It's the rare traveler who can explore the entire length of any of North America's majestic rivers. To most of us is left only an occasional glimpse from a bridge or roadway as the river flows past.
But some rivers yield their charms less reluctantly than others, and these you can often follow by road for miles at a time, among them:
* Columbia River, Oregon: One of the continent's mightiest rivers, the Columbia cuts a dramatic path through the Cascade Range, spilling through a deep gorge on its way west to the Pacific. Views are super along a 20-mile stretch of I-84 just east of Portland.
* Hudson River, New York: Henry Hudson sailed up the river that bears his name in 1609, and ever since, visitors have been enchanted by the romantic views. For extraordinary vistas, try the Hudson Highlands from Cold Spring to Beacon via Rte. 9D.
* Colorado River, Colorado: The Colorado is an illusive river, particularly as it makes its mostly hidden way through the Grand Canyon country of Arizona. But motorists can follow its white-water race through Colorado's Rocky Mountains for more than 100 miles via I-70 from Gypsum to Grand Junction.
* Fraser River, British Columbia: This is Canada's frontier west, where for almost 75 miles -- between Hope and Lytton -- Rte. 1 borders the path of the Fraser River as it tumbles in a churning frenzy through sheer canyon walls and wild mountain forests.
* White River, Vermont: For postcard-perfect New England scenery, follow the White as it meanders through quiet woodlands and rolling fields. For part of the way, central Vermont's rambling Rte. 100 heading north crosses and recrosses the river. Kings River, California: One of the West's most dramatic river drives, the 30-mile mountain highway into Kings Canyon National Park from Grant Grove (State Rte. 180) clings frighteningly close to the sheer cliff's edge.