There are plenty of unforgettable road trips across the United States that you might have already taken or are dying to go on. The iconic Pacific Coast Highway will take you past California’s most iconic beaches up through Oregon and Washington. Or maybe you’re more interested in Route 66, which is almost a century old, that will take you from downtown Chicago all the way to the Santa Monica pier in California. But there are so many other road trips and scenic byways that capture the beauty of the US — some of which don’t get as much love as the more famous ones.
The consumer comparison site Confused.com conducted a study to find the most underrated road trips in the world. And the US has some of the most amazing natural beauty that you can find by car.
The nine most underrated road trips in the United States
- Foothills Parkway, Tennessee
- Lamar Valley, Montana
- Trail Ridge Road, Colorado
- BearTooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming
- San Juan Skyway, Colorado
- Needles Highway, South Dakota
- Columbia River George, Oregon and Washington
- Mohawk Trail, Massachusetts
- Hurricane Ridge, Washington
These nine US routes offer perks that are too good to be missed. San Juan Skyway is often referred to as “the Switzerland of America” and the “Million Dollar Highway.” The 233-mile route will take you to limestone gorges, rocky switchbacks, waterfalls, abandoned mines from mining towns, and even a national park. Hurricane Ridge explores the Olympic Pennensula and Olympic National Park. If you’re interested in the best of Oregon, consider the historic Columbia River Highway, America’s first scenic byway that drives along the Columbia River with plenty of lush forests and waterfalls to explore. If you’re headed to the famed Yellowstone National Park this summer, Lamar Valley will grant you access early in the morning to see wildlife like wolves, bison, and elk. Montana’s Beartooth Scenic Highway is amazing all year long treking along the Rocky Mountains at 10,970 feet, another great way to get to Yellowstone National Park‘s Northeast Entrance.
To find the most popular road trips, Confused.com used Google search volume and then compared that to Tripadvisor reviews and annual Google searches. For each trip, the number of “excellent” and “very good” reviews each became a percentage of the total reviews for each road trip. The study cross-referenced that with the number of global Google searches made in the last 12 months. Each road trip received a score out of 10 for both its reviews and the number of searches. A trip scored higher if it had better reviews and lower searches.
With summer racing towards us now is the perfect time to figure out where you’d like to go for a ride. You should definitely consider a road less traveled.