Texas is a massive state in the US with many great scenic views that are exciting to explore. The state is full of canyons, forests, beautiful mountains, and swamps, which you can see during your long drives in the state. However, aside from these, the state is also home to magnificent waterfalls, gorgeous hills, and lively cities.
There is a lot more to see in Texas, especially when you get the chance to have long scenic drives in the different cities of the state. You will visit so many beautiful places, dine in cozy restaurants and roadside coffee shops, and make stops to see some of the beautiful things Texas offers.
Because the state is so massive and because of the spread-out towns and cities, you will definitely enjoy the road trips. So if you want to hop in your car, drive along the scenic roads in Texas, and see the beauty of this state, then here are the top scenic road trips in Texas.
Big Bend National Park
The Big Bend National Park is considered “Texas’ Gift to the Nation.” It is one of the most beautiful national parks globally and is visited by many tourists every year. Well, if you ever find yourself on the grounds of Big Bend, you will understand why many people love it.
Big Bend is a five-hour drive south of El Paso and a six-hour drive west of San Antonio. It’s a bit farther than other destinations in the state. However, the distance will allow you to enjoy many beautiful sceneries, and it’s definitely worth it when you see this national park.
When you visit Big Bend, you will get to immerse yourself in nature and the wilderness. You can go hiking on some of the best hiking trails in the state or visit some old mining sites, military outposts, ranches, and more.
If you cannot spare more time to explore Big Bend, you can drive along the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, a 30-mile drive, wherein you can see many ranches and other great views. After that, you will reach the majestic Santa Elena Canyon trailhead and have a little bit of hiking until you get to the river and Santa Elena’s canyon floor.
Willow City Loop
A 13-mile drive outside of Fredericksburg, a city in the central part of the state, Willow City Loop is among the most scenic road trips you can take in Texas. Locals and tourists usually drive along the Willow City Loop to enjoy the beautiful wildflowers of Texas called the Texas Bluebonnet.
The Texas Bluebonnet, among the species of lupine, is usually in full bloom from March to May. During the drive on the Willow City Loop, you will see all the beautiful Texas Bluebonnet that are all pleasing to the eyes, together with the rolling hills, beautiful canyons, and fresh meadows full of yellow and blue flowers.
The drive to Willow City Loop is only 23 miles long, so you wouldn’t have to prepare many things. However, despite the short drive, you will not be disappointed as the road on the way and after Willow City Loop continues to offer great views because it’s located in Texas’ central Hill Country. You will see beautiful hills, grasslands, and trees you will only see in Texas.
The perfect time to drive along Willow City Loop is March to May during the wildflower season. When it’s the spring season, you will be able to enjoy a beautiful sea of colors of the beautiful flowers along the highway.
Canyon Sweep (Texas Panhandle)
Canyon Sweep is also one of the top scenic road trips in the Texas Panhandle, a region in Texas that comprises the 26 northernmost Texas counties. It is a 3-hour 119-mile drive along some of Texas’ most breathtaking historical views.
The route of the Canyon Sweep begins in Quitaque, a city in southeastern Texas, heading northwest and going to the Canyon. After that, you will go west on Highway 86.
On Highway 86, you will see many beautiful lakes and wildlife animals. You can have your stopover and take pictures of the view and the animals.
After Highway 86, you will pass through Silverton, a town in the Texas Panhandle, then turn right, going towards TX-207. On the 10-mile drive after turning right, you will see the beautiful and colorful Tule Canyon along with the beautiful river of Tule Creek. Then continue driving, and you’ll pass by several ranches until you reach the Palo Duro Canyon, which is the end of the Canyon Sweep.
If you are up for some quiet drive, then Lonesome Highway is the perfect road trip for you. This scenic route, by its name, is a peaceful road in the remote areas of West Texas. To get to this road, you need to go west on Highway 285 until you reach the intersection with Highway 180. Then you’ll need to turn left and continue driving until you spot the beautiful Guadalupe Mountains.
The drive along the Lonesome Highway is a perfect time to meditate or have some self-reflection. It is a secluded area. So, you won’t experience the busy city roads and the vibrant nightlife here. Also, note that there are no major metropolitan areas near this highway, which means you will have a peaceful road trip.
After arriving on the Lonesome Highway, you may also visit the Guadalupe Mountains. You will be able to see its highest peak, called Guadalupe Peak, which measures 8,751 above sea level. Getting on the Lonesome Highway is already quite an adventure, but visiting the Guadalupe Mountains will surely add to the fun and excitement.
Texas Swiss Alps Scenic Drive
This road is not that similar to its name, Texas Swiss Alps Scenic Drive. It’s not like the Swiss Alps, but it’s also not like your usual Texas road trip.
In the Texas Swiss Alps Scenic Drive, you’ll be able to see many amazing views that scream “Texas Hill Country.” A road trip on this scenic route will allow you to see beautiful green mountains, which is an incredibly rare sight in the state, especially during summer.
The Texas Swiss Alps Scenic Drive will show you many breathtaking elevations, 1,400 to 2,150 tall, and almost all these elevations have beautiful greeneries that cover them. You will also get to pass along the roads of Leakey, Texas, and see massive rock formations and lovely surroundings that will leave you speechless.
The Texas Swiss Alps Scenic Drive begins in the Cowboy Capital of the state, Bandera, on Highway 407. Then you will drive west until you reach the town of Concan. Continue driving until Highway 83, then go north towards Leakey. When you reach Leakey, drive back to Highway 337 to Medina. For a shorter drive, you can cut over at Vanderpool.
The long drive you’ll take on the Texas Swiss Alps Scenic Drive will offer you many big and beautiful views. If you like, you can have a stopover at the Lost Maples Winery and enjoy a little bit of wine tasting.