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Great unknown drives


bruce t
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I have been spending sometime tidying up some of our old photos and came to the conclusion that some our most interesting drives have been on roads less well traveled. So I thought I would ask if others have found a great drive that wasn't on the 'must do' list?

Here's a few that we found were above average but not publicized.

1/ Highway US14 then US20 then US26 from Sheridan Wy to Idaho falls. Great drive alongside rivers and through great forests. Almost no traffic and a well built road.

2/ The Great River Road. East side. Along the Mississippi. Great road winding along by the river through old river towns.

3/ State Highway 141 south of Grand Junction, Co. Great road and magical drive through canyons and along side the world heritage flumes.

I could go on and on but that's three of our favourites. I get all gooey just thinking about the good old days. This virus has bought a halt to many folks travels but not crime in going down memory lane.

What other great drives have you done that weren't on the tourist maps?

 

 

 

 

 

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Utah Hwy 95 from Hanksville to Blanding Utah (and then to Cortez).This is east exit from Capitol Reef via Hwy 24. Spectacular canyon thru red rock walls that equal Capitol Reef. Turn offs to Hite and Bull Frog Marina both have fuel, otherwise it's 125 miles of no service. I just noticed on the map that this borders the new Bears Eyes NM which is on the east side of the road. Also goes by Natural Bridges. East end is part of the Trail of Ancients with some ruins. Also Hwy 261 to Moki Dugway branches off with many boondocking spots for many miles of road. Including one of our top five spots. Bottom of Moki is Valley of Gods and road to Mexican Hat/Monument Valley and to Goosenecks SP.

Bears ears is on our todo list.

2) CO Hwy 141 which comes off of Hwy 50 south of Grand Junction running west then turning south to Naturita CO. Continues south but we did not go that way. This is not really a road to anywhere but is is bordered by a large river and giant cliffs to a mesa on the south side of the west leg. Cliffs reminded me of Yosemite and we drove it in a light rain and there were many waterfalls off the mesa top.

There are reportedly many camping spots on top of the mesa which is NF land. Some NF camps and boondocking. South side of mesa is a uranium mining district with active mines. You can get to the top of the mesa via several access roads, which we did not take. It's on my list of spots to revisit.

 

Edited by agesilaus
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US Hwy 23 from Pipestone National Monument northeast to Duluth, MN. Lots of wonderful small town museums, historical sites, and state parks along the way. I would have said the Great River Road if that hadn't already been on your list but if you didn't get all the way up to the Headwaters of the Mississippi River along the way you might want to go west from Duluth on US Hwy 2 with a drop down to Itasca State Park where you can walk across the Mississippi. Or head NE of Hwy 2 at Grand Rapids to Chisholm to visit the Iron Range Interpretative Center. There's a wide variety of scenery and history in Minnesota and city parks often have camping sites.

Linda

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CO 141 is indeed a fine road, epecially on a motorcycle.  Heading south, when it intersects CO 145 take that to Cortez, through the red canyons.  Absolutely beautiful  We took our rig that way rather than down CO550 from Montrose to Durango.

Roughly parallel to that is CO 149 from Blue Mesa reservoir on US 50 to South Fork on US 160.

Bear Tooth going from Yellowstone NP to Red Lodge, MT.

In Texas, a couple of highlites are the River Road, FM 160 from Study Butte to Presidio, the Mountain Trail around Ft. Davis, and of course the Tree Sisters in the Hill Country.

Then in the east, one of my favorites is the Cherohalla Skyway from Robbinsville, NC to Tellico Plains, TN.  I rode that 8 times last year, and am going back next week.

Any of the old state routes in Eastern KY, from Cincinnati to where ever.  Take the long way to Natural Bridge SP in KY.

Edited by rickeieio
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On 6/2/2021 at 8:54 PM, agesilaus said:

Utah Hwy 95 from Hanksville to Blanding Utah (and then to Cortez).This is east exit from Capitol Reef via Hwy 24. Spectacular canyon thru red rock walls that equal Capitol Reef. Turn offs to Hite and Bull Frog Marina both have fuel, otherwise it's 125 miles of no service. I just noticed on the map that this borders the new Bears Eyes NM which is on the east side of the road. Also goes by Natural Bridges. East end is part of the Trail of Ancients with some ruins. Also Hwy 261 to Moki Dugway branches off with many boondocking spots for many miles of road. Including one of our top five spots. Bottom of Moki is Valley of Gods and road to Mexican Hat/Monument Valley and to Goosenecks SP.

Bears ears is on our todo list.

2) CO Hwy 141 which comes off of Hwy 50 south of Grand Junction running west then turning south to Naturita CO. Continues south but we did not go that way. This is not really a road to anywhere but is is bordered by a large river and giant cliffs to a mesa on the south side of the west leg. Cliffs reminded me of Yosemite and we drove it in a light rain and there were many waterfalls off the mesa top.

There are reportedly many camping spots on top of the mesa which is NF land. Some NF camps and boondocking. South side of mesa is a uranium mining district with active mines. You can get to the top of the mesa via several access roads, which we did not take. It's on my list of spots to revisit.

 

A couple of stops for photographers in the area are Mule Canyon off UT 95 for the "House on Fire" ruin, and Cigarette Springs Road off UT 261 above the Moki Dugway for a hike to "Fallen Roof Ruin".   Both are reasonable hikes (Fallen Roof is a bit more difficult, at least at the start, and finding the ruin), and well worth it.

 

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