Best Scenic Motorcycle Rides: Northern U.S. edition

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Scenic Motorcycle Rides | Beartooth Pass
Beartooth Pass by Mr Hicks46
Mountain View

Here at GothRider, we know your motorcycle is more than your preferred form of transportation. Your bike is your therapy, your meditation, and your freedom. Riding is the best way to escape your troubles and see the world. There’s no better way to get lost than with your bike between your legs and a scenic motorcycle route ahead.

That’s why we’re compiling lists of the best rides for bikers in North America. This week we have routes in the Northern United States.

Beartooth Pass

Sixty-eight miles of pure heaven sits along the border of Montana and Wyoming. The Beartooth All-American Road is the highest paved highway in the Northern Rockies. Beginning just a few miles outside of Yellowstone National Park, the Beartooth Highway rises in elevation over 3000 feet at Beartooth Pass.

From the top of Beartooth Pass at 10,947 feet above sea-level, all you can see for miles are blue-grey mountain peaks dotted with lush green forests and sparkling mountain lakes. Take your bike to marvel at the wonders between May and October every year. The highway ends in Custer National Forest outside of Red Lodge, MT.

Scenic Motorcycle Rides | Going-to-the-Sun Road, MT
Going-to-the-Sun Road by Trevor Bexon

Going-to-the-Sun Road

Another breathtaking Rocky Mountain motorcycle drive is located in Glacier National Park, Montana. The sharp peaks and steep cliffs are dotted with snow year-round. The road is narrow and not for inexperienced bikers, although the views should be on every biker’s bucket list.

Going-to-the-Sun Road is roughly 50 miles along the edge of the most breath-taking mountains in the Rockies. Driving straight through takes about two hours, but you’ll surely want to stop to see Jackson Glacier at the overlook. To ensure most of the route is open, plan on taking your trip in June or July.

Scenic Motorcycle Rides | Central Hills Loop
Mount Rushmore on Central Hills Loop by rachaelvorhees

Central Hills Loop

If you can’t ride a bull moose like Teddy Roosevelt, a motorcycle is the next best thing to drive past his likeness at Mount Rushmore. And we all know Teddy would have been a bad-ass biker if he was around today.

Central Hills Loop in South Dakota begins and ends in Keystone. With amazing highway twists, small tunnels carved from the mountains, and the magnificent forests of Custer State Park, Central Hills Loop is an all-American ride. For an added perk and a change of scenery, drive the path in reverse.

Scenic Motorcycle Rides | Mexican Hat, UT
Mexican Hat Rock by Ken Lund

Mexican Hat to Bryce Canyon

The 293 mile stretch from Mexican Hat to Bryce Canyon, UT is a perfect two-day motorcycle ride. The scenery changes from a flat, red desert to amazing rock formations throughout the drive. The shades of red on the mountains contrasted with the clear blue skies will make you feel like a modern-day cowboy in the wild west.

The ride ends in Bryce Canyon National Park, home of Thor’s Hammer. The treacherous peak stands between massive cliffs with 90 degree drops. Make reservations at some of the great bed-and-breakfasts along the path if you ride in the spring or summer.

The Wonderful 141

A short but stunning motorcycle ride that starts in Avon, Montana is the Wonderful 141. The ride takes you through the Garnet Mountain range. Over 32 miles, you’ll see true American cattle land with a mountain range skyline.

Unlike some of the more popular scenic routes in the North, the Wonderful 141 will give you and your bike almost perfect solitude. The road is well-maintained but rarely traveled. Go in the spring for the greenest scenery.

Scenic Motorcycle Rides | Kicapoo River Valley
Kickapoo River Valley by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Kickapoo River Valley

Starting in Tomah, Wisconsin, the Kickapoo River Valley drive takes you and your bike 33 miles along Highway 131. With winding river roads, you’ll cross the Kickapoo River at least a dozen times before ending in LaFarge. The lush greenery contrasted with the crisp blue river looks like something straight off a postcard.

At 45 miles per hour max, your motorcycle will likely speed past Amish carriages. Take the scenic route for sharp changes in elevation and a stop at a cheese factory. You’ll pass farmland and forests along both the main road and scenic route.

Have you traveled any of these Northern U.S. motorcycle routes? Do you have other favorite rides in the north? Let us know in the comments.