Mar 242011

By Robert J. Hawkins

Originally published March 16, 2011 at 5:46 p.m., updated March 17, 2011 at 2:40 p.m. San Diego Union Tribune.

The open road and the motorcycle were made for each other on either the fifth or sixth day of creation, before God rested – by taking a road trip on a very early model Harley, I’m told.

This I believe.

If you do, too, then you might be interested in the list of the Top 15 motorcycling roads in America, published in the April edition of American Motorcyclist magazine.

American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and its website tapped the considerable experience of its 230,000 members to come up with the list, we’re told. Members nominated 100 roads, according to AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman.

Not surprisingly, a Western leaning gives a full-throttle feel to the list. Several, including the Pacific Coast Highway run through California.

Here is the AMA’s Top 15, and a short list of honorable mentions. The magazine, of course, goes into detail on each road trip:

(#15) Washington Route 129 and Oregon Route 3, Clarkston, Wash., to Enterprise, Ore.

(#14) Ohio Route 170, Calcutta to Poland.

(#13) California Route 58, McKittrick to Santa Margarita.

(#12) U.S. Route 33, Harrisonburg, Va., to Seneca Rocks, W.Va.

(#11) Natchez Trace, from Natchez, Miss., to Nashville, Tenn.

(#10) Angeles Crest Highway, California Route 2.

(#9) U.S. Route 12, Lolo Pass, Idaho and Montana.

(#8) California Route 36.

(#7) Cherohala Skyway, North Carolina and Tennessee.

(#6) Going to the Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana.

(#5) California Route 1, Pacific Coast Highway.

(#4) U.S. Route 550, from Ouray to Durango, Colo.

(#3) U.S. Route 129 — The Tail of the Dragon — on the North Carolina-Tennessee border.

(#2) Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina.

(#1) Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming.

Honorable mentions:


Highway 12, Colorado

Route 191, 180, 78, Arizona, New Mexico

U.S. 191 (Alpine to Morenci) Arizona

U.S. 16A South Dakota

U.S. 50, Nevada

Farm to Market 336, Texas


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