Thursday, May 24, 2007

#211 Our Top 10 Drives

I-15 south of Great Falls, MT is inspiring. (And it’s an interstate highway!) This stretch of highway along the Missouri River between Great Falls and Helena is so inspiring that we’ve decided to add it to our list of the ten best drives in North America.
690f MT I-15 north of Helena

So what are the other 9, you ask? Well, we weren’t sure ourselves, so we spent some valuable car time working on that. Our only restriction is that we must have driven the route ourselves. Please let us know if we’re missing one of your favorites!
  • Cabot Trail – in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia
  • Columbia River Gorge – between Portland and Hood River, OR
  • Going to the Sun Road – across Glacier National Park
  • Highway 93 – through the Sawtooth Range north of Sun Valley, ID
  • I-15 - between Great Falls and Helena, MT
  • Icefields Parkway – between Lake Louise and Jasper, Alberta
  • Lolo Trail - Highway 12 between Kooskia, ID and Lolo, MT
  • Seward Highway – south of Anchorage, AK
  • Trail Ridge Road – in Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Yosemite Valley – in Yosemite National Park

Honorable Mention
  • Generals Highway through Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks
  • North shore of Oahu
  • Rim Drive in Crater Lake National Park

Of course, now we're afraid to drive the famous Million Dollar Highway section of the San Juan Skyway in southwest Colorado. Something's going to have to go.

Yours in the car,
Kelly and Mary


  1. Montana is a driver's paradise...either you get great scenery like that Great Falls to Helena stretch of I-15, or you can open it up a bit through some of those wide open spaces (like you undoubtedly experienced passing into Idaho!).

    Speaking of wide open spaces, I'm curious, did you guys pass through Fort Benton north of Great Falls? I spent a lot of time there as a grandfather was a custom wheat cutter and I got to know some of those huge wheat fields along the Missouri River (and some of those rickety old river ferries) pretty well. If you did, I'll concede it may not have looked like much, but it's actually a pretty intersting of Charles Russell's most famous paintings depicts a trail drive rising out of the Missouri River valley from Fort Benton.

    Well, if you didn't pass through there...never mind! (Though if you didn't, then chances are you *did* pass through Lewistown, where my mom moved to for a couple of years after I started college.)

  2. We did go through Fort Benton. We wanted to stop there at the Museum of the Upper Missouri, but their season doesn't start until Memorial Day. We loved US 2 across northern Montana and the drive south to Great Falls, but they just wouldn't fit on the list. 10 is so limiting. We tried to capture the Big Skyness of it all with our camera.

  3. I'm surprised and somewhat hurt that your list of great drives doesn't include the stretch of Indiana 352 between Oxford and Boswell, up in Benton County. There are many sublimely scenic corn fields along that road, and the tableau is further enhanced by the occasional drainage ditch.

  4. You'll need to either make it a Top 11 list or add another one to the Honorable Mentions - what about the drive from Red Lodge to Cooke City, along the southern border of Montana - heaven on earth. Sorry, Mary, no libraries along the way, but plenty of wonderful scenery ... and a great store along the way - the Top of the World gas and grocery.

    Another personal favorite is Arora Blvd. in Orange Park, Florida - the road that takes me home to family! :)


  5. Well, I'd love to add Indiana 352 and US 212 in Montana to the Top 10 list but I just can't. I've long made fun of the Big "TEN" Conference for having 11 members and I don't want to give that up!