Armed Polite Society

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

R.I.P. Scout26

Author Topic: Cool places to drive  (Read 190 times)

dogmush

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,935
Cool places to drive
« on: June 20, 2022, 03:09:46 PM »

Brad's thread on his trip to CO got me thinking that one of the things Mrs. Mush and I really like about traveling (and Overlanding now that we do that) is finding cool places of the normal roads to see.  There's a lot of America that is accessable by car if you just get off the interstate.  So I thought I'd share some of my favorites, and invite more folks to share some places you've driven to.  I didn't want to hijack Brad's thread, so I started a new one.

First is one of my favorite drives from when I was a kid, that still holds up when I go back.  There's a 60 mile dirt road that connects Chitna, AK, with McCarthy, AK and the old Independance mine.  The whole road is beautiful, but the star is the Kuskulana Bridge.  My first time across in 1994 it didn't have guardrails, but they've added them now.  Still breathtaking,
https://www.google.com/maps/@61.4886716,-144.0157249,3a,75y,55.49h,88.92t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1sAF1QipOM3doIHhNpYZtDxOirHiY4CLfquEoQJiv__T04!2e10!3e11!6shttps:%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2Fp%2FAF1QipOM3doIHhNpYZtDxOirHiY4CLfquEoQJiv__T04%3Dw203-h100-k-no-pi-0-ya33.739418-ro-0-fo100!7i8704!8i4352

Next up is a detour we took off of the Cherohala Skyway between TN and NC.  Leaving from on TN 165 from Telico Plains, TN take River Road up the Telico Gorge and a couple miles back and you'll find a bunch of cool waterfalls. The best is Bald River Falls, right next to the road. We went in the winter, and it was empty and beautiful. 
https://www.google.com/maps/@35.32479,-84.1780493,3a,75y,163.63h,76.74t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1sAF1QipO1d0RUR4I2HJD5ktXMgw2sq747yNHUmyG2lDPq!2e10!3e11!6shttps:%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2Fp%2FAF1QipO1d0RUR4I2HJD5ktXMgw2sq747yNHUmyG2lDPq%3Dw203-h100-k-no-pi-0-ya280.6021-ro0-fo100!7i8704!8i4352

Third, is a trip we took over Thanksgiving a couple years back, Titus Canyon Rd into Death Valley National Park from Nevada.  The road is one way for a good bit, so start in NV.  It climbs into the mountains, stops at a little ghost town, then descends through a gorge out into Death Valley.  The decent, and the vista when you enter the valley makes stepping foot in CA worth it.  you'll want some ground clearance for this one though.
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.8223586,-117.1609113,3a,75y,132.04h,96.47t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1sAF1QipN4rH8Yn-K7vgNEtpBc2AuwXSrZyp0NNPvz93QK!2e10!3e11!6shttps:%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2Fp%2FAF1QipN4rH8Yn-K7vgNEtpBc2AuwXSrZyp0NNPvz93QK%3Dw203-h100-k-no-pi0-ya9.999999-ro-0-fo100!7i4608!8i2304

I like finding the out of the way spots.  Yeah Tail of the Dragon or Black Bear Pass are neat, but lets share some lesser known ones.

Brad Johnson

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 16,665
  • Witty, charming, handsome, and completely insane.
Re: Cool places to drive
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2022, 03:27:19 PM »

Third, is a trip we took over Thanksgiving a couple years back, Titus Canyon Rd into Death Valley National Park from Nevada.  The road is one way for a good bit, so start in NV.  It climbs into the mountains, stops at a little ghost town, then descends through a gorge out into Death Valley.  The decent, and the vista when you enter the valley makes stepping foot in CA worth it.  you'll want some ground clearance for this one though.
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.8223586,-117.1609113,3a,75y,132.04h,96.47t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1sAF1QipN4rH8Yn-K7vgNEtpBc2AuwXSrZyp0NNPvz93QK!2e10!3e11!6shttps:%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2Fp%2FAF1QipN4rH8Yn-K7vgNEtpBc2AuwXSrZyp0NNPvz93QK%3Dw203-h100-k-no-pi0-ya9.999999-ro-0-fo100!7i4608!8i2304

Yep, adding that one to the list.

Brad
It's all about the pancakes, people.
"And he thought cops wouldn't chase... a STOLEN DONUT TRUCK???? That would be like Willie Nelson ignoring a pickup full of weed."
-HankB

French G.

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,660
  • ohhh sparkles!
Re: Cool places to drive
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2022, 03:44:29 PM »

I have been on the cherohala skyway a bunch and it is indeed nice. In the same area driving the entire Blue Ridge parkway is nice. Takes days. When you get to the north end you are close to me. Out west in the hills US 220 is a fine ride its entire length. US 219 further west is similar. Most of my best rides are unplanned, I turned left in eastern Nebraska and headed across Iowa with the goal of the least amount of paved road possible. Did pretty well, took all day and came out in Keokuk. No idea what roads.
AKA Navy Joe   

I'm so contrarian that I didn't respond to the thread.

Ben

  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39,681
Re: Cool places to drive
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2022, 05:37:38 PM »

I've done Titus Canyon as well. Recommended. In fact there are a lot of neat roads (4x4 recommended) all over that area, in and out of Death Valley Park. I think I posted here some years back about the catastrophic flat I got from in my 4Runner on the crappy OEM tires it came with from sharp rocks while in this area. The road to Mahogany Flats campground to be specific.

36.23032053160096, -117.0675427199154

Mahogany Flats and Thorndike are both cool (literally - I was freezing in my tent in June in Death Valley, because 8000') camping areas. Be sure to checkout the Wildrose Kilns on the way up the road.

Another cool area where 4WD is a must is just outside of Sisters, OR. I've centered the area on Link Lake:

44.39961700083035, -121.80123534661449

But there are several lakes and ponds in the area, and at least when I was there during the week in I think May, I had everything all to myself. I reiterate 4WD, and frankly, on weekends, I wonder what people do, because most of the trails I was on were no wider than my 4Runner, and very few clear areas to pullout if two vehicles meet. I think I may have some video from when I used to use a dashcam and will post it if I can find it.

Fort Stevens State Park in Oregon is cool if you like driving on the beach, literally feet from the ocean. You can drive right up to the Peter Iredale shipwreck.

46.18597075666866, -123.94852706943772

From our time doing Operation Godfather, Charby can confirm that there are very cool "roads with a view" all over Moab.

38.575132698299164, -109.55590676933838


Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park is awesome. It can be very crowded during the season though.

48.69643290159785, -113.71684754467739


Bonners Ferry, ID to Whitefish MT is beautiful.

48.6915209067293, -116.31780397108098
48.419921472116464, -114.35887013276783

"I'm a foolish old man that has been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpy in trousers and a nincompoop."

dogmush

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,935
Re: Cool places to drive
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2022, 05:44:38 PM »

We stayed at Mahogany Flats the night before we climbed Telescope on Thanksgiving weekend 3 years ago.  Late Nov was....brisk.

Ben

  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39,681
Re: Cool places to drive
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2022, 06:08:34 PM »

We stayed at Mahogany Flats the night before we climbed Telescope on Thanksgiving weekend 3 years ago.  Late Nov was....brisk.

Ha ha - I imagine so.  :laugh:

I remember when I did my initial Internet research there were all kinds of "don't do what I did" warnings from people who said they expected it to be "Death Valley" weather and only had shorts and t-shirts with them. In dead of Winter, they can apparently get decent snow and ice there.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I was there in May, not June. Also I forgot to mention that if you're in the general area anyway, Star Wars canyon is a neat couple of hours watching guys run the Jedi Transition.

36.352356066144466, -117.5506029517813

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Canyon_%28California%29

"I'm a foolish old man that has been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpy in trousers and a nincompoop."

Ben

  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39,681
Re: Cool places to drive
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2022, 07:11:20 PM »

Oh, one more if you're feeling morose or just like a whole lot of nothing:

https://travelnevada.com/road-trips/loneliest-road-in-america/

I did this one actually starting in Utah and then diverting to Topaz Lake at the end. It is really, really, really empty. I recall taking an interesting looking unmarked dirt road / trail off the highway that was heading towards a mountain. About five miles in, I started thinking, "If I break down, I might not see anyone for a month" and turned back around.  :laugh:

My trip was almost eerie. On one stretch, I passed an electric pole on fire. Apparently the creosote ignited from the Summer heat. I felt like a character in an apocalyptic novel, driving the scorched Earth.

The website recommends three days. I drove it in one though.
"I'm a foolish old man that has been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpy in trousers and a nincompoop."

Hawkmoon

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 25,184
Re: Cool places to drive
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2022, 10:17:34 PM »

I can't argue that it's lonelier than Highway 50 in Nevada, but any of the highways through the Navajo reservation are (or were in the 1980s, when I was last there) are pretty devoid of vehicular traffic.

On a road trip in 1972 I drove across the old suspension bridge at Royal Gorge. The highway has now been routed over a new(er) bridge a few miles away. The suspension bridge is still there, but it's owned by a private company and you can't even get close enough to take a photo without paying an exorbitant entrance fee.

I think the most scenic road I've ever driven was the Beartooth Highway:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MexvfTkAse8

Long version:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZ0Q2vig828

grampster

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,096
Re: Cool places to drive
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2022, 11:11:16 PM »

If you take I-59 5 or 6 miles to the south off I-24 north of Chattanooga you get to an exit to a small town called Trenton.  You take hiway 136 up the mountain and get some great views out over the valley.  There are turn outs where you can stop.  Also cloudland canyon state park is on top of the mountain.  The trip down on 136 also has some great views and takes you to US-27 at Lafayette.

In Michigan it's difficult to pick one really great drive/two track/hike area as there are many.  But in the UP if you take 123 north off 28 to Paradise and then 123 loops back south to Tahquamenon Falls then take 407 Deer Park rd off 123 up to the lake Superior shore line to the Grand Marais Truck Trail H-58.
There are two tracks all over that wander around and back till you get to Grand Marais.  Nice beach there and spend the night.  You continue H-58 which also has many 2 tracks leading to Lake Superior overlooks and several waterfalls.  H-58 will eventually take you to Munising and the Pictured Rocks.  A lot of the way is beautiful forest land meadows with lakes and campgrounds etc etc.  I do 2 day trips after leaving Sault St. Marie.  The best way to find your way around is google map the UP and magnify the map and you can see all the places you can roam along Lake Superior.
"Never wrestle with a pig.  You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it."  G.B. Shaw

RocketMan

  • Mad Rocket Scientist
  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 12,120
  • Semper Fidelis
Re: Cool places to drive
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2022, 07:26:49 AM »

The Columbia River Gorge in Oregon has been my favorite scenic drive, especially if you can drive the old Gorge Highway.  However, the Gorge lost a lot of its natural beauty in 2017 because of a massive forest fire that burned over 50,000 acres of forest lining the gorge.  The fire was deemed to be arson, caused by a 15 year old boy carelessly playing with fireworks at Eagle Creek during a burn ban.
If there really was intelligent life on other planets, we'd be sending them foreign aid.

Conservatives see George Orwell's "1984" as a cautionary tale.  Progressives view it as a "how to" manual.

My wife often says to me, "You are evil and must be destroyed." She may be right.

How many Democrats does it take to fix a problem?  No one knows because it's never happened.

charby

  • Necromancer
  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28,364
  • APS's Resident Sikh/Muslim
Re: Cool places to drive
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2022, 03:27:25 PM »



From our time doing Operation Godfather, Charby can confirm that there are very cool "roads with a view" all over Moab.

38.575132698299164, -109.55590676933838


Yep, couple times I wish Ben's 4 runner had an OShit bar.
Iowa- 88% more livable that the rest of the US

Uranus is a gas giant.

Team 444: Member# 536