12 Best Winter Wonderland Road Trips in the USA

Story by: Gerry     Date: 10 May 2023   

5 minutes reading time

Winter has a special way of transforming ordinary landscapes into breathtaking winter wonderlands, doesn’t it? There’s something magical about driving along snow-kissed highways, sipping on warm cocoa, and marveling at the beautiful, icy vistas.

As an avid road tripper and travel enthusiast myself, I invite you to join me as we delve into an exhilarating journey across America’s best winter wonderland road trips.

1. Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park, Montana - Road Trip

First on our list, we head straight to Montana. The Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is, without a doubt, a drive worth experiencing in the winter. Don’t get me wrong, it’s spectacular in the summer, but winter adds an ethereal charm to the landscape. With the snow-capped mountains glittering in the sunlight and the serene beauty of Lake McDonald frozen in time, this drive is a winter wonderland dream come true.

2. Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina - Road Trip

Next up, the Blue Ridge Parkway. This scenic highway, which winds its way through the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina, is stunning year-round. But in winter, it turns into a serene, snowy spectacle. Watch out for the majestic ice-covered trees lining the route and the unparalleled views of frosted peaks. Trust me; it’s a sight to behold!

3. The Seward Highway, Alaska

Seward Highway, Alaska - Road Trip

Now, let’s head to Alaska, the epitome of winter landscapes. The Seward Highway, an All-American Road, boasts dramatic views of mountain ranges, glaciers, and the pristine waters of the Turnagain Arm. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, adding another layer of beauty to this picturesque drive.

4. Route 100, Vermont

Route 100, Vermont - Road Trip

This road, affectionately known as the “Skiers’ Highway,” winds through the heart of the Green Mountains. During winter, it’s as if Mother Nature herself donned an artist’s hat, painting everything in sight with fresh white snow. The views of charming, snow-dusted villages and silent, frozen rivers are truly the stuff of fairy tales.

5. Olympic Peninsula Loop, Washington

Olympic Peninsula Loop - Road Trip

Let’s travel westward to Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula Loop. This loop is home to the dreamlike Hoh Rainforest and Olympic National Park. These natural wonders don a different cloak during winter, one of pure white and tranquil silence. Winter here brings fewer tourists, meaning you’ll have the stunning views of mountains, forests, and coastlines mostly to yourself. The sprinkle of frost on the rainforest’s moss-draped trees creates an eerily beautiful scene that you’ll remember forever.

6. San Juan Skyway, Colorado

San Juan Skyway - Road Trip

Next, we journey to the heart of the Rocky Mountains with a drive along the San Juan Skyway in Colorado. Known as a million-dollar highway, this skyway offers a priceless winter experience. You’ll be enchanted by the beauty of ice-capped peaks, frost-laden trees, and frozen waterfalls. This drive is not for the faint-hearted, with steep mountain passes and towering cliffs. However, the mesmerizing winter views are worth every bit of it.

7. Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon

Historic Columbia River Highway - Road Trip

Another must-visit location on our list is the Historic Columbia River Highway in Oregon. It’s considered one of the most scenic drives in the United States. It’s a wonderland in winter, with scenic vistas of the Columbia River Gorge shrouded in snow. Don’t miss the chance to see Multnomah Falls, which transforms into an icy spectacle in winter.

8. Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park - Road Trip

This road offers 105 miles of awe-inspiring views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In winter, the park becomes a tranquil haven with snow-blanketed meadows and frozen waterfalls. Wildlife sightings, including deer and birds, add a thrilling element to this winter drive.

9. Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming

Beartooth Highway - Road Trip

Venturing back to the rugged wilds of the west, Beartooth Highway is a high-elevation drive that spans Montana and Wyoming. This highway takes you through the Beartooth Pass, showcasing snow-sprinkled alpine vistas. In the winter, you’ll see frosted forests, glacial lakes, and perhaps even some hardy wildlife. It’s a thrilling winter drive that promises enchanting views at every turn.

10. Utah’s Scenic Byway 12

Utah's Scenic Byway 12 - Road Trip

Utah’s Scenic Byway 12, known as “A Journey Through Time Scenic Byway,” offers a fascinating winter road trip. Winding through some of Utah’s most stunning landscapes, you’ll encounter the snow-dusted red rock formations of Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks. These contrasts of fiery red rocks against a blanket of white snow create a surreal and striking scenery.

11. Overseas Highway, Florida

Overseas Highway, Florida - Road Trip

We mustn’t forget about our sun-loving friends who prefer milder winter climates. The Overseas Highway in Florida offers a different kind of winter road trip. This 113-mile highway connects Miami to Key West, crossing 42 bridges along the way. While you won’t see snow here, you’ll experience the beauty of the sun-drenched beaches, tranquil turquoise waters, and lush tropical scenery.

12. The Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

The Cabot Trail - Road Trip

If you don’t mind venturing a bit north, consider The Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia, Canada. This scenic drive offers an unforgettable winter experience. You’ll be amazed by the sight of snow-covered mountains sloping down into the frozen Atlantic Ocean. The route also winds through quaint fishing villages and Cape Breton Highlands National Park, known for its stunning winter landscapes.


Each road trip described above has its unique allure, transforming ordinary journeys into extraordinary winter adventures. Whether you’re seeking the silent beauty of a snow-laden forest, the majesty of icy peaks, or the warmth of a coastal drive, there’s a winter road trip tailored just for you.

So what are you waiting for? Let the allure of these winter wonderlands draw you into the open road. Once you experience these magnificent drives, you’ll agree with me: there’s truly nothing that compares to the magic of a winter road trip.

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