10 scenic winter drives

Think summer is the only time to go for a scenic spin? Think again. Winter, if you are prepared, can be one of the most beautiful and relaxing times of the year to go for a scenic drive.

Text by Tricia Romano | Photo editing by Mike Hipple

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Jan 29, 2013 10:17PM
Is Virginia really known for it's winter drives?
Jan 17, 2013 8:26PM

Try Feather river Canyon, or down Donner Pass. Take a trip into Tahoe on 50 during winter. I did once in a 66 Chevelle convertible with a posi rear. One mile after I was stopped and had to buy chains at the 5,000 ft check point, so I could go on. You will be told an AM channel to stay tuned into for good reason.


About a mile above that check point there was a very interesting announcement on the radio: "This is for the guy in the burgundy Chevelle convertible that just left the 5,000 ft check point. Blizzard conditions are now at 2,000 ft, the pass was closed just after you left the check point. You are the last one to leave, you are now alone on the pass. Do not stop or, try to turn around. We can't get on the mountain now to get you. Do not stop for any reason. We will be waiting for you on the Nevada side of the pass."


Now, I was in a convertible, plowing snow with my front bumper, with snow over one foot deep, an exhilarating drive to say the least. I'm a bit crazy about driving, the harder/more difficult, the better. God bless posi drive, I had 60 series wide ovals on all four corners except the right rear. The left chain was tearing up the wheel well. I had to stop and remove it. I thank GOD for having that posi unit, if not for that, they would have my cold dead body somewhere on that pass when they did get to me.


The Sierra Madres are no place for wimps, nor people without experience driving in bad winter conditions. Not on that mountain anyway. (A lot of big noogies help too.) Better to take in the views in summer. I did that when it was dark, imagine trying to figure out where the road was. You just drive dead center between the guard rails and the side of the mountain, was all I could do. Yes, I WOULD do it again, one of the best drives I've had. Didn't even fill my britches. lol

Dec 9, 2012 11:18PM
The author has obviously never been over HWY 50 Echo Summit or Mount Rose Highway descending into the Lake Tahoe, Ca (and Nv ) area during winter.
Dec 9, 2012 10:51PM

Western Colorado,  Just  north of  Telluride is a dirt/gravel forest  road  that runs north, down hill, ( you`ll be  going  from about 13,000 feet down to 6000) following  the  path of  the Cimmaron River.  as it flows  down the  mountains  towards  the  Gunnison  Rive,  a tributary of  the Colorado    late   spring is  best,  you`ll have  patches of  snow,  green aspen leaves  blooming,  (the San Juan Mountains are the most beautiful of  all in N. America) I`ve seen elk  roaming  the   the meadows,   eagles and antelope,  sometimes  an occaisional trout fisherman, and  mostly, complete silence as  the wonder of   nature   is  all around you, except for  the  dirt road, it is as it was  before  white  people  ever  set foot on it,   also

Ralph Lauren and his guests  horsey  back riding on his expansive  ranch/private  hidaway , are on this road , the view is  spectacular,  you can see for  a  hundres miles.!   i`ve    been in 42  states  and I think this  is  the number  1 drive of  them all.


Dec 9, 2012 10:45PM
MSN missed the boat by leaving out South Lake Tahoe, California! Taking HWY 50 up to Emerald Bay can be scary in the summer, let alone when the snow hits, but there is nothing like that breathtaking sight when you crest that one small rise and there is Emerald Bay on the right, and Cascade Lake on the left, both silent and ringed by snow covered pine trees. It is so beautiful it almost doesn't seem real.
Dec 9, 2012 9:27PM
Seward Highway offers a lot more than one photo can display. Yes, I will also tell you that it is a dangerous highway because people won't pull over to take a short wink or they're passing where they shouldn't be passing. Anyway, there is so much to experience along the seward route such as a drive or train ride to the awsome seaport of Whittier, Alaska for the 26 glacier cruise, the new wildlife sanctuary across from the Portage Glacier turn off, Crow Creek Camp to go panning for gold, the baluga whale watching area, and dall sheep that are sometimes right on the highway so you are advised to always be aware of the wildlife (moose included) on the highways wherever you are. I hope everyone gets at least one chance to go and visit Alaska. Take your camera.
Dec 9, 2012 9:10PM
Two people just died Friday on the Seward Highway.  This road isn't for beginners.
Dec 9, 2012 9:01PM
Would be nice to view but IE makes you scroll down on each new picture, stupid programing..
Dec 9, 2012 8:53PM
whoever wrote this needs to do some research first driving the seward highway in winter is the most dangerous you obviously are trying to kill people. And not out in the middle of nowhere maby you should drive the road first before you write a post about it.
Dec 9, 2012 8:46PM
Thanks for being a bummer, Anktown. ;)
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