At one time US Highway 395 was a concrete ribbon stretching from San Diego, California, to Laurier, Washington, near the Canadian border. When Interstate 15 was laid, it replaced Highway 395 from San Diego to Hesperia. Traversing eastern California, US 395 passes through Lone Pine, near where the likes of John Wayne, Roy Rogers, and Gene Autry made movies. US 395 leaves California to visit Carson City and Reno, Nevada, before returning to California, and then entering eastern Oregon near Lakeview. It continues into Washington, transecting Spokane, Chewelah, and Colville, before terminating at the Washington/British Columbia border.
This scenic tour forms a roughly diamond-shaped loop through eastern Utah and western Colorado, with about 75 percent of it in Utah. Officially it's a National Scenic Byway. Along the way you may see paleontologists excavating for dinosaur bones and preparing them for display in museums, which are also scattered along the way. In the same area, one may also admire Native American pictographs and petroglyphs. Several national parks that include Canyonlands and Arches are accessible as side trips.
To take this beautiful drive, you may start at Marquette, Michigan. A series of roads hug the shoreline of Lake Superior, pass through Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Grand Sable Dunes before arriving in Grand Marais where rock hounds will enjoy the Gitche Gumee Agate and History Museum. You'll pass by the Fox River and the town of Seney, which was the setting for Hemingway's "Big Two-hearted River." The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and the Whitefish Point Lighthouse Station mark the end of the Shipwreck Coast scenic drive. The Edmund Fitzgerald was sailing for this point one 1975 November night when it vanished, along with its 29 sailors.
Parts of the original Columbia River Highway are still accessible and take you past a number of gorgeous waterfalls including famed Multnomah Falls. Interstate 84 has replaced the old highway as the fast way to traverse the Columbia Gorge. Freeway or not, it's still a beautiful drive with the Columbia River on one side and on the other side, mountains that begin near Portland, Oregon, as forested, but lose their green covering by the time one arrives at The Dalles. The rolling hills of the eastern end of the Gorge are just as beautiful in their own way as are the lush green, waterfall-draped mountains at the western end.
This loop route takes you from Las Cruces, New Mexico, through Pecos, Big Bend Ranch State Park, and El Paso, Texas, before returning to Las Cruces. White Sands National Monument and Carlsbad Caverns are just two of the amazing places to be admired along this route. Paddle the Rio Grande or mountain bike through Big Bend Ranch State Park. A side trip in New Mexico will take you to Roswell, home of the International UFO Museum.