Put simply, America is a big country. It spans an entire continent, and it features eco-systems as diverse as they are unique: from the verdant forests of New England to the austere deserts of the Southwest. For many RVer’s, this abundance is preciously why they decided to join the lifestyle. An RV road trip is the best way to experience the variety of American landscapes in all their glory.
To help you pick your next journey, we have a compiled a list of our 6 favorite epic road trips. We are featuring the first three this week, and the final three next week. We hope you’ll enjoy these amazing drives!
Since the 1900s, the mighty Mississippi River has served as the spine of the American heartland. The water flows from the glacial lake, Itasca, in frozen Minnesota through the breadbasket of the Midwest to its mouth on the Gulf of Mexico in steamy Louisiana. The Great River Road is an ambitious, 2,000-mile, multi-state journey along length of the river. Travelers will experience a grand voyage through iconic American landscapes, historical sites and cultural landmarks.
The route traverses both sides of the river with many opportunities to cross, so aspiring Huck Finns can explore all 10 states that touch the Mississippi. State parks abound featuring the bluffs of Wisconsin and Iowa, the forests of Minnesota and Mississippi, and more. For birders, the river is the migration path for a signification portion of North American birds, and observant watchers can spot eagles, ibises, pelicans and many more species. When hunger strikes, indulge in homegrown delicacies from orchards, dairy producers and farmer’s markets. And of course, make sure to explore the many quintessential American cities that dot the river, including St. Paul, St. Louis, and New Orleans.
The Trail of the Ancients and the San Juan Skyway are two connected scenic byways which showcase the breathtaking desert and mountains of the western United States. The Trail of the Ancients loops through both Utah and Colorado, and it features important Native American architectural sites, as well as astonishing desert vistas and wind-sculptured sandstone towers. At the Hovenweep National Monument and the Lowry Pueblo, visitors can explore centuries-old ruins of ancient Puebloan cultures. Movie lovers will instantly recognize the colossal sandstone buttes of Monument Valley that are featured in many classic Westerns.
The Trail of the Ancients joins up with the San Juan Skyway at Mesa Verde National Park. This park preserves 600 cliff dwellings used by the Ancestral Pueblo People over 700 years ago. The byway then ascends into the San Juan Mountains. Many of these jagged peaks soar over 14,000 feet. The area has a rich mining history, and much of the Skyway follows the path of the narrow-gauge railways that supported the mining communities. The 233-mile loop also encompasses the mountain town of Telluride, which is famous for its skiing and festivals, as well as Ouray, which features natural hot springs.
The Pacific Coast Scenic Byway is an awe-inspiring tour of towering cliffs, winding beaches and rugged marine landscapes. The byway, which consists primarily of Highway 101, travels for 363 miles along the entire length of Oregon’s coastline, from Astoria near Washington State to Brookings at the California border. The route strings together undeveloped state park land and quaint seaside communities, like the kite-flying and shopping hub Lincoln City.
Travelers will enjoy the chance to see marine life in its natural habitat, like the Sea Lion Caves in Florence, which hosts a community of Stellar sea lions all year. Over 20,000 gray whales swim up the coast during their annual spring and winter migrations, and parks like the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area offer incredible tide pools to explore. For lovers of outdoor recreational activities, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area offers off-road riding through sand dunes, as well as hiking, horseback riding and more.
Check back next week for some amazing East Coast road trips like the Blue Ridge Parkway, Kancamagus Highway and more!