If the idea of a road trip calls to mind sitting in bumper to bumper traffic and crowded roadways, you’re not alone. But, while you can go to any major city in America and find a traffic jam, there are other roads across the country where you might not encounter another car for hours.
Then you might be interested in learning more about America’s quietest roads. These are the definition of the road less traveled, and they might make a perfect starting point for your next road trip.
Dalton Highway, Alaska
One of America’s quietest roads has to be Alaska’s Dalton Highway. It’s also called State Route 11. This road runs over 400 miles through the tundra from Fairbanks to Deadhorse. This is one of the harshest roads in the country and can only be navigated during certain months of the year. But if you’re willing to be your own ‘ice road trucker’ you’ll pass by the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Gates of the Arctic National Park on the way to the Arctic Ocean.
Old Canada Road, Maine
If you’re looking for a quiet and beautiful road that will take you straight to the Quebec border, try Maine’s Route 201. Also known as the Old Canadian Road, it goes from Brunswick, on the coast, across the state to Sandy Bay. This tree-lined route is especially beautiful in the early fall where you’ll find beautiful leaves turning along the Kennebec River.
US Route 65, Louisiana
This route is part of the Great River Road, which runs 2,000 miles along the Mississippi River going from Louisiana to Minnesota. This section of the road is just over 100 miles long. It goes through Louisiana’s famous bayou land and has plenty of bridges. You can pull over and watch the tug boats go by.
River Road, Pennslyvania
Not very far from the hustle and bustle of Philadelphia you’ll find the Delaware River Basin. Here, you can hike, bike, fish, and float around portions of the river. Enjoy the view along the River Road, also known as State Route 32. The road is short, only about 40 miles, but is very scenic.
Route 50, Utah
America’s Loneliest Road is a cross country stretch of road known as Route 50. A reporter came up with the name decades ago after driving the route and seeing the lack of attractions. Utah’s Route 50 is this portion of the road. It stretches 335 miles across the state. Along the way, though, you’ll see some beautiful sites including Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, and Great Salt Lake Desert. Plan for plenty of stops!
State Route 139, California
While most people flock to California’s beaches, this road takes a decidedly interior route. It runs from Susanville, California to Oregon’s state line. State Route 139 feels decidedly remote, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything to see. You’ll encounter rural farms and towns as well as Modoc National Forest and Eagle Lake’s crystal clear waters.
Once you spend some time driving these roads, you might never want to sit in a traffic jam again. These quiet and lonely highways are certainly something every road tripper should see.