For a motorcyclist who was raised in the verdant East, the expanses traversed by U.S. Route 50 seem to defy reality. The openness of the space led Life Magazine to dub Highway 50 “The Loneliest Road in America” in 1986. Consequently, the road isn’t as lonely as it used to be, but the several times I’ve had the pleasure of riding it, I encountered solitude that almost matched the tremendous views. Since it is part of the Lincoln Highway, I discovered it on that semi-transcontinental ride (I joined the ride in Minnesota). The essential part begins in Ely, NV and ends in Carson, NV. In between, the town of Austin was founded by Pony Express riders who took up mining. Today, you can meet modern day miners in the bars and restaurants that dot the small towns. Take a moment to tour the Eureka Opera House or deviate from the highway to follow the Pony Express Trail across a dry lakebed a few miles north of Highway 50. However, beware the Mormon Crickets. Visually, they are the stuff of nightmares, but collectively, they have been known to mass is such large groups on the highway that motorcyclists have lost traction and crashed when encountering them mid-corner.

(I wrote about both the Alaska Highway and Highway 50 in Evans Off Camber – Riding At Night.)

  • Gabriel Owens

    Big bend is overrated but not 170. You go down that far just for 170. Be careful if it’s your first time. That is a high skill level road.

  • Gabriel Owens

    Not listed but exceptional are independence pass, million dollar highway, the 3 twisted sisters and anything around Bryce Utah. Rocky mountain national park and pikes peak. But just pretty much all of Colorado. Why exactly haven’t we all moved there…?

    • Born to Ride

      If there was 365 days of riding weather in Colorado, I’d be there in a heartbeat.

      • Gabriel Owens

        Fortune to live in a warm area of Texas so I also ride 365.

    • Relayer

      I love this thread already, lol. It’s,sadly, been decades since my last Colorado trip, but I never see The Road to the Top of Mt. Evans mentioned. Easily accessed, but only 37 miles long. Switchbacks, side -of-the-mountain curves all the way to the top. Highest altitude paved road in North America. Uhm, ‘paved’ is rather loosely used in sections. Wonderful views all the way up, not to mention on top.

      • John B.

        Thanks Man! I’ve looking for additional rides in Colorado and I’ll ride to Mt. Evans this summer. From Snowmass, I can get there through Aspen, over Independence Pass, through Leadville and on from there; a spectacular all day ride!!

        • Relayer

          Color me jealous, lol. I live near the southern tip of Lake Michigan and we just don’t have much in the way of roads that string more than 2 curves together.
          The last trip to Colorado I was on a 1983 Honda CX650 TC, great bike for the trip. It acted up on the road to the top as we passed 13,000 feet elevation. It turns out that the fuel injection maps ran out of altitude at 13,000. The bike went on a ‘limp home’ map and at that altitude it was barely able to make it to the top unless I got boost up. Needless to say this is not a winning strategy when the road is all curve. It was the end of June, maybe 50 degrees on top, we spent a couple hours up there, had a snowball fight, and then we had to half push the Turbo the 50 feet or so to the road back down.
          It reset just fine back down near the tree line.

          • John B.

            Great story! I live in Dallas, where we have few curved roads other than highway exits. Texans flock to Colorado in the summer to escape the heat, and that’s the only time I get wear on the my bike’s outer tire tread. After a couple months of 100 degree plus Texas weather, it’s an absolute joy to arrive in Colorado. Last August, it was 104 degrees when I left Dallas. The next day, I got stuck in a 4 inch snow storm crossing Independence Pass in Colorado. Just amazing!!!

          • Thomas Schafer

            From the southern tip of Lake Michigan it’s not that far to the Mississippi river and the Great River Road. A fine ride with some really nice views. Plenty of curves to be had, even if the slow zones through the small towns are a bit frequent. Hwy 133 out of Potosi, WI or C9Y out of North Buena Vista, IA are nice twisty sections. The views of the river get better further north, while the road gets a little straighter.

          • Relayer

            I lived in the Twin Cities when I came of age for bikes, a buddy of mine and I went down and back up a few times. We’d find an out of view spot in some woods to camp out sometimes. The whole SE corner area of Wisconsin is curvy roads and wonderful scenery. Thanks for reminding me!

  • Starmag

    11. Road to the Sun

    12. Beartooth Highway

    13. Million Dollar Highway

    14. Cherohala Skyway

    15. The Heavenly Road to Hana + (any coastal road on Maui)

  • John B.

    Great Topic Evans!

    In no order:

    The Million Dollar Highway from Ouray to Silverton Colorado

    Highway 12: 124 miles between Bryce Canyon National Park and Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

    The Twisted Sisters in the Texas Hill Country (Google it!)

    Colorado Highway 92 to Highway 50 (from Paonia, CO to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park).

    Snowmass Village, Colorado to Leadville, CO via Independence Pass

    Frankly, anywhere in the Colorado Rockies during riding season

    • ColoradoS14

      John gets it!

    • Evans Brasfield

      “anywhere in the Colorado Rockies during riding season”
      I agree with this. I toured the Rockies about 15 years ago, but I’ve lost the maps in the subsequent years. Since I didn’t plan the route, I don’t remember the exact roads and was forced to leave them off my list.

  • Evans Brasfield

    So many roads being added to my bucket list…

  • Sayyed Bashir

    Deadhorse and Prudhoe Bay are two separate places. According to Wikipedia “Deadhorse is an unincorporated community” and “Prudhoe Bay is a census-designated place” in North Slope Borough, Alaska. They are 6.3 miles apart.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    In Big Bend National Park, the gravel roads you take to see some of the sights have very sharp gravel. I was there on my Harley in 1986 and ended up blowing my rear tire when leaving the park in the evening.

  • Highway 19 from Dahlonega Georgia to Murphy North Carolina. If you are not looking to reach a destination (Tail of the Dragon or Cherohala) you can deviate and take any number of parallel winding secondary roads and get completely lost in a motorcycle wonderland. Conversely if you did the Tail of the Dragon and are heading south by taking this road you are giving yourself a huge additional playground to enjoy.

  • Matt O

    I’m glad to see the Lincoln made the list, it goes right through my part of Ohio

  • Road to the Sun
    Beartooth Highway
    Million Dollar Highway
    Cherohala Skyway
    It would be a dream come true if there was more sunshine there!