What’s America’s Best Winter Driving Road?

We’re in search of scenic, fun roads sprinkled with powder.

byKristin V. Shaw|
Culture photo


I grew up in northern Indiana, where lake-effect snow is guaranteed to blanket the roads. You have to have a good snow blower unless your winter exercise routine consists of shoveling heavy, back-breaking white stuff. I remember very clearly an incident in which I was driving my younger sister and a friend to school one morning and a bunny hopped right in front of my car. Braking much harder than I should have on slippery winter roads, we ended up doing a complete 180 and facing the other way. Luckily, County Road 4 was wide open and we didn’t hit anyone. Not even the bunny. 

Driving in the snow is a blast if you have the right skills, the right tires, and a scenic route. America was gifted some incredibly gorgeous terrain by the glaciers millions of years ago, and especially in the mountainous regions of the Pacific Northwest, northern New England, and the Rockies, Smokies, and Appalachians. Winding lanes ribbon through the country and provide the kinds of breathtaking views you see on travel shows. 

Kristin Shaw

One of my favorites is the road between Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and Asheville, North Carolina. In the fall, it’s a kaleidoscope of autumn jewel tones, and in the winter it’s carpeted in powder. Great Smoky Mountains National Park encompasses over 800 square miles and you have 394 miles of roads to travel, all rated for a 35 mph pace. On the other side of the country, Park City, Utah is stunning, and Arches National Park Scenic Drive down the road should be on your list, too. 

Another I haven’t explored yet but have on my list include the Million Dollar Highway in Colorado. It’s called the Switzerland of America and while I haven’t driven this road I have been to Switzerland, so I’m imagining how gorgeous it could be. For a little Alaskan adventure, traverse the Seward Highway that transects the peninsula between Anchorage and Seward. Or spot some bison on the Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

What your favorite winter roads? Do share. 

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