Summer was made for excursions and North America offers for all intents and purposes a perpetual rundown of fantastic choices. There’s over 3.7 million square miles to find in the U.S. alone, which can make it difficult to conclude which to take. Regardless of whether you’re searching for stunning sea sees, mountain vistas, history, untamed life or the entirety of the abovementioned, these courses make certain to give an encounter you will probably remember forever.
#1 Moab to Lake Powell, Utah
The drive from Moab to Lake Powell, heading south on Highway 191 and then Highway 163 through Mexican Hat before venturing back north, is about a 475-mile journey. You might want to plan to do it over a few days as it will bring you through some incredible southwestern scenery and opportunities for all sorts of adventures. Start by enjoying Arches National Park and then stop in Bluff to search for petroglyphs left by Ancestral Puebloans. From the viewpoint in Goosenecks State Park here, you can stare some 1,000 feet down into the canyon and catch Monument Valley in the distance. Continuing on, join a Jeep tour led by a Navajo guide to learn about the history of Monument Valley and get a closer look at its striking beauty. When you reach the south side of Lake Powell, hop in for a swim or take a boat tour to Rainbow Bridge National Monument, one of the world’s largest known natural bridges.
#2 Beartooth Highway, Montana/Wyoming
Beartooth Highway is a 68-mile stretch along Highway 212 that winds through Montana and Wyoming, from Red Lodge to the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park. It’s the Northern Rockies’ highest elevation highway and requires nerves of steel to get through some portions. It peaks at 11,000 feet, a spot known as the Top of the World viewpoint. From there, you’ll be able to marvel at the Absaroka and Beartooth Mountains, glacial lakes, forested valleys and waterfalls. Wildlife can often be seen here too, including bobcats, mountain lions, moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats.
#3 Joshua Tree to Lake Tahoe, California
A nearly 500-mile drive along California Route 395 will bring you from the Southern California desert through the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains to Lake Tahoe. Start in Joshua Tree National Park with a scenic drive or an early morning hike through the unique rock formations and bizarrely shaped trees. Some possible stops along the way include Mammoth Lakes, Yosemite National Park and Mono Lake. You might want to spend some time in Lone Pine if you have any interest in Western movies, home to Alabama Hills, where dozens have been filmed.
#4 Teton Scenic Byway, Idaho
The Teton Scenic Byway travels for about 70 miles along the east side of the Teton Mountains, one of the most breathtaking ranges in the country. While most take in the view from the Jackson, Wyoming side, this less-traveled route in eastern Idaho is just as spectacular without the busy traffic. Along the way there are a number of fantastic hiking trails like the trek to Table Mountain, providing one of the best views of the Tetons you’ll find anywhere. If you want to take in the scene from above, stop in the town of Driggs and book a hot air balloon ride.
Icefields Parkway, Banff to Jasper, Alberta, Canada
A drive of a lifetime, Icefields Parkway links Banff and Jasper national parks, a 166.5-mile route that begins just outside Lake Louise. One of the best things to do when visiting Banff National Park, it traces the Continental Divide, providing dramatic views of the mountains in every direction. You’ll pass glacial-fed lakes like Peyto Lake with its surreal, brilliant turquoise hue, rushing rivers, magnificent waterfalls and glaciers. Wildlife is abundant too, so keep an eye out for moose, caribou and bear. A stop to visit Athabasca Glacier is a must, experiencing it up close via the Ice Explorer, which will take you across the icy surface.
#6 Skyline Drive, Virginia
This scenic 105-mile drive travels along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park, with nearly 70 overlooks for taking in the gorgeous views. A National Scenic Byway and National Historic Landmark, there are miles and miles of hiking trails to explore and abundant wildlife to watch for, including wild turkey, black bear and deer. In June you’ll see a dazzling display of azaleas splashed across the landscape too.