Who says you have to go to Europe for nice roads?
Whenever people talk about the best driving roads in the world, the first to come to mind are the amazing routes seen on Top Gear that look an absolute dream to drive, like the Stelvio Pass and Transfagarasan Highway. But we wondered if the United States was home to any roads that would be considered "perfect driving roads." We decided to look for US roads with amazing scenery, lots of turns, elevation changes, and the most important thing, very little traffic. These are the five amazing roads that we found.
Pikes Peak is known for many things. Car enthusiasts know it for the famous Pikes Peak Hill Climb, one of the toughest races in the country. Part of the fun is the sense of danger that accompanies driving a mountain road with almost no runoff. Even professional racing drivers like Randy Pobst crash there, so we'd bring AWD.
Pikes Peak is located in Colorado and the Hill Climb event is also known as the Race to the Clouds. The route starts on mile seven on the Pikes Peak Highway and spans 12.42 miles with 156 turns and an elevation change of 4,720 feet. It used to be part gravel and part asphalt, but the route has been fully paved since 2011. As we mentioned, this route is not for the faint of heart.
The Tail of the Dragon is one of the most famous driving roads in the US. This route, which is officially known as US 129, stretches 11 miles and packs 318 turns on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. The road is a great tourist destination for car and motorcycle enthusiasts and is full of awesome road trip stops. The coolest part about this road is a giant metal dragon on the route that everyone gets to take a cool picture with. This road is tons of fun to drive and has possibly the coolest name of any road in the US.
Driving in California is not always thought of as a fun experience, especially near Los Angeles. The traffic is unbearable and the roads are filled with Toyota Priuses. However, there are tons of roads in Califorina that don't really go anywhere. Enthusiasts like Matt Farah take advantage of these roads like Mulholland Highway. The road is known locally as "The Snake," and runs around 50 miles through the Santa Monica Mountains to Highway 1, which is also known as the Pacific Coast Highway. Enthusiasts like Farah wake up bright and early on the weekends to drive this road before everyone else takes their weekend sports cars out for a drive. The PCH may be scenic, but the Snake is for enthusiasts.
Michigan's M119 Highway is one of the hidden gem roads in the US. It is known locally as the "Tunnel of Trees" and is more of a relaxing drive than a full-on thrill ride like other roads on this list. This approximately 27-mile route doesn't have many elevation changes, but it makes up for that with plenty of twists and impressive scenery. The road is surrounded by trees which shroud the route in what seems like a green tunnel. The road is particularly beautiful in the Fall when the leaves start to change colors.
Just because a road is on this list, doesn't mean that it is located in the continental United States. Hawaii Route 200 is locally known as "Saddle Road." It reaches a maximum elevation of 6,632 feet and was once one of the most dangerous paved roads in the world. Rental car companies used to prohibit use of their cars on this road, but improvements have made it much safer. Saddle Road is around 52 miles, and is surrounded by volcanoes on both sides. The scenery on this road includes snow capped peaks, hardened lava, and downhill views of the Pacific Ocean.