We realize we are not the only place on the internet rating motorcycle roads – but the problem we’ve found with many of those other guys is that most of the ratings are done by submissions. The problem with that method is that everyone will experience a road differently. One riders perfect motorcycle road is a treacherous near-death experience for another. In order to address this problem and realizing that all of this is extremely subjective, we’ve devised a simple (yet hopefully effective) two part rating system that we hope will help you find the kind of roads you prefer. If we list the road on this page, we feel its going to be a road worth riding, either for scenic or technical attributes – sometimes for both. On many of the other sites, we’ve seen “motorcycle” roads listed and rated poorly. If we list it, rest assured its going to be a road worthy of your attention.
We’ve Rated 67 Canyons in 11 states in 2 countries and More Than 5,113 Miles
The majority of Alberta is flat and desolate, but the western edge of this province houses some of the most epic mountainous terrain we’ve ever come across. As a result, the fantastic Banff National Park and Jasper National Park are here.
- AB-93 | Promenade des Glaciers Rating:1-B
North of Washington and Idaho, British Columbia has some of the most stunning scenery we’ve enjoyed. Crossing the border, the significantly lower population densities are immediately apparent, as is the tendency for Canadians to be friendlier and a bit more courteous. Combine this with glorious mountain ranges, endless seas of trees, spectacular coast lines and you have a recipe for some brilliant riding conditions.
- BC-6 | Nelson-Slocan Highway Rating:2-A
- BC-14/18 | Cowichan Lake Loop Rating:4-B
- BC-16 | Yellowhead Highway Rating:1-A
- BC-37A | Glacier Highway Rating:2-A
- BC-101 | Sunshine Coast Highway Rating:3-A
California has more epic motorcycle roads than any place else we’ve ridden. Continually we find more and more amazing roads, which prompts us to return every couple years to re-ride favorite routes and explore for new ones. A high motorcycle density means that the average car driver is more likely to see you compared to many other places we’ve ridden and legalized lane splitting makes this a favorite destination.
- CA-1A | Conzelman and Bunker Road Rating:4-A
- CA-1N | The Pacific Coast Highway – North Rating:4-C
- CA-1NW | The Lost Coast Rating:5-C
- CA-108 | Sonora Pass Rating:5-B
- CA-130 | Mount Hamilton Rating:5-C
- CA-236 | Big Basin Highway Rating:5-A
Colorado gets a lot of attention, but most of its terrain is so severe that the majority of roads are just cold, windswept and did we mention cold? The extreme elevation and subsequent harsh winters don’t do much for road quality of the riding surface. However, there are some real gems in the state known for silver and gold. Here are a few of our favorites.
- CO-65 | Grand Mesa Scenic Byway Rating:4-B
- CO-72/119 | Peak to Peak Highway Rating:4-C
- CO-141 | Unaweep Tabeguache Canyon Rating:2-B
- CO-550 | Million Dollar Highway Rating:4-B
Even though we’ve spent a lot of time riding Idaho, we’ve been very disappointed with the quality of roads there. Most of the memorable roads we’ve found are nearest Utah and Yellowstone and south of Coeur D’Alene. But that doesn’t mean we’ll stop looking for them.
- ID-P1 | Old Idaho Highway 7 Rating:5-B
- ID-FS50 | St Joe River Scenic Byway Rating:4-B
- ID-NF-456 | Dobson Pass Rating:5-C
- ID-12 | Lolo Pass Rating:2-A
- ID-34 | Tincup Canyon Rating:3-A
- ID-36 | Mink Creek Canyon Rating:4-B
- ID-75 | Sawtooth Scenic Byway Rating:2-B
- ID-93 | Salmon River Scenic Byway Rating:2-B
- ID-97 | Coeur D’Alene Lake Road Rating:4-B
Mountains would get in the way of being called Big Sky Country. The eastern half of the state does not offer much in the way of twisty roads, and there aren’t really all that many twisty sections in the more mountainous western half either. But here are some of the highlights we’ve discovered.
- MT-FR-228 | West Koocanusa Lake Road Rating:4-B
- MT-FR-763/36 | Fortnine Wolf Creek Loop Rating:3-D
- MT-FR-22/470 | Yaak Valley/River Road Rating:4-B
- MT-FR-508/68 | Yaak Valley/Pipe Creek Loop Rating:4-C
- MT-37 | Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway Rating:1-B
- MT-49/89 | Looking Glass Hill Road Rating:4-D
- MT-212 | Beartooth Pass Rating:5-C
Everything from epic Pacific Coastal roads to craggy mountain passes. Oregon offers a great deal of wondrous riding opportunities, made even better since legislation that required gas station workers to spill gas all over your bike when ever you needed fuel has relaxed over the last ten years.
- OR-NF-3240 | West Evans Creek Road Rating:5-C
- OR-20 | Middle Fork Road Rating:3-B
- OR-32-30F | East Evans Creek Road Rating:5-B
- OR-207 | Service Creek-Mitchell Highway Rating:3-B
- OR-242 | McKenzie Highway Rating:4-A
- OR-402 | Kimberly Long Creek Highway Rating:3-B
Typically when one thinks of South Dakota in relationship to motorcycles, thoughts of leather vest clad cruisers comes to mind, but there is a reason why America’s biggest motorcycle rally takes place in the Black Hills.
- SD-14/85 | Spearfish Canyon Road Rating:2-A
- SD-16/87 | Norbeck Scenic Byway Rating:5-A
- SD-87 | Custer State Park Wildlife Loop Rating:4-A
While much of the state is mostly flat, with mostly straight roads, there are a few golden morsels that are both desolate and wrought with fast sweeping corners. Utah doesn’t get the credit for high-mountain passes like Colorado because most of these mountain roads crest just shy of the magic 10,000 feet of elevation. So you can expect severe weather, snow into July, and cooler temperatures on those hot summer afternoons. Most roads don’t open until Memorial Day weekend and close at the first sight of snow. Here are a few of our favorites.
- UT-12 | Journey Through Time Byway Rating:3-C
- UT-14 | Cedar Canyon Rating:3-B
- UT-15 | Nebo Loop Rating:5-D
- UT-25 | Fishlake Loop Road Rating:4-B
- UT-35 | Wolfcreek Pass Rating:3-A
- UT-39 | Monte Cristo Canyon Rating:3-C
- UT-65/66 | East Canyon Rating:4-B
- UT-72 | Whipup Road Rating:3-C
- UT-89 | Logan Canyon Rating:2-B
- UT-92 | Alpine Loop Road Rating:5-D
- UT-96/264/31 | The Energy Loop Rating:4-B
- UT-143 | Panguitch Lake Scenic Byway Rating:2-C
- UT-148 | Cedar Breaks Rating:4-C
- UT-150 | Mirror Lake Highway Rating:3-B
- UT-190 | Big Cottonwood Canyon Rating:2-A
- UT-210 | Little Cottonwood Canyon Rating:3-A
- UT-226 | Old Snowbasin Road Rating:4-D
- UT-1668 | Burr Trail Rating:4-D
Spending most of our time in the land-locked, high desert state means that trips to the coast a far and few between but always special. We don’t hide that we go out of our way to find time to head to the ocean at every opportunity. While Washington is one of the harder states for us to visit because of its distance from, we’ve still managed to find quite a few great roads – mostly along the coast, but we’ve come across quite a few pretty good in-land routes as well.
- WA-20 | North Cascades Highway Rating:2-B
- WA-31-A | Sullivan Lake Loop Rating:3-B
- WA-112/113 | Bunt Mountain Road Rating:5-B
A state famous for its sage brush, wind and overall flatness has a handful of pretty great canyon roads. More than one would expect anyway – just ignore the fact that most of Wyoming’s great canyon roads are adjacent to other states.