique, at least compared to the rest of the places on this list, because almost 1/3rd of the trek has ocean views. You will also see tall redwood trees in Jackson State Forest.
18// Coronado Trail
This trail ends with a view of the world’s largest open-pit copper mine. If that isn’t enough to get you to explore the remote eastern Arizona trail, then perhaps the dramatic canyon climbs, desert environments, and alpine mountains might. Expect 1200 15MPH hairpins during your 4-hour ride.
19// Trail of the Mountain Spirits Byway
Why aren’t their more roadways with the word “spirit” in it? The Trail of the Mountain Spirits Byway sounds mysterious and that’s why it made the list. You’ll see large Douglas fir trees as you traverse the Gila National Forrest and you’ll see cactuses when you get to the warmer lowlands. The area is practically untouched. Mountain Spirits Byway crosses the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail in two locations. You may want to stop and check it out if you’re into hiking.
20// Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap
It seems to us that North Carolina is heaven on earth for bikers. Out of every entry on this list, The Tail of the Dragon is probably the most famous trail of all. It boasts an 11 miles stretch with an incredible 318 curves and a name that’s 100% badass. Many people says that Deal’s Gap isn’t the greatest place to ride but there’s no doubt that it has the coolest name.