8 Epic Motorcycle Routes With Nearby Campgrounds

Feb 18, 2022 | Best Campgrounds

8 Epic Motorcycle Routes With Nearby Campgrounds

By Sara Sheehy

There’s a unique thrill to exploring the open road on two wheels. Whether you ride for the adrenaline, the camaraderie, the feeling of freedom, or just to get from point A to point B, these bucket-list routes are some of the best that the U.S. has to offer.

For RVers able to travel with a motorcycle or two, it can be a great way to explore roads that are not accessible—or enjoyable—in a big rig. Set up camp, unload the bikes, and head out in search of adventure. 

Here are eight epic motorcycle rides with the top-notch campgrounds to match.

Route 100, Vermont

Road sign for Vermont 100A with a bridge and bright sunlight in the background

Stretching from the Massachusetts border nearly to Canada, Vermont’s hilly and winding Route 100 is a motorcyclist’s dream. Soak in the charm of quaint New England towns as you ride 217 miles up the eastern flank of the Green Mountains past lakes, ski resorts, and the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory.

Where to Camp:

Tail of the Dragon, North Carolina and Tennessee

Sign for the Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson located on the Tail of the Dragon trai
Photo: ehrlif / Shutterstock.com

Called “America’s most exciting drive,” Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap isn’t for the faint of heart. The Tail of the Dragon, which is a section of U.S. Route 129 in North Carolina and Tennessee, features 318 curves—some of them tight switchbacks—in just 11 miles. Though short in length, this stretch of road is a destination for motorcyclists and sports car enthusiasts from around the world. Nearby, enjoy fun curves and smooth riding in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Where to Camp:

Needles Highway, South Dakota

Sharp turn in mountains with line of motorcyclists riding
Photo: Sanna Boman

South Dakota’s Black Hills region boasts underrated scenic beauty, with rugged mountains, ponderosa pine forests, and roaming buffalo among the grasslands. The 67-mile Needles Highway loop climbs nearly 2,000 feet in elevation with plenty of curves, switchbacks, and tunnels. Bring your binoculars to look for antelope, mountain goats, elk, burros, and bighorn sheep.

Where to Camp:

Million Dollar Highway, Colorado

A motorcyclist travels along the Million Dollar Highway in southwest Colorado through the La Plata Mountains (Rocky Mountains)
Photo: Matt A. Claiborne / Shutterstock.com

If the mountains are calling, look no further than a ride on Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway. Officially part of the San Juan Skyway, the Million Dollar Highway stretches through the San Juan Mountains between the historic mining towns of Silverton and Ouray. Though there’s some disagreement over how the road got its name, there’s one thing that everyone agrees on—the ride is a stunning journey through Colorado’s rugged mountains. 

Where to Camp:

Highway 12 Scenic Byway, Utah

Motorcyclist riding under red rock arch
Photo: Andrew Pappas

Red rock beauty awaits on Utah’s Highway 12 Scenic Byway from Panguitch to Torrey. Highway 12 is bookended by Bryce Canyon National Park and Capitol Reef National Park and traverses over the northern reaches of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. At only 125 miles long, you can easily do this ride in 1 day, but there’s plenty to see and do on a longer trip.

Where to Camp:

Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming

Unidentified motorcyle riders drive up the twisty roads of the Beartooth Pass Highway in Montana

Climb to soaring heights on the Beartooth Highway, a 68-mile-long stretch of Route 212 that tops out at the 10,947-foot-high Beartooth Pass. The Beartooth Highway starts in the Yellowstone National Park border town of Cooke City, Montana, drops into Wyoming, and then heads north, re-entering Montana. An aerial view of the route looks like a wide smile, which is how you’ll feel riding through the remote mountains.

Where to Camp:

Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana

Waterfall flowing onto roadside with motorcyclists and cars on road
Photo: Sanna Boman

Glacier National Park’s historic Going-to-the-Sun Road is a favorite ride for motorcyclists, drivers, and bicyclists alike. Going-to-the-Sun is a twisting, winding, climbing route that crosses the Continental Divide at the 6,646-foot-high Logan Pass. The road’s season is notoriously short—from mid-July to late-September most years—which condenses the majority of the park’s annual millions of visitors into a small window of time. Vehicle reservations are now required to drive the road between late May and early September.

Where to Camp:

Pacific Coast Highway, California

Bridge over cliffs on coastline overlook ocean
Photo: Sanna Boman

There are few rides as recognizable and iconic as the 85-mile stretch of California’s Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur. Perched between dense forests and the cliff-lined edge of the Pacific, it’s one of the most beautiful and wild stretches of coastline you’ll find in the U.S. At the northern end, Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea provide an amenity-rich home base for food and comfortable accommodations.

Where to Camp:

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