This 5-day route tops list of ultimate American road trips

a canyon with a mountain in the background

Want to go on the ultimate road trip? Then you’ve come to the right place (err, pit stop).

The best road trip is a five-day Monument Valley Trails route in the Southwest, according to data firm Geotab’s Road Trip Ratings report. 

“Awe-inspiring views of the rock formations of Monument Valley, Valley of the Gods and the Natural Bridges National Monument are enough to make this road trip an all-time classic,” the Monument Valley Trails entry reads. “The route heads out on Highway 163 then follows a counter-clockwise loop, with detours for Hovenweep National Monument, Blanding and the natural bridges.”

Other routes rounding out the top 10 included three in the Rocky Mountains, two more in the Southwest and several in the Pacific Northwest, among others.

What noticeably didn’t perform well on the list? The much-lauded Route 66, which landed at No. 44 out of 50 trips studied.

Geotab used TripAdvisor data to rank trips based on attractions, accommodations and where to eat; traffic data to figure out how busy roads are, and a survey to determine the length of each trip by car. The company collected road trip itineraries from a variety of sources like Lonely Planet, National Geographic and the National Parks Service.

“With so much variety to choose from, settling on one route can be a seriously tough task,” Maria Sotra, the vice president of marketing at Geotab, said in a statement. “We created this study to see how U.S. road trips stacked up when data is brought into the equation.”

Other highlights of the ranking: 

  • The Hells Canyon Scenic Byway in the Pacific Northwest ranked highest in terms of attractions, while New Mexico’s Two Roads to Taos trip scored the highest in terms of food.
  • Road trips in the study on average take about five days. The longest road trips are 14 days long: Route 66 and The Best of California. The shortest trips are only two days long: Lake Champlain Byway and Maryland’s Historic National Road.
  • For those looking to avoid traffic, it’s best to skip the Disneyland and Orange County route.

About 100 million Americans are planning on taking a family vacation this year, according to a new survey by AAA Travel. And over half of those families plan on loading up the car and driving somewhere across the country. 

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