Least Traveled Roads In The United States
August 12, 2021
Baseball, cookouts and days at the lake are some of America's favorite summer season pastimes, but there is no rite of passage greater than the all-American road trip. There’s nothing like rolling down the window, jamming to your favorite songs for hundreds of miles, getting lost and trying every slice of "world-famous" pie at various roadside diners. But nothing slows down your journey like traffic. When you live in a densely populated region of the United States, it's a whole separate road trip just to get to your actual road trip. Luckily, Geotab, a company that optimizes truck fleet routes, created this interactive website, outlining America’s Quietest Routes.
This list of the top ten quietest routes in the country comes from data collected by the Highway Performance Monitoring System.
1. Dalton Highway, Alaska This road trip is not for the faint of heart; it's considered one of the harshest and most remote roads in America. Consisting of 414 miles of wilderness, boreal forests, and interspersed stretches of highway gravel, the road is mainly used by "ice road truckers" who make the journey to service a handful of small towns from Fairbanks to Deadhorse. But if you ever get the chance to journey America’s quietest road, you’ll see the Yukon River, vast mountain ranges and the Arctic Ocean. You may even catch the Northern Lights.
2. U.S. Route 50, Utah ✔️ Cutting through California, Nevada and Utah, U.S. Route 50 is 3,000 miles of open road. The Nevada portion is nicknamed "America’s Loneliest Road," but when it comes to the statistics, the highway cutting through Utah is America's second most quiet route. But just because the road is empty doesn’t mean it isn’t scenic. This path weaves through
Canyonlands National Park, the Arches National Park and cuts through the Great Salt Lake Desert.
Not only is it a fantastic road trip, it's a great adventure through some of America’s most beautiful preserved parks.
3. Old Canada Road, Maine
Old Canada Road, also known as U.S. Route 201, is a rural route that takes drivers from the Quebec border 157 miles to Bingham, a quintessential small town in Maine. Along the way, you’ll find beautiful historic towns, the Kennebec River and Wyman Lake.
Though it’s gorgeous in the summertime, it might be best to wait until late summer or early fall to catch the colorful leaves.
4. U.S. Route 160, Arizona ✔️
Though US Route 160 in Arizona is a pretty isolated road, running through the Navajo Nation, there is plenty for road trippers to explore. This 256-mile stretch of empty highway takes drivers through sandstone canyons, the famous Pueblo cliff village, weird rock formations like the Elephant’s Feet, and even the dinosaur tracks at Tuba City. For being the 4th quietest road in America, it sure is scenic.
5. State Route 139, California
When most people think of California, they think of all the cities between San Francisco and Los Angeles. But when you go north past Napa Valley and Sonoma County, there’s not much except for rugged landscapes and redwood forests. Perfect for road trippers searching for remote routes!
The State Route 139 in California is 143 miles and crosses through the northwestern part of the state. The road leads drivers around Eagle Lake, through Modoc National Forest and through the Lava Beds National Monument. Along the road, you’ll find plenty of trail heads; taking a hike is the perfect way to stretch your legs after hours of sitting in the car. 6. State Route 90003, Virginia
Also known as the Colonial Parkway, the State Route 90003 through Virginia spans 23 miles between Jamestown and Yorktown. Though it's short, it's a gorgeous drive covering some of America’s colonial history. Along this tree-lined road, you’ll see red brick houses, old bridges, the James and York Rivers and Colonial Williamsburg. It's great for a summer drive but is exceptional in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. It's the perfect trek for antsy kids who may not enjoy long hauls, but will enjoy American history.
7. U.S. Route 65, Louisiana
Along the 101 miles that is U.S. Route 65 in Louisiana, you’ll see some of the most beautiful sights. Much of the road follows the mighty Mississippi River, so you’ll be sharing much of your trip with tugboats and ferries along the water. Road trippers who take U.S. Route 65 will also see Lake Bruin as well as the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge.
It's a road trip that will get you familiar with Louisiana outside of New Orleans.
8. U.S. Route 212, Wyoming ✔️
U.S. Route 212 is more commonly known as the Beartooth Highway and is the highest road in the state of Wyoming. It's only 35 miles, but along the way you’ll see Beartooth Lake, the Absaroka Mountains and fossil forests. The road leads into Yellowstone National Park, so it's a great addition to an already scenic road trip.
The road is closed in the winter due to heavy snow but is open by Memorial Day weekend – just in time for summer road trips.
9. U.S. Route 2, New Hampshire
Another short stretch of road, U.S. Route 2 is 35 miles that cuts through the north of New Hampshire, between the state borders of Maine and Vermont. Drivers follow the Androscoggin River and see beautiful mountain ranges.
If you want to extend your route, you can take a short detour to see the White Mountain National Forest and Mount Washington.
10. State Route 32, Pennsylvania
The 41 miles from Kintnersville to Nockamixon in Pennsylvania is called State Route 32, but locals know it as River Road. It's a scenic route that takes drivers along the Delaware River, through the artist community of New Hope, past the West Trenton Railroad Bridge, and includes a view of Washington Crossing.