California has done very well in the Top 50 Motorcycle Roads of 2018, taking 4 of the Top 50 spots, including the #10 motorcycle road in the USA. We start off our listing with a California motorcycle road in the San Bernardino Forest, just southeast of Los Angeles called - Highway 74 - Hemet to Indian Wells
Southwest of Washington DC and winding through the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest is a popular West Virginia/Virginia motorcycle route simply referred to by it's 'uncle Sam given name' - US 250
Starting in southeastern Washington state and heading south over the border and into northeast Oregon is a great rural twisty mountain western route with a great name -
Rattlesnake Pass to Wallowa Lake
Pennsylvania has really stood out year after year for popular motorcycle roads and the first Pennsylvania route entering the Top 50 is a simple yet classic Americana tour simply called the Lincoln Highway.
The most dominating motorcycle road state in the USA has been North Carolina with not only the number 1 road (Tail of the Dragon (shared with Tennessee)) but also having the number 3 and 4 most poplular motorcycle roads in the USA for 2018. The first NC road to make the Top 50 is The Waterfall Byway Along the Cullasaja River Gorge
At the number 44 position is a shared Indiana/Kentucky road that lies just southwest of Cincinnati with a great following among riders in that area of the country and also an interesting name - Big Lick Ride/Ohio River hugging loop
In the far northeastern corner of Georgia is a motorcycle road that is a favorite among riders in the south and year after year is gaining more and more fans who come in from other parts of the country. The route is called - The Extended Suches Loop
One of the most popular motorcycle riding states in the United States is my beautiful home state of Colorado. Colorado is loaded with great motorcycle roads and the first of its roads to make the Top 50 list is - The High 5 to Mt. Evans ... arriving at the 41st position.
Colorado has back to back listings taking both the 41st spot and this, the 40th spot with a road that I've taken a few times myself and love (can't imagine anyone not loving this road ... unless they are afraid of heights!). It's the Peak-to-Peak Highway!
When I started this website, back in 1998, there were a few states that I would have never guessed would be havens for great motorcycle roads and Arkansas was surely one of those. However, what I've come to learn is that the northwestern portion of Arkansas has truly some of the finest motorcycle roads in the USA! And, in this year's listing, the first of the Arkansas routes to make the Top 50 is a route referred to as - The Arkansas Dragon - also known as Highway 123
Michigan has been the home of the most popular motorcycle road in the entire Midwest region (the Tunnel of Trees Road listed below) and enters the Top 50 listing with it's popular - Central Lake Michigan Scenic Tour
Colorado starts to show off by entering its third motorcycle road into the Top 50 with a stunningly beautiful route called - The Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic-Road (CO route 141)
For those of you who haven't traveled in the Northeast of our great country, you will probably be incredibly surprised to discover the beauty in this section of the USA. One particularly beautiful section is the Catskill mountains and that is where our first Northeastern route enters the Top 50 from with a route named - The Catskill Preserve - situated in New York state.
As mentioned before, North Carolina may be the number one state when it comes to fantastic motorcycle roads. One of the many great routes in that state and entering our listing at the 34th spot is the Copper Head Loop
Yet another North Carolina route enters the list at #34 ... a little known route west of Asheville known as - Shiner's Run. The route is so curvy that large trucks are prohibited from even trying it.
At spot number 31, another western route enters the Top 50, this time from the state of Utah. The route is called The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument tour and has some of the most incredible photo opportunities of all 50 routes featured in this year's listing.
As we enter the 20's of the listing, another route from North Carolina takes the 29th spot. This route is in the southwest corner of the state and features some amazing twisties and is called Mountain Meander - Upper Slice of Route 28.
For #28 we head over to Kentucky and find the most popular motorcycle road in all of Kentucky called the Red River & Nada tunnel. This route features a narrow tunnel carved through solid rock as well as great lonely motorcycle roads in eastern Kentucky, just about 40 miles southeast of Lexington.
At spot 27 we head back west and find the most most popular motorcycle road in Idaho - The Lolo Pass. This is the second Idaho route to make the Top 50 and is one of the longer routes in the listing at 175-miles and features a lot of curves that is indicated by the "Winding Road Next 99 Miles" sign.
When we get to #26 you see a route that has become one of my favorites in all of Colorado. It is the Black Canyon Run and has to be one of the most visually satisfying routes a motorcycle rider can take and must not be missed if you come to Colorado!
At this point we've entered the second tier of the listing as we come to the "top half" of the list with route #25. This route is found in the far far northeast corner of Tennessee and is simply referred to as - The Snake (official road name is Route 421) ... earning that name because of the wonderful collection of twists and turns along it's short but sweet 23-miles!
The only Oklahoma route to make its way on to the Top 50 list impressively makes it all the way up to the 24th spot. This route is officially designated as a "Scenic Byway" by the US government. This is the most popular motorcycle route in Oklahoma and is called The Talimena National Scenic Byway and covers .
Another Arkansas motorcycle road enters the listing at position 23. This route lies in the northwest corner of Arkansas about 30 miles south of the Missouri border in a remote section of the Ozark national forest and is named for the mountain it climbs - Push Mountain Road.
At number 22 is a tri-state route covering parts of Mississippi, Alabama, & Tennessee. This is the only route for Mississippi and Alabama to make the Top 50 but it is a bit of a cult favorite as it is a unique low speed yet long distance history rich meander called the Natchez Trace Parkway.
California enters the Top 50 again with the 21st most popular motorcycle road in the USA and a personal favorite of mine when I was stationed in California back in 2001-2003. It's called the Palomar Mountain Loop and, like its name implies, is a route looping its way around Palomar Mountain. Some riders refer to this as the most technical route in southern California and it is a real treat for riders who love great turns mixed in to great scenery.
At the 20th spot is another road in the great state of Washington. This route lies in north central Washington not far south of the Canadian border and is referred to by its state given name and is the most popular motorcycle road in Washington - Highway 20 Washington Pass.
Coming in at #19 is a route that is positioned west of Washington DC in the Shenandoah National Park of Virginia and is as beautiful as it name implies - The Skyline Drive.
In gorgeous southern Utah is a wonderful 293-mile route that takes motorcyclists through three national park/reserves: The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, The Capital Reef National Park, and The Glenn Canyon National Recreation area. The route is called - Mexican Hat to Bryce Canyon and offers some of the best photo ops of all 50 of the top motorcycle roads.
Representing the only South Dakota motorcycle road in the Top 50 and yet landing at an impressive #17 position, is a fantastic route not just for its scenery, its curves, and its unique single lane tunnels carved in to the rocks of this stunning section of South Dakota. But, the route also offers as world class attractions such as Mt. Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Monument, tuns of nature parks, and plenty of tourist accommodations throughout the area. The route's name is - the Central Hills Loop. Lastly, this is a must ride for those visiting Sturgis.
Colorado adds another of its roads in to the Top 50 with The Walden Loop at #16. This wonderful rocky mountain ride is the second most popular motorcycle road in Colorado and starts out in Ft Collins, heads west into the mountains, turns south at Walden, heads northeast at Granby through one of the most beautiful National Parks in the USA - the Rocky Mountain National Park. Finally, the route continues east and drops off the motorcycle rider in Loveland, CO.
The most popular motorcycle road in the state of Georgia is a route called - Georgia's Dragon - The Suches Loop. Nationally this route ranks as the 15th most popular motorcycle road. This 42-mile loop through the Chattahoochee National Forest is known for its great curves, great scenery, and low traffic levels.
Arguably the most famous scenic drive in the USA and perhaps the world, is the legendary ride along Highway 1 up the Pacific Coast of California. This route is also of course loved by motorcycle riders and lands at #14 in our Top 50 listing and the second most popular motorcycle road in California.
The number one most popular motorcycle road in Arizona - the Coronado Trail - comes in nationally at the lucky 13 spot. This 118-mile route in a remote section of eastern Arizona along the AZ/NM border, has a huge following among the motorcycle riding community and is a bit of a 'ride of passage' (pun intended!).
Landing at #11 in the great motorcycle riding region of northwestern Arkansas is Arkansas' most popular motorcycle road; the famous Pig Trail. This road has become another cult favorite among riders and annually attracts riders from all of the country as well as riders from other countries. It's a short 19-mile run but seems to never fail to amaze motorcycle riders in those handful of miles.
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Coming in at the #10 spot for the US's most popular motorcycle roads in 2018 is California's most popular motorcycle road. It lies in Northern California just southeast of Eureka, CA and is named for the sign that greets riders as they approach; Twisty Road - Next 140 miles!!! (California Route 36)
Although an Ohio route hasn't appeared to this point in the listing, the second most popular motorcycle road in Ohio shows up at the ninth spot nationally and is one among a handful of routes named after the world famous Tail of the Dragon (coming up below). This Ohio route is known as - The Ohio Cousin of the "Tail of the Dragon" - or simply OH Route 536
Up to this point, Michigan landed one of its motorcycle roads in the 38th position and now places it's next road and Michigan's most popular motorcycle road at #7 with the midwest favorite - Tunnel of Trees Road. In fact this road regularly ranks as the most popular motorcycle road in the midwest.
Up until this point, Colorado has seen 4 of its motorcycle roads land in the Top 50. The most popular motorcycle road in all of Colorado joins the listing at the 6th spot nationally and it is the legendary San Juan Mountain Skyway which includes a famous stretch of road known as the Million Dollar Highway.
The first route in the Fantastic Five is a route with portions in southern Montana as well as Northern Wyoming. It offers some of the most stunning scenery in all of the US's Rocky Mountains as well as some of the most intense carved mountain roads a motorcycle rider could ever travel. It is the incredible Beartooth pass ... 50 miles of motorcycle riding paradise!
Taking the #4 spot is a route shared by both North Carolina and Virginia. In fact, this route is the most popular motorcycle route in all of Virginia. And, if Highway 1 along the Pacific Coast is the most famous scenic drive in the USA, then this route - The Blue Ridge Parkway - is the most famous US scenic drive east of the Mississippi.
As if North Carolina didn't already have enough routes in the Top 50, this time the state teamed up with its neighbor Tennessee and landed a motorcycle road at the #3 spot nationally. The joint NC/TN route is called - The Cherohala Skyway.
I started publishing annual listings of the most popular motorcycle roads in the USA starting in the 2015 riding season. And during that season, the 2016 season, and the 2017 season, the number one motorcycle road in the USA was a Texas motorcycle road known as - The Three Sisters (AKA The Twisted Sisters) - in the Texas Hill country northwest of San Antonio. However, in 2018, that route slipped to the #2 spot. Despite this slight slip, this is a world class motorcycle road that has and will continue to attract riders from all over the world!
Taking the number one spots is no other than what is most likely the most famous motorcycle road in the entire world - The Tail of the Dragon ... also known as - Deal's Gap. Not only is it impressive that this is yet another North Carolina/Tennessee route but that it is so famous despite the fact that it is literally the shortest length route of the entire Top 50 list. You see it is only 11-miles ... however, within those 11-miles await 318 curves. And, as many riders know, it's not the quantity of the miles that matter but more so the quality of the miles!
As always, I hope you find this and any other content I develop detailing the best motorcycle roads in the US and abroad to be informative & accurate. If you have comments, questions, or suggestions, please contact me at: webmaster@MotorcycleRoads.com.
Founder & Editor,
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Last Note: With every summary list I produce, I get my share of comments & complaints from riders who believe they know of a better route or two that didn’t make the list or wasn’t ranked as high as they wanted. That’s a fair response as I realize there are always more great routes out there to discover … what I ask however is if MotorcycleRoads.com is missing a great route, please add your favorite route to MotorcycleRoads.com. Or if a current route on the site is underrated, please add comments, pictures or videos explaining this and that route will begin to climb in the rankings!