Who says the fun has to end when the summer does? This season is one of the best times to take your truck out on some winding country roads.
There are over four million miles of roads in the United States, and one thing’s for certain: there ain’t no road like a country road heading toward the horizon. Some of the best roads are in our country’s Heartland, the flyover miles between the coasts.
Country roads mean a few things: solitude, freedom, and quiet. But that’s also why you need a durable truck, like the Ram, America’s Longest-Lasting pickup.
These roads crisscross the U.S., and #10 is especially worth a trip.
1. Idaho to Montana: Salmon River
This 184-mile stretch from Stanley, Idaho to Darby, Montana along the Salmon River (Idaho’s largest) ends up in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. But before that, in just five hours, you’ll move through the Sawtooth Range along desert canyons, see ghost towns that once promised gold, and maybe stop in Sunbeam Hot Springs for a quick, refreshing dip.
2. Georgia: Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
On this 41-mile road, you’ll move through Georgia’s beautiful national forest, ending in its highest peak. If you start in Helen, Georgia, it’ll take about an hour to traverse the Blue Ridge Divide and backcountry, ending around Dukes Creek Falls. Don’t forget to get out at the Unicoi Gap, a stopover on the Appalachian Trail.
3. Maine: Acadia National Park
If you’ve never been to Maine’s Acadia National Park, now’s a good time to change that. Park Loop Road, which, as you guessed it, loops around the park, is a three-hour slice of country road heaven. The views are breathtaking every step of the way, from the woodland scenery leading up to Cadillac Mountain to the Atlantic Ocean views from its peak.
4. Texas: Big Bend National Park
Driving along what National Geographic calls the ‘Borderlands’ route, you’ll experience big skies that rival only Montana’s. The grassland of southern Texas stretches for miles, leading right up to the mountain ranges that tower above the desert. From Fort Stockton, Texas, to Big Bend National Park, you’ll experience some of the most Texan views and towns (lookin’ at you, Marfa), all perfect for a country road trip.
5. Colorado to Utah: Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway
Beginning in Colorado’s Dinosaur, you’ll move to Dinosaur National Monument and slowly wind your way through 480 miles of vibrant desert, Ashley National Forest, Canyonlands National Park, and Arches National Park, among countless other monumental landscapes.
Take three or four days to truly explore every inch of this rugged road: with the Ram 1500’s class-exclusive four-corner air suspension*, your ride will be so smooth you’ll feel like you’re floating through the air (and you sort of will be).
6. Florida: The Marine Route
Disney legacy aside, Florida is full of scenic routes that deserve more attention than a theme park. National Geographic put together a 360-mile trip that takes you through Tallahassee, Florida’s oft-overlooked capital, moves through the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, and ends just beyond the Manatee Wintering Grounds, making this the perfect country road trip to take in the winter months.
7. Virginia: Skyline Drive
No country road list is complete without the famous Skyline Drive, tracing its route along the Blue Ridge mountains peak. Part of Shenandoah National Park, this route moves through every major peak and overlook along the Blue Ridge spine, and it’s just begging to be driven on in your truck as the leaves change this fall.
8. California: Silverado Trail
If you’re looking for a quick trip in the West, the 29-mile Silverado Trail winds through Napa Valley. Even with the vineyards, this road is still 100-percent certified country with its old mining history, and snippets of it are found along each turn of the one-hour drive.
9. New Mexico: Trail of the Mountain Spirits Scenic Byway
This 110-mile loop through New Mexico leads you through Gila National Forest and the Pinos Altos Range along the Continental Divide. Not only will you pass through national monuments, like the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, but you’ll find yourself knee deep in archeological sites under excavation.
10. The Heartland: U.S. 83
If you’re looking for a longer trip that will blow your mind, the north-south route of U.S. 83 starts in Canada (or North Dakota, if you prefer) and continues through the southernmost tip of Texas. This is the real Heartland of the country, and this dusted, tried-and-true interstate is purely the definition of wide open spaces with 1,885 miles of billowing grasslands.
*Based on latest available competitive information. Class based on Light Duty pickups.