The Ultimate High: Riding Your Motorcycle to America's Tallest Peaks

The Ultimate High: Riding Your Motorcycle to America's Tallest Peaks

The U.S. is home to many majestic mountain ranges, and exploring them on a motorcycle is an exhilarating adventure. Here are seven of the highest mountain peaks in the country that are accessible via motorcycle.

Mount Evans, CO

Standing at an impressive elevation of 14,271 feet, Mount Evans is the highest paved road in North America. The road leading to the summit is known for its steep switchbacks and stunning views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains.

Motorcyclists can take the Mount Evans Scenic Byway to the summit. The road winds through the breathtaking landscapes of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests. Along the way, you can stop at various overlooks and hiking trails to explore the area.

At the summit, you’ll find panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. There is also a small gift shop and interpretive center that offers information about the history and geology of the area.

Mount Evans is known for its unique alpine ecosystem, which is home to a variety of plant and animal species that are adapted to the harsh conditions at high elevations. Visitors can see wildflowers, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and other wildlife in the area.

Mount Mitchell, NC

Located in the Appalachian Mountains, Mount Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, with an elevation of 6,684 feet. The famous Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic highway that stretches 469 miles through the Appalachians, takes you to the top of Mount Mitchell.

The ride up to the summit is a winding, twisting adventure that offers stunning views of thriving forests, sparkling streams, and distant mountain ranges. Once you reach the top, on a clear day you'll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas that stretch for miles upon miles.

You can also hike to the summit, which is a great way to stretch your legs and explore the natural beauty of the area. Along the way, you'll encounter towering trees, cascading waterfalls, and a variety of wildlife, including black bears, deer, and a wide variety of birds. Plan a whole day for this hike, though.

The park also features a gift shop, a restaurant, and a museum, where you can learn more about the history and geology of the area. Whether you're a motorcycle enthusiast or just someone who loves exploring the great outdoors, Mount Mitchell is a must-see destination that should be at the top of your list.

Mount Washington, NH

At 6,288 feet, Mount Washington is the highest peak in the northeastern U.S. The famous Mount Washington Auto Road offers a thrilling ride to the summit through the White Mountains.

The Mount Washington Auto Road is a 7.6-mile scenic road that’s worth riding just for the views. The average gradient is 12% and the road features a variety of hairpin turns, making it a challenging but rewarding ride. You can also take the historical Mount Washington Cog Railway to the summit.

At the top, explore the Mount Washington Observatory, a research facility that studies weather patterns and collects data on the mountain's unique climate. There is also a museum that highlights the history of the area, including the stories of the early settlers and explorers who first climbed the mountain.

The summit of Mount Washington experiences extreme weather conditions, with strong winds and cold temperatures even in the summer months. Come prepared with warm clothing and be aware of the potential for rapidly changing weather conditions.

Pikes Peak, CO

Standing at 14,115 feet, Pikes Peak is another iconic mountain peak that can be accessed via motorcycle. It’s the 31st highest peak in Colorado (which says a lot about the area) and sits within easy access from Colorado Springs.

The Pikes Peak Highway is a popular route to reach the summit, with 156 turns and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

In addition to the highway, Pikes Peak is also home to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, but motorcycle racing is not on the program anymore. The race takes place on the Pikes Peak Highway, and racers compete to see who can reach the summit in the shortest amount of time.

Mount Rainier, WA

Mount Rainier, a massive stratovolcano located in Washington state, is the highest mountain in the Cascade Range. It stands at an elevation of 14,411 feet and is one of the most iconic landmarks in the Pacific Northwest.

As a motorcycle destination, Mount Rainier offers some of the best scenic roads in the country. The mountain is surrounded by several national parks, including Mount Rainier National Park, which offers miles of winding roads.

Riders can take the Paradise Loop, which offers breathtaking views of the mountain and the surrounding valleys, or the Chinook Pass, which winds through the rugged landscapes of the mountains.

Overall, Mount Rainier is a must-see destination for any motorcycle traveler looking to experience the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Whether you're an avid rider looking for challenging roads or an outdoor enthusiast looking to explore the mountain's trails and wilderness areas, Mount Rainier has something to offer for everyone.

Denali, AK

Formerly known as Mount McKinley, Denali is the highest peak in North America, standing at 20,310 feet. The Denali Highway is a popular motorcycle route with incredible sights, as well as opportunities for wildlife viewing and wilderness camping.

Note that you can’t ride to the top.

Denali is part of Denali National Park and Preserve, which covers more than six million acres of pristine wilderness. The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears, caribou, Dall sheep, and wolves.

To enjoy Denali from a distance, there are plenty of scenic drives and hikes in the surrounding area. The Denali Park Rd winds through the heart of the park, offering visitors the chance to see some of its most iconic landmarks and vistas.

Mauna Kea, HI

Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano located on the island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island. It is the tallest mountain in Hawaii, with an elevation of 13,803 feet above sea level.

However, its true height is much greater. Mauna Kea’s base is located on the ocean floor and extends more than 19,700 feet below sea level, making it the tallest mountain on Earth from base to summit.

Mauna Kea is a sacred place to the Hawaiian people, who consider it the home of their gods. It is also an important site for astronomical research, as it provides an unobstructed view of the night sky due to its high altitude and clear atmosphere. The mountain hosts 13 observatories, including some of the most advanced telescopes in the world, making it a hub for astronomers and astrophysicists from around the globe.

As a motorcycle traveler, riding up to Mauna Kea's summit is a challenging and exhilarating experience. The road to the top is steep, winding, and unpaved in some sections, requiring a skilled and confident rider.

It's important to note that Mauna Kea hosts a fragile ecosystem, home to unique and endangered plant and animal species. Be a responsible traveler and respect the mountain and its environment, and follow the guidelines set by local authorities.