Spring is the perfect season for a road trip. After all, who doesn’t want to embrace the great outdoors as vibrant colored flowers begin to bloom and temperatures start to rise?
From the coast to the desert, here are eight spring road trips that will have you road-tripping through America’s finest landscapes.
1. George Washington Memorial Parkway – Maryland and Virginia
This scenic drive winds alongside the Potomac River, offering fantastic views of the national monuments, as well as numerous historic locations, diverse parks, and picturesque overlooks to explore.
In spring the parkway is flooded with a floral show featuring over 500 wildflower species. If you time it just right you might even be treated to a show of fragrant cherry blossoms.
2. Catalina Highway – Arizona
The Santa Catalinas range, crowned by 9,157-foot Mt. Lemmon, rise in ragged ridges at the northern edge of Tucson. Explore this rugged world with a drive up the Catalina Highway, also known as the Sky Island Scenic Byway.
The 30-mile paved road winds up through dry desert terrain, past rocky outcroppings, pull-outs offering stunning vistas, and mid-level forests teaming with leafy oak trees.
Don’t forget your jacket as temperatures can drop as much as 30-degrees from the bottom to the top of the road.
3. Columbia River Scenic Byway – Oregon
The Columbia River Gorge area has long been a popular Oregon attraction. In 1913 the 75-mile Columbia River Scenic Byway was created and since then has become the very best way to explore the area. From Portland to The Dalles, the route follows the path of the river past small towns and orchards.
The byway is dotted with waterfalls, like the impressive 620-feet-high Multnomah Falls, scenic vistas including Crown Point, one of the most photographed spots along the Columbia River, and historic landmarks such as Rooster Rock, Cascade Locks, or Rock Fort in The Dalles.
4. Trail of the Ancients – Utah, Colorado and Arizona
Experience the beautiful and diverse landscapes of the Colorado Plateau on the Trail of the Ancients, a scenic route that travels through Southeastern Utah, Southwestern Colorado, and Northeastern Arizona.
It connects some of the nation’s richest archaeological, cultural and historic sites in a remote region teeming with towering sandstone formations, deep canyons and iconic red buttes.
The adventure can begin at any point on the trail, but many choose to start at the famed Four Corners Monument and then travel in a counter clockwise circle.
Cross the San Juan River in the tiny one-horse town of Mexican Hat, gaze in wonder at the postcard-ready views of the Monument Valley, and finally end up at the Canyon De Chelly National Monument in Northern Arizona.