Summer is here!! Because of the weather people are taking to the roads in their own vans to enjoy the amazing outdoors. If you are a person who loves adventures, you can consider taking a scenic drive. It is one of the perfect ways to admire the diverse beauty, spend your quality time, and have spectacular road trips. Check out the most popular national parks for scenic drives in summer.
Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park is located in Northwest Montana, on the border of Canada and the United States. It is one of the most popular national parks for scenic drives. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is an official scenic drive route in this national park where it enchants many visitors every year. The Going-to-the-Sun Road traverses the national park between its western and eastern entrances. The best time to go for a scenic drive in this national park is during summer.
This road is nearly 50 miles long and it features many hairpin bends which are unsuitable for vehicles that are longer than 21 feet and wider than 8 feet. But there are many facilities for smaller vehicles that make your drive smooth and absolute. You can also experience Glacier pristine forests, spectacular lakes, alpine meadows, and rugged mountains. They also have five campgrounds, three visitor centers, and many other picnic areas.
Best Scenic Drive in the Glacier National Park
Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park is about 300 square miles of the Blue Ridge Mountains which is in the southern Appalachians, Virginia. The amazing and popular feature of this park is Skyline Drive which spans about 105 miles long on the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Skyline Drive extends to the Blue Ridge Pathway through Virginia and will take you straight through the beautiful scenic landscapes of Shenandoah.
You can see spectacular views and also black bears, azaleas, wild turkeys, and goldenrod along the way. There are four entrance stations that offer access to this national park exceptionally to the scenic mountain road. And this park offers many trailheads, campgrounds, and lodges.
Best Scenic Drive in the Shenandoah National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park which is located in Tennessee. You will have a beautiful experience when you drive through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park is just over 522,000 acres which is a bit smaller and it holds a vastness where many people do not understand until they take a scenic drive through the national park.
There are almost five scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains National Park which is about 105 miles where you can complete the five drives in a single day. You will have a slow drive along the one-lane road and there are many historic Southern Appalachian buildings along the way like log homes, churches, barns, and a working water power mill. The perfect time to take a scenic drive in this park is in summer. You will also spot black bears, white-tailed deer, raccoons, coyotes, and many other animals.
Best Scenic Drives in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Newfound Gap Road
- Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
- Little River Road Auto Tour
- Cades Cove Scenic Drive
- Cataloochee Valley Scenic Drive
- Foothills Parkway
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park lies in Maine, United States. If you start from the Hulls Cove Visitor Center in this national park, you will see the Park Loop Road that circles around the park’s main area on Mount Desert Island. It is about 25 miles long which is packed with scenic views and highlights. You can go for a drive and complete it in just an hour. The park also offers activities like hiking in the Acadia National Park, Biking the historic cage roads, and you can enjoy the summer at the beach.
There are places where you have to visit like Sand Beach, Jordan Pond, and Otter Cliffs. The main attraction of this park is Cadillac Mountain, where you can reach the summit through the short side road. And it is the tallest mountain on the North Atlantic seaboard. The best time to go for a scenic drive in this park is during summer.
Best Scenic Drives in the Acadia National Park
- Park Loop Road
Arches National Park
Arches National Park is located in Utah, United States. The road in this park doesn’t have an official name but it is the most popular and gorgeous scenic drive in national parks. And this is the only road via Arches National Park along with its two spur roads that offer access to the park’s main attractions.
The scenic drive is only 18 miles long but you will have a day to see, to take photos, and to enjoy the fullest. You can also hike to all its highlights that includes many spectacular arches. The most favorite spots in this park are Park Avenue, Devils Garden, and the Windows. After you explore the Arches National Park you can head over to the Canyonlands National Park, to the Utah National Park where you can see more beautiful landscapes.
Best Scenic Drives in the Arches National Park
- Park Avenue
- Double Arch
- Delicate Arch
- Fiery Furnace
- Sand Dune Arch
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park is one of the best national parks located in Oregon. The most fun drive in the American national park is the Rim Drive which is in the Crater Lake National park. It is about a 33-mile road that loops around the Crater Lake caldera and it is amazing for both driving and cycling.
The lake is dependent on precipitation as its water source where it makes it one of the cleanest large bodies of water in the world. The best time to have a scenic drive in this park is during summer and in winter the road is usually closed because of heavy snowfall. The drive through this park makes you feel awesome because it offers beautiful views of the lake and its iconic island, a mini volcano within the caldera. There are many hiking trails and lodges where you can spend your night peacefully.
Best Scenic Drives in the Crater Lake National Park
- Rim Drive
- Merriam Point
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is a spectacular national park located in Wyoming. It is about 20 miles long and the Teton Park Road runs from Moose Junction to Jackson lake Junction. There are many attractive places along the way that include Jenny Lake Visitor Center, many overlooks and turnouts, and numerous hiking trails.
And if you are looking for iconic Grand Teton views, this is the best road for it. You can see beautiful lakes to amazing mountain views, from the best sunset to plenty of wildlife, from American bison and moose to grizzly bears and many others. The best part is, besides exploring Grand Teton National Park you can also extend your trip by visiting the nearby Yellowstone National Park as well.
Best Scenic Drives in the Grand Teton National Park
- 42-mile Scenic Loop Drive
- Moose Wilson Road
- Signal Mountain Summit Road
- John D Rockefeller Jr Memorial Parkway
- Teton Park Road
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is located in California. This park’s Park Boulevard is one of the easiest drives. This has a flat road that runs between the north and west entrances and it crosses the high desert area in the park. And that is the place where most of the iconic Joshua trees are found. If you have a limited amount of time, this is the perfect area to explore.
Do not miss places like Jumbo Rocks, Hidden Valley, and Barker Dam, all the short and scenic hikes. There are also many other activities like mountain biking, exploring the park’s southern section, and hiking. And this park is more popular for stargazing. The best time to have a scenic drive in this is during summer.
Best Scenic Drives in the Joshua Tree National Park
- Geology Tour Road
- Queen Valley Road
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is the number one for scenic drives and one of the most spectacular scenic drives when compared with any other national parks in the United States and it is located in Colorado. The Trail Ridge Road connects Estes Park and Grand Lake. You can travel through the breathtaking Rocky Mountains near Denver climbing thousands of feet in a few minutes.
You will be able to see spectacular views of the Great Plains and the Rockies from eleven of its 48 miles that lie above the tree level. The perfect time to take a scenic drive is during summer.
Best Scenic Drives in the Rocky Mountain National Park
- Trail Ridge Road
- Old Fall River Road