Sitting behind a wheel for endless hours, legs going numb, kids fighting in the back seat, surviving on greasy diner grub and yucky gas station bathroom breaks. Ah yes, a long distance road trip is rarely a dream getaway. More like a pavement purgatory to be endured as you slog from one place to another. Before you turn your nose up at a car-based vacation, though, consider these regions where the drive and the destination are divinely intertwined. They’re not about the end point but the journey itself. Buckle up as we tempt you with 8 road trip routes around North America that will really rev your engine.
1. Icefields Parkway, Alberta
The mountain scenery on Highway 93 from Lake Louise to Jasper is guaranteed to make you say a succession of wows. You’ll pass by three enormous glaciers and multiple blue-green lakes as you drive through glorious Banff and Jasper National Parks across the Continental Divide. The Columbia Icefield is North America’s largest glacier and a must-see stop along the way. The route runs 140 miles and takes 3 to 5 hours, depending on weather conditions and how many hikes and lookouts you stop at. Grizzlies, black bears, big horn sheep and elk may be spotted, especially at dusk and dawn.