01/21/2014 05:24 pm ET Updated Mar 23, 2014

America's Best Winter Drives (PHOTOS)

Ever dreamed of driving through a traffic-free Yosemite National Park? It's possible when you step outside the typical summer season. In fact, winter's embrace means a slackened tourist pace in many popular warm-weather destinations, so this is an ideal time to explore America's open roads.

Just remember, winter driving brings its own set of cautions: the more majestic the conditions, often the more dangerous the road, especially when tooling along unfamiliar routes. The Department of Transportation recommends stocking a basic winter survival kit (flashlight, batteries, blanket, snacks, water, gloves, boots, and a first-aid kit); tire chains, an ice scraper, jumper cables, and road flares couldn't hurt either. And always confirm your vehicle's maintenance is current before a winter trip.

From Alaskan fjords to New Mexico's high desert pueblos and covered-bridge country in Indiana, here are America's top winter drives you'll want to experience before spring. —Crai Bower

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Best Winter Drives