With how massive our state is, we have more open road to explore than anywhere else (well, other than Alaska, but you get what I mean). Many of our highways run through untouched land with majestic mountains, towering trees, and flowing rivers rather than cities. These nine drives are especially beautiful, and we highly recommend them for your summer road trips.
1. Willow City Loop
This drive is especially gorgeous during the spring and summer when vibrant wildflowers line the entire stretch of the road. To get to it from Fredericksburg, go north on State Route 16 until you reach Willow City, and then head east on Ranch Road 1323 before turning left on Willow City Loop.
2. Highway 90/385
Marathon is known as the "gateway to Big Bend" - you can see the majestic Chisos Mountains looming in the distance. Following Highway 90 until it merges with 385 is the route you need to take if you want to see this gorgeous view.
3. Lonesome Highway
The road leading up to the Guadalupe Mountains is known as the "Lonesome Highway," probably because, like on many Texas roads, you won't come across other cars or any signs of civilization too often. To see this hauntingly beautiful scene firsthand, head west on highway 285 until it meets highway 180, which you'll turn left on and continue into the mountains.
4. Davis Mountains Scenic Loop
This drive lets you marvel at the Davis Mountains towering over 8000 feet in the air and the surprisingly lush greenery lining the roadside. To take this well worth it road trip, start on highway 118 in Fort Davis and head west until you see spur 78, and then follow the loop back to where you began.
5. Texas Swiss Alps Scenic Drive
You may not feel quite like you're in Switzerland, but you sure won't think you're still in Texas on this drive. The mountains are almost entirely covered in greenery - a rare sight in Texas, especially in the summer. You'll see the famous 2400 foot high rock faces in Leakey and gaze in awe at the sheer majesty surrounding you. The drive starts in Bandera on highway 470, which eventually becomes highway 83 in Concan. Then, you'll get on 337 in Leakey and follow it to Medina.
6. El Camino Real Highway
This highway, also known as Texas 21, has quite the history. It was used by Spanish missionaries and Native Americans as early as the 1700s. You can start at Toledo Bend Reservoir near Milam and follow it all the way to San Antonio if your heart desires. And it will - I guarantee you won't be able to quit driving after you take one mere glance at this stunning view.
7. Highway 207
This drive will take you right through the breathtaking red rocks of the second largest canyon in the country, Palo Duro Canyon. This particular segment of the highway is FM 284, which can be found by following the road west towards Palo Duro Canyon State Park.
8. Highway 16
This is one of the longest highways in Texas, branching off of 281 south of Wichita Falls and extending across much of the state. You'll see the famous rolling hills of Central Texas, gorgeous bodies of water, a variety of plants, and so much more.
9. FM 170
This is known as "River Road" since it parallels the gorgeous Rio Grande. This particular stretch starts in Lajitas and ends in Presidio. It's full of twists and turns, majestic mountains, and the guiding waters of the river if you should ever lose your way.
Have you ever been on one of these drives? What other stretches of highway in Texas are particularly scenic?