Find New Roads This July 4th Long Weekend: Top 10 Driving Roads in America

Forget about everything else this Independence Day and hit one of our 10 favorite driving roads:

1. Hells Canyon Road, Idaho

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The aptly named Hells Canyon Road runs along the Snake River for 22 miles. Starting just across the river from Coopersfield Campground in Oxbow, Oregon the two-lane ribbon of road winds and undulates, hugging the jaged walls all the way to Hells Canyon Dam. When you do reach the dam, only Park Service vehicles may proceed–going 44 miles out of your way was never so much fun.

2. Route 245-7-26 Loop, Oregon

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What really makes the Loop in Oregon one of the best driving experiences in the country is nonexistent traffic. You can go for mile after mile without seeing another soul.

3. Mulholland Highway, California

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Does it really need an introduction? Hiding in the hills above the Pacific Coast Highway is a whole web of banked switchbacks, bobbing and weaving out from Route 1 with Mulholland Highway at its center.

4. M119, Harbor Springs, Michigan

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Officially nicknamed the Tunnel of Trees, M119 lacks the dramatic elevation changes of other routes, but its twisties and peacefully green canopy more than make up for it.

5. The Airline Road, Maine (Route 9)

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With over 50 miles of perfect pavement, high-speed sweepers and blinding s-curves, Route 9 runs from Bangor to Baring. Traffic, if there is any, moves quickly – very quickly. Watch for moose and pie stands.

6. Smuggler’s Notch, Vermont

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Start in Jericho, Vermont and heads northeast on Vermont Route 15 before turning back south on Vermont 108 and hustling through Smuggler’s Notch into scenic Stowe. This is rough country driving: for 2-miles Route 108 narrows to the point only one car can get through at a time– with rock faces on either side of you there is little room for error or carelessness.

7. Tail of the Dragon, NC

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This 11-mile cambered stretch of U.S. 129 flirts with the Tennessee and North Carolina borders. Stomach your way through 318 twists and turns without a single intersection or driveway interrupting your progress. Almost every corner is blind and it seems there’s always someone coming the other way.

8. Pikes Peak, Colorado

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Pikes Peak isn’t just one of the most famous international hillclimbs, it’s also one of the most famous public mountain roads in America. Thankfully it’s almost entirely paved now.

9. Twisted Sisters, Texas

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The Twisted Sisters have pretty much everything you’d want in a great road or a great woman: twists and turns, ups and downs, great views and constant danger. They’re quite possibly the best driving roads in Texas.

10. Denali Highway, Alaska

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Consisting mostly of gravel, the 135-mile drive is easily the last pure driving frontier. With a mix of fast pavement and challenging terrain the Denali Highway is just as suited to sporty crossovers as it is to sporty sedans.

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