From riding around North America for the past few years, discovering different roads, engaging with the locals, taking in all the scenery and smells, a Top 10 list has been created based on the experience of the rides.

  • Do you describe it with enthusiasm and vigor as you tell them of the road, the scenery, the smells and the people you met on the way?
  • Do you dream about this as a perfect motorcycle road?
  • Is it a ride that that you would take time off work; sneak away and do over again?
  • Is it a ride when sit around with fellow enthusiasts you explain to them how great it was, enough to convince them that they may want to go and find out for themselves?
  • Is it firmly engrained in your memory?

and now….The 10 Best Motorcycle Rides in North America.

In no particular order, this is the list.

Blue Ridge Parkway (USA)
Virginia and North Carolinas all American road is the incredibly, scenic Blue ridge parkway. The parkway runs for 469 miles starting from nearby Waynesboro Virginia to the southern terminus near the Cherokee Indian reservation in North Carolina. Our experience and the attached map took us on approximately 200 miles down the parkway to one of the hidden treasures, Tuggles Gap.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Map Blue Ridge ParkwayThe Blue Ridge Parkway was built to connect Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We are sure the engineers where motorcyclists as this road allows no commercial traffic or business. The pavement is smooth, the beautiful views are amazingly endless and rode during the week it can be a motorcyclists favorite lonely road. A great two or three day ride that you probably will be saddened as you come to its end. It is also very close to Deals Gap and the Tail of the Dragon.

See a bigger map of the Blue Ridge Parkway ride here

We rode the Parkway in 2011 and shared some details about it.

Top of the World Highway-(Canada-USA)
Although Alaska (highway 5) and Yukon (highway 9) is only 79 miles long , do not plan on riding this scenic road at your redline. This incredible highway may not be for the faint of heart as you will find yourself in the last frontier. The mostly hard packed gravel road with the occasional mile of pavement will amaze your senses as well as your motorcycles.

Best Ride - Top of the World Highway Alaska

Map Top of the WorldThe highway actually starts in Dawson City Yukon Canada and ends around Chicken Alaska although the nearest main center is Tok another 80 miles to the south. The top of the world highway winds its way along the crests of hills giving looks down into valleys far below. There seems nothing else is near no matter what direction you look you are literally on top of the world and in reality, you really are. It is just you, your bike and your senses. For those of you who ride north and choose to brave the wild frontier, you will be rewarded. Note-We rode this route on our Harleys with no problem as it was dry and hot but do not recommend riding this road in wet conditions.

See a bigger map of the Top of the World Highway

We Rode the Top of the World Highway on Season 2 Episode 3

Our 2013 Mexico / Alaska / Sturgis tour took us up north to Alaska. A lot of the footage we shot went into season 2 episode 3 of our show as you can get a taste of above.

We loved Alaska so much, we put together an Alaskan ride cheat sheet. Everything you ever wanted to know about riding to Alaska.

North Cascades Highway (USA)
Washington’s state highway 20 from Burlington on the western edge to the arid heat of Okanagan on the eastern slope has to be one of the hidden treasures in the motorcycle world. We owe local Native American tribes many thanks for using this corridor as a trading route and leaving today’s engineers a challenge that succeeded in making a road made for riders.

Best Rides - North Cascades Highway

Map Blue Ridge ParkwayThe North Cascades provided motorcyclists a close up view of one of the nicest ranges in western north America. With the construction of the Diablo dam and the ensuing Diablo lake many years ago has provided riders with one of the most beautiful viewpoints anywhere in North America. Not to mention a very well maintained and underutilized road.

Don’t get us wrong we are not complaining, nor will you.

Click here for more map details

The Black Hills of South Dakota-(USA)
Although synonymous with Sturgis and the biggest motorcycle rally in the world; the black hills of South Dakota should not be over looked. Where else in North America can you take in two great iconic and patriotic engineering marvels; Mt Rushmore and the Crazy horse monument all in one great riding day.

Best Ride - Black Hills of South Dakota

Map Black Hills LoopTake the long way to these giant masterpieces and you may find yourself on the twists and turns of Iron Mountain Road or the incredible spheres that reach for the sun on the needles highway.

If crowds and traffic are not your thing, ride the black hills before or after the rally.

This is what biking is.

If you’re thinking about going to Sturgis, make sure to get very clear on what to expect, what to take and what it’s all about. We thought it might be good to put together a Sturgis Rally cheat sheet for you too. Know before you go as we say!

Click here for more map details

Mexico Federal Highway 1 -(Mexico)
The Transpeninsular Highway as it is more commonly known runs down the Baja Peninsula for over 1000 miles. Starting just south of San Diego in the city of Tijuana to its terminus in the resort town of Cabo San Lucas this ride will leave you breathless. If wide open spaces, low arid deserts, high mountain plateaus, beautiful ocean views, great local people and some pretty damn good pavement are your thing; start planning.

Best Ride - Mexico Federal Highway

Map Mexican Federal HighwayThis is one of our favorites and one not need be too troubled with safety.

We found the local people friendly, the military were fascinated and the scenery was something we will never forget.

There was a lot about riding in Mexico that we got wrong. We assumed much, and it wasn’t at all what we thought it would be like.

Click here for more map details

The Kananaskis Trail – (Canada)
As part of Alberta Canada’s highway 40 this portion south of the Trans Canada Highway leads you up the highest paved road in Canada, The Highwood Pass. It is located just west of the city of Calgary. Snow on the peaks and common sense tells you this ride must be closed in the winter months.

Best ride 6 - Kananaskis Trail

Map Highwood Pass

Riding through Canada’s Rocky Mountains is something to behold and this lesser traveled route through the Kananaskis Range and Peter Lougheed provincial park is no exception.

The emerald green lakes, crystal clear rivers, amazing snow capped peaks, abundant wildlife and great pavement with long sweeping corners will want you coming back for more.

Top it off with a great burger in Longview’s twin cities saloon makes this ride one you will not forget.

Lots of footage of our riding the Kananaskis Trail made it’s way into our first season of On the Backroads. Good riding for sure.

Click here for more mapping details

Death Valley – (USA)
California’s Death Valley is probably one of great surprise for a motorcycle ride top 10 list. But taken for what it is, on simplicity alone if you have not rode the hottest place in north America and probably the world, you may be missing out.

Best Rides - Death Valley
Map Death ValleyLeaving Pahrump on highway 178 west you would not even know the Valley exists until you climb high through the colorful mountain range and as you start to descend you immediately sense something else, not necessarily heat but perhaps middle earth.

The sometime slippery highway meanders along the shores of the basin and as you reach the lowest point in North America; Badwater Basin you may realize how special it is.

Most riders turn around at Furnace Creek and head back to Vegas but recommend heading westerly on highway 190 towards Owens Lake as the views from this area and the twist and turns of this crater like oasis will be ever entrenched in riders memory.

Click here for more map details

Beartooth Highway and Chief Joseph Scenic Byway – (USA)
These two rides that are in Montana and Wyoming could have by themselves been two separate inductees in the top 10. Their close proximity to each other and the fact that they can be and should be rode in one day hopefully attracts you to ride these incredible highways.

Best Rides - Beartooth Highway
Map Beartooth PassFollowing the series of switchback and steep zizags will find you at the 10,947 ft mark at the top of the Beartooth pass, and as you make your way down and up the Chief Joseph highway you will find yourselves at the equally beautiful but not quite as high, dead Indian pass at 8,071 ft.

This encompasses one of the most beautiful motorcycle rides of your lifetime.

Note-It can snow at any time at the higher elevations. Pack appropriately.

Click here for more details
Video from our 2011 tour features the Beartooth Pass

Highway 89 and 89A Jerome to Wickenberg – (USA)
Arizona has some great biking roads and this ride is the best of the best in the desert state. Highway 89A from Jerome to Prescott is a series of switchback, hairpins and long sweepers that will awaken your senses. It is said to have well over 100 curves in a 12 mile stretch.

Best Rides - Jerome to Wickenberg
Map Jerome 89AOnce south of Prescott on the 89 another great series of twists and turns as you eventually descend down Yarnell Hill which offers spectacular views of the Sonoran Desert.

Allow some time for this ride as you may just want to turn around and ride it in the opposite direction.

Click Map for more details
Click Here to watch video

Going to the Sun Road -(USA)
Another fantastic ride in Western Montana and some have said the most scenic ride in the USA, they may not be far off. Going-to-the-Sun Road is an engineering marvel and the only road that crosses Glacier National Park. Through this route you rise and transverse the Continental divide at Logan Pass.

Best Rides - Going to the Sun

Map Road to the sunThe road is quite windy and narrow and I would not imagine many riders who have Acrophobia (fear of heights) would enjoy this monumental ride.

The scenery is amazing, the smells of the evergreens and the snow capped peaks will leave your senses dazed. Take a day off work and ride it during the week, what you lose in pay will be rewarded in memory.

Click here for a bigger map

Honourable Mention – Creston BC to Nakusp BC – (Canada)

Honorable mention has to be British Columbia Canadas very popular Creston to Nakusp scenic ride. This incredible ride follows the gentle curves and turns up the Kootenay lake shore on highway 3A. After a short, free ferry ride across the lake highway 31 takes you up the other shore to the small town of Kaslo.

This is where the fun really begins.

Best Ride Honourable Mention Creston to Nakusp
Map Creston to NakuspHighway 31A from Kaslo west to New Denver is about 30 miles of motorcycle bliss.

Great pavement, little traffic, perfect corners, twists and turns, up and down. It is a motorcyclists dream roller coaster all built for two wheels, and as the added bonus your not quite done.

Going north on highway 6 along the shores of the beautiful Slocan lake will slowly wind you down as you end up at one of our favorite haunts, Riders Retreat Motorcycle campground.

Does not get much better than that.

Click for more details on this ride

The 10 Best Rides in North America

Although we have not rode our motorcycles on every stretch of great blacktop in North America, we have rode many.We have taken our trusted Harley’s hundreds of thousands of kilometers between us around this great continent. We have compiled this list and we have personally rode all these rides together and amazed what North America has to offer. Many of you have done many of these rides, many have done none of these rides and we hope many may be encouraged to go and experience at least one.

Look forward to seeing you on the road in 2015 and hopefully you have the time to show us one of your top ten.

Cheers from T&A

Want to know about riding in Canada?

Click the button below for more info

Canada: What You Need to Know

Wondering what it is like to ride in the USA?

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United States: What you need to know

19 Responses

  1. Dave Ward

    Well, at least Canada got an honorable mention. The Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia is also supposed to be fantastic. I have ridden the Creston to Nakusp route many times – it is a wonderful ride. The Pacific Coast Hiway from Moclips, Washington down into Oregon is also spectacular.

  2. Troy - Ride Stop n Go

    Dave, We will be riding down east and doing the Cabot trail next summer..sure looking forward to it..We rode the Oregon coast a few years ago and it rained and was foggy almost the whole ride..:-( we have to re visit it..cheers from T&A

  3. Darrell Gilbreath

    You left out the Million Dollar HWY USA. From Durango, Colorado to Ouray, Colorado. It is a must for scenery and twistys. If you haven’t ridden that pass. I highly recommend it.

    • Troy - Ride Stop n Go

      Darrell, How are you? It is interesting you mention Colorado. It is the only state we have not ridden in, besides Hawaii. It sounds like we were saving the best for last. We have heard nothing but good things about Colorado and look forward to riding there, sooner rather than later.. Thanks and cheers

  4. Hank Biesbroek

    Good choices! You have to try Mexico mainland to get some real choice rides in. To and around the Copper Canyon, Yecora to Creel, Creel to Parral, Durango to Mazatlan, to name a few. Hours and hours of twisty roads on great pavement, with little to no traffic!

    • Troy - Ride Stop n Go

      Hank, How are you doing? Where are you from? We have heard about copper canyon and I think we may have to venture down to Mexico mainland. We have only ridden in the Baja…It is now on our bucket list..Thanks and cheers from T&A

  5. Hank Biesbroek

    Troy, Just did the Copper Canyon again this February. Went down through Agua Prietta, Took a nice ride down Highway 20 to the 16, then East to Basaseachi Falls. Then a little used road from there to Creel. Spent a night at the bottom of the canyon in Batopillas. The East to Parral, South to Durango, across the Devil’s backbone to Mazatlan for a couple of beach and beer days. Then we scooted north to Topolobompo and the ferry to La Paz. After that we went north to Mulege, and a side trip to Bahia de Los Angeles. Next we went north to Jesus Maria and then took 40k of gravel road to get us over to the East side of the Baja and then north along the coast to San Felipe. In a year or so, that will all be paved and a great way to see more of the Baja, bypassing TJ. Then north again to Mesquite Nevada, where we park our truck and trailer for the ride back to Cochrane. 6000K in 20 days!

    • Troy - Ride Stop n Go

      Cool beans Hank, sounds like you had a great time…I suppose we know who to talk to when we decide to go to the Mainland of Mexico…. 🙂 …Cant wait to ride there although it may be a year or two away..hope to see ya on the road around these parts this summer..thanks for the great info..

      Cheers from T&A

  6. Gabriel Faucher

    Great article. Thank you for sharing. More on asphalte québec!

    • Troy - Ride Stop n Go

      Gabriel, How are you? Thanks and glad you enjoy. We love Quebec and spent quite a bit of time riding there in 2011..Where do you live? Cheers from T&A

  7. Wheels Of Morocco

    Wooww so nice and informative blog about 10 Best Roads in north america. Where anybody can drive and enjoy bike riding in USA. Thanks for sharing this great information about 10 Rides. Awesome pics you use in your blog. Keep it up !

    • Troy - Ride Stop n Go

      Wheels, How are you doing? Thank you for your kind words. We assume you live and ride in Morocco. What do you ride? Are there many motorcycles in Morocco? Cheers from T&A

      • Chris Edwards

        Yes I live and ride in Morocco. I ride BMW GS bikes.I am a tour guide in Morocco and provide BMW bikes as well. Here in Morocco you will find different kind of bikes. You should visit Morocco and we will take care about your tours. Just contact us.

  8. Brian

    another honourable mention would have to be the Lillooet loop in BC Canada, from Vancouver up through Whistler and Pemberton to Lillooet, and down the Fraser canyon to Hope and back to Vancouver. Unbelievable road and unbeatable scenery for the whole ~7 hour ride!

    • Troy - Ride Stop n Go

      Brian, how are you doing? We would have to agree and we wished we lived closer to the area so we could ride it more often..Any big rides planned for next year? cheers from T&A

  9. Randy Davison

    I like that you thought the Blue Ridge Parkway was #1. Especially when you didn’t even ride the best part, which starts near Maggie Valley, NC and moves east.

  10. LS650

    I’ve noticed the ‘North Cascades Highway’ in Washington on maps, and thought it might be an interesting route to ride from Victoria BC to the BC interior. Maybe I will have to check it out this fall.