San Juan County residents live in one of the most glorious locations in the country (many would say in the world). That strong and maybe slightly biased opinion was backed up by some fact – or at least objective opinion – when GPS fleet management and vehicle tracking company Geotab ranked the 50 best road trips in America on National Road Trip Day, May 24.
Lo and behold, sitting atop the rankings is San Juan County’s very own Monument Valley Trails road trip. In fact, two of the top three road trips are located within a day’s drive of San Juan County, and no less than half of the top 10 fall into that category.
Monument Valley Trails was crowned the ultimate road trip due to its awe-inspiring views and rich natural history. It scored a 92 out of 100 possible points according to Geotab.
The ranking comes at a perfect time, as the San Juan Record releases its annual 101 Ways to Experience San Juan County with this issue of the paper. You’ll find plenty of details on attractions along the top-ranked road trip throughout the publication and specifically on pages 20-22.
Geotab identified 50 popular road trips and ranked each itinerary in terms of attractions, accommodations, and places to eat. They analyzed official traffic data to rate each route based on how busy it is. They also conducted a survey to rate how long the trips take to drive.
Geotab then created a points system, assigning different weightings with each element of the road trip, to produce an overall ranking identifying the top road trip destinations.
In addition to the number one-ranked Monument Valley Trails, other “local” road trips that made the top ten include Mesa Verde and San Juan Mountains (ranked third), Colorado’s Rockies (seventh), Grand Canyon Road Trip (eighth), and Bryce and Zion National Parks (tenth).
“Road trips are a quintessentially American way of traveling,” Geotab Vice President of Marketing Maria Sotra said. “With so much different scenery accessible via the country’s sprawling infrastructure network, U.S. road trips are a vacation in and of themselves.
“There are countless references to road trips in literature, film, and music,” she continued. “This has given certain stretches of road legendary status – Route 66 being a perfect example.
“With so much variety to choose from, settling on one route can be a seriously tough task. We created this study to see how U.S. road trips stacked up when data was brought into the equation.”
Geotab gathered road trip itineraries from a variety of sources including Lonely Planet, National Geographic, the National Park Service, state tourist boards, and travel publications.
Ratings for attractions, hotels, and restaurants were collected from TripAdvisor. Traffic data represents the annual average daily traffic across the roads included in the route.
Duration was scored by using Google Surveys to ask 1,000 U.S. residents their preferred road trip vacation length. Raw scores for duration, attractions, accommodation, food, and traffic were assigned percentage weights, giving each trip a score out of 100.
“Good for…” categories were determined based on share of attractions from TripAdvisor. The Geotab research was conducted in April 2019. You can see all the rankings, attributes, and beautiful photos online at geotab.com/road-trip-ratings.