The Most Iconic Roller Coaster in Every State (We’re Saying Nope to #10!)

Buckle up for a whirlwind tour of America's standout roller coasters from coast to coast.

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Updated May 28, 2024
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From classic wooden coasters that reach unbelievable heights to state-of-the-art steel rides full of inversions to actual city landmarks, these roller coasters will shake you up in the best kind of way.

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Here are the craziest and coolest roller coasters worth checking out in every state.

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Alabama: Rampage at Alabama Splash Adventure (Bessemer)

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With nine crossovers and a death-defying twister layout, the Rampage at Alabama Splash is a wooden roller coaster that originally opened in 1998.

It reaches a speed of 56 miles per hour and takes you 120 feet into the air. If you want to start traveling more, Rampage isn't a bad ride to put on your list.

Alaska: Aftershock at the Alaska State Fair (Palmer)

galitskaya/Adobe girl friends enjoying roller coaster ride

Alaska’s first and only permanent roller coaster is an Italian “Super Cyclon” model that reaches 40 feet into the sky and hurdles riders through the air at 35 miles per hour.

With a vibrant neon green track, this first roller coaster in The Last Frontier makes its mark on the rugged landscape.

Arizona: Desert Storm at Castles N' Coasters (Phoenix)

Yuliia/Adobe man yelling while riding roller coaster

If you crave the weightlessness of going upside down, grab a ticket to the Desert Storm at Castles N’ Coasters.

This steel coaster, built in 1992, is full of loops, vertical drops, spins, and flips that will startle even the most seasoned roller coaster fanatics.

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Arkansas: Arkansas Twister at Magic Springs Theme and Water Park (Hot Springs) friends having fun on carnival ride

Arkansas’ Twister at Magic Springs Theme and Water Park is a wooden roller coaster reaching 95 feet before dropping back 92.

Expect over 3,000 feet of zig-zags built for only the most adventurous.

California: Incredicoaster at Disney California Adventure Park (Anaheim)

MVProductions/Adobe happy female friends riding roller coaster

Previously known as the California Screamin’, the Incredicoaster at Disney California Adventure Park is an "Incredibles"-themed steel coaster.

It leads riders through an exhilarating and nerve-wracking high-speed chase with exciting big drops on the way to save the day and catch baby Jack.

Colorado: Cyclone at Lakeside Amusement Park (Denver)

KOTO/Adobe friends amused while riding roller coaster

Built in 1940, Colorado’s wood roller coaster at Lakeside Amusement Park, the Cyclone, has been designated an American Coaster Enthusiasts’ Roller Coaster Landmark.

This 85-foot-tall Art Deco masterpiece is just as exciting as when it was first built before World War II.

Connecticut: Boulder Dash at Lake Compounce (Bristol)

galitskaya/Adobe girls enjoying roller coaster ride

Reaching speeds of over 60 miles per hour over a distance of 4,725 feet, the Boulder Dash in Connecticut lives up to its name.

Originally made out of wood and now including steel track, this gravity-defying ride whirls past rustic mountain terrain and through the woods at Lake Compounce.

Delaware: Sea Dragon at Funland (Rehoboth Beach)

wetzkaz/Adobe mother and son at amusement park

While Delaware doesn’t have a single true roller coaster, the Sea Dragon at Rehoboth Beach’s iconic Funland Park still provides thrills for ride-lovers and kids alike.

This pirate-ship-style boardwalk ride found TikTok fame in 2021 and has been a favorite of Delaware beachgoers for over 30 years.

Florida: Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (Tampa)

aapsky/Adobe happy girl screaming on roller coaster

When one, two, or even three inversions aren’t enough, try seven at Montu at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay.

This adrenaline-pumping ride provides screams and scares, along with the world’s first simultaneous loop and roll. The loop and roll is called an Immelmann and is aptly named for a fighter pilot.

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Georgia: Goliath at Six Flags Over Georgia (Austell)

cdetempe/Unsplash people riding roller coaster trolleys

Want to hit four Gs? Make your way down to Austell, Georgia, and find yourself at the Goliath at Six Flags.

Hitting 70 miles per hour, this roller coaster skyrockets 200 feet high before dramatically dropping 170 feet.

With 12-story drops and 540-degree spirals, this coaster isn’t for the faint of heart.

Hawaii: Maui Mountain at Maui Golf and Sports Park (Maalaea)

Allen.G/Adobe golfer playing golf besides ocean

Hawaii doesn’t have a single roller coaster! But they do have Maui Golf and Sports Park, which has fun activities for the whole family, including X-Treme Trampoline, which will catapult thrill-seekers 30 feet into the air.

Idaho: Aftershock at Silverwood Theme Park (Athol)

Keitma/Adobe mother enjoying roller coaster with kids

Prepare to plummet 177 feet in a single drop on the Aftershock at Silverwood Theme Park in Idaho.

This steel coaster takes you through just over a minute of daredevil thrills, including a cobra roll, an inverted loop, and a backward crawl up to a 65-mile-an-hour drop.

Illinois: Raging Bull at Six Flags Great America (Gurnee)

Blue Jean Images/Adobe asian man enjoying roller coaster ride

Illinois’ Raging Bull lives up to its angry reputation. This steel coaster was the world’s first hyper-twister coaster.

At 202 feet tall and 5,057 feet long, it takes brave souls on a wild, serpentine ride. Get ready for a 20-foot drop and speeds of 73 miles an hour.

Indiana: The Voyage at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari (Santa Claus)

GenieStock/Adobe girl yelling while riding roller coaster

Billing itself as an air time machine, The Voyage at Holiday World was voted the #1 wooden roller coaster in the country by TIME magazine.

Over two minutes and 45 seconds, you’ll reach speeds of nearly 70 miles per hour and brave air time of 24.3 seconds.

Iowa: The Monster at Adventureland (Altoona)

Cheryl Casey/Adobe father riding roller coaster with daughter

Completed in 2016, Iowa’s Monster at Adventureland is a steel coaster that boasts a beyond-vertical drop at an angle of 101 degrees.

Only the biggest adventure-chasers should get on board — they’ll go through five inversions, an Immelman loop, a Finnish loop, and more.

Kansas: Dragon Coaster (Wichita)

Mr. Bolota/Adobe cute child riding fair roller coaster

To experience a true roller-coaster adventure, you’ll have to cross state lines into Kansas City, Missouri, for Worlds of Fun's Prowler. This wooden coaster takes riders through forest terrain, looking for prowling creatures.

But, staying in Kansas, you can try the Dragon Coaster, a twisting, turning ride that appeals to kids as well as adults.

Kentucky: Lightning Run at Kentucky Kingdom (Louisville)

Brocreative/Adobe family trying roller coaster ride

The 10 stories of steel making up Lightning Run in Louisville take riders up to the top of the coaster before quickly dropping adventure chasers down 100 feet on an 80-degree angle.

And it doesn’t stop there. This ride keeps up with the heart-pounding option for two whole minutes.

Louisiana: Ladybug Family Coaster at Carousel Gardens (New Orleans)

AIproduction/Adobe woman happy while riding roller coaster

Louisiana’s only roller coaster is the charming Lady Bug family coaster at Carousel Gardens in New Orleans.

The ride cruises through the Southern park and Spanish moss-covered trees, reaching 30 feet high and speeds of 20 miles per hour.

Maine: Excalibur at Funtown Splashtown USA (Saco)

Blue Jean Images/Adobe asian woman riding roller coaster

If you find yourself in northern New England looking for the tallest and longest wooden roller coaster, head to Funtown Splashtown USA in Maine.

The Excalibur reaches 100 feet and drops 82 feet over the two-minute ride, providing thrill seekers with views of the entire park and the picturesque woods surrounding it.

Maryland: Superman: Ride of Steel at Six Flags America (Upper Marlboro)

aapsky/Adobe guy screaming while riding roller coaster

If you’re looking for maximum adrenaline, you’ll find it at Six Flags America in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Superman: Ride of Steel is a coaster worthy of its superhero name.

This hypercoaster drops 200 feet at one point during the ride, in addition to its 73-mile-an-hour speeds and low-banked turns that take you dangerously close to the ground.

Massachusetts: Wicked Cyclone at Six Flags New England (Agawam)

Andrii/Adobe friends riding roller coaster together

Is it possible to have a ride that’s both terrifying and smooth? It is on the Wicked Cyclone at Six Flags New England.

The 3,320 feet of track on this wood and steel roller coaster will take you 10 stories into the sky and eventually lead you to a rapidly plummeting 109-foot hill and two zero-G rolls.

Michigan: Shivering Timbers at Michigan's Adventure (Muskegon)

Cavan/Adobe couple clicking selfie on roller coaster

Adventure seekers can spend two and a half minutes traversing a mile of dizzying climbs, dramatic plunges, sudden turns, and gravity-defying lifts on the Shivering Timbers at Michigan’s Adventure.

Minnesota: Wild Thing at Valleyfair (Shakopee)

Mr. Bolota/Adobe kid thrilled while riding roller coaster

For just under three minutes, you’ll embrace the wild side as you brave gravity-defying drops on this famous green roller coaster.

The Wild Thing’s speeds reach 74 miles per hour as riders race through a figure-eight helix, camelback hills, and other adrenaline-pumping twists and turns.

Mississippi: Backsplash (Choctaw)

Vika art/Adobe senior man enjoying water slide

Backsplash at Geyser Falls in Choctaw is not just a roller coaster; it’s a water slide, too.

Riders scream as they shoot down a backward water slide that takes them through a tunnel, over a ramp, and then splashing into the water.

Missouri: The American Thunder at Six Flags St. Louis (Eureka)

Robert Kneschke/Adobe teenage friends riding roller coaster

American Thunder at Six Flags St. Louis is a classic wooden roller coaster with innovative technology that gives it the smooth ride of a modern steel coaster — even at 50 miles per hour.

There are non-stop negative Gs, stomach-turning drops, sharp angles, and a winding track with 14 cross-overs.

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Montana: Flathead Lake Alpine Coaster (Lakeside)

AIproduction/Adobe best friends euphoric on roller coaster

Want a thrilling ride that feels perfectly rustic and fit for the Montana wilderness?

Take a ride on the Flathead Lake Alpine Coaster, a toboggan-style roller coaster that weaves and turns as it makes its way down the mountain.

Nebraska: Fun-Plex (Omaha)

977_rex_977/Adobe man enjoying go kart in park

While the state of Nebraska has no roller coasters, you can find adventure-seeking fun at Fun-Plex in Omaha.

This ride park is home to go-karts, a tilt-a-whirl, a Ferris wheel, a rock-o-plane, and other classic carnival rides.

Nevada: El Loco at Adventuredome Theme Park (Las Vegas)

Yuliia/Adobe man screaming on roller coaster

Are you looking for something to get your heart pumping? Is Vegas not giving you enough adventure?

Then head over to the Adventuredome Theme Park for the El Loco roller coaster, which will have you diving backward at negative 1.5 vertical Gs before racing through tight turns and barrel rolls.

New Hampshire: Yankee Cannonball at Canobie Lake Park (Salem)

Jacob Lund/Adobe friends cheering on roller coaster ride

The Yankee Cannonball at Canobie Lake Park in Salem, New Hampshire, is exactly what you would expect from a classic New England amusement park experience.

It’s an old-fashioned wooden roller coaster that takes you through one minute of high speeds and quick drops. It’s simple yet gets the job done.

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New Jersey: Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson)

aapsky/Adobe woman screaming on roller coaster

The Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure is the tallest roller coaster in the entire world at 456 feet high. That’s 45 stories tall.

It’s also the fastest coaster in North America, reaching 128 miles per hour just 3.5 seconds after you take off. This is only for the most courageous of daredevils.

New Mexico: New Mexico Rattler at Cliff's Amusement Park (Albuquerque)

Available for hire/Unsplash people enjoying roller coaster ride

The wooden New Mexico Rattler takes adventure chasers over a 3,000-foot-long track with dramatic drops, high speeds, and a terrifying 100-foot-long underground tunnel.

It’s one of the world's most iconic wooden roller coasters and will rattle even the most experienced roller coaster fans.

New York: The Cyclone at Luna Park (Brooklyn)

aapsky/Adobe girl frightened while riding roller coaster

How many roller coasters can say they’re both a New York City Landmark (1988) and listed on the National Register of Historic Places? Coney Island’s The Cyclone sure can.

This 2,640-foot-long coaster has been seen in countless movies, and its high speeds and daring drops continue to captivate brave riders.

North Carolina: Fury 325 at Carowinds (Charlotte)

top images/Adobe happy cute child on carousel

Open-air trains climb up to 325 feet before descending on a wild 81-degree drop on the Fury 324 roller coaster in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The death-defying track takes them through barrel turns, high-speed S-curves, a hair-raising excursion under a pedestrian bridge, and even over two state lines.

North Dakota: Runaway Train at Super Slide Amusement Park (Bismarck)

Yuliia/Adobe woman shocked while riding roller coaster

While it won’t win any points for those looking for heart-pumping thrills, North Dakota has a charming small roller coaster called the Runaway Train at Super Slide Amusement Park in Bismarck.

Reaching 18 feet at its highest point and a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour, this ride is great for a leisurely afternoon or for those anxious about larger coasters.

Ohio: Maverick at Cedar Point (Sandusky)

Yuliia/Adobe woman frightened on roller coaster

Looking for an absolutely wild ride that takes you on twists, tunnels, and big drops?

Maverick at Cedar Point in Ohio is known for its Twisted Horseshoe Roll, a 360–degree corkscrew roll that throws riders around before launching them into a pitch-black tunnel at 70 miles per hour.

Oklahoma: Wildcat at Frontier City (Oklahoma City)

aapsky/Adobe woman scared while riding roller coaster

Fly through the trees like a wildcat stalking its prey when you take on the Wildcat at Frontier City in Oklahoma City.

With a 60-foot drop at high speeds, this three-minute, 20-second ride takes you through steep hills and quick turns throughout its 2,653-foot-long track.

Oregon: Adrenaline Peak at Oaks Amusement Park (Portland)

galitskaya/Adobe friends raising hands on roller coaster

Adrenaline Peak at Oaks Amusement Park opened in 2018, and this steel coaster is a favorite of roller coaster fans.

It has a 72-foot high vertical lift that leads into a quick drop and three different inversions that you hit at maximum speed, including a hair-raising Heartline roll.

Pennsylvania: Phoenix at Knoebels Amusement Resort (Elysburg)

olgasparrow/Adobe teenage girls enjoying roller coaster ride

If you’re looking for speed, intensity, thrill, and nostalgia, head to Pennsylvania, where you can ride the Phoenix at Knoebels Amusement Park.

This iconic wooden roller coaster flies through the air as you buzz by views of the entire park and the rolling, calm hills just beyond the chaos of the ride.

Rhode Island: Washington County Fair (Richmond)

KOTO/Adobe happy friends riding amusement park ride

While there’s no permanent roller coaster or ride in the nation’s smallest state, the Washington County Fair brings classic carnival rides to the area every summer, including the largest traveling roller coaster in New England.

South Carolina: Intimidator 305 at Carowinds (Fort Mill)

Me studio/Adobe friends enjoying vacation at amusement park

Clocking in at just under four minutes, this hypercoaster is a gravity-defying, hair-raising test of bravery.

It towers 232 feet in the air and reaches 80 miles per hour, including seven extreme drops.

South Dakota: Rushmore Mountain Coaster at Rush Mountain Adventure Park (Keystone)

chokniti/Adobe cheerful girl jumping at amusement park

Speed down the mountainside strapped into a one- to two-person cart that winds through the bucolic setting of trees and mountain views.

The Rushmore Mountain Coaster is an exhilarating way to experience a classic coaster.

Tennessee: Thunderhead at Dollywood (Pigeon Forge)

Aneese/Adobe people riding old wooden roller coaster

Thunderhead at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is a giant wooden roller coaster that sits right between two mountains, giving it impressive views and heights.

Get ready for a 100-foot drop and speeds of 55 miles per hour.

Texas: Iron Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas (San Antonio)

VIAVAL/Adobe roller coaster trolleys on trail

Get ready to rattle your nerves on the Iron Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

A combination of wooden supports and steel tracks and rails gives you all the speed and smoothness of the two classic roller coaster materials.

You’ll experience a barrel roll, a 171-foot drop, and speeds of 70 miles per hour.

Utah: Cannibal at Lagoon Amusement Park (Farmington)

TeamDF/Adobe friends posing at amusement park

Are you up for the most extreme conditions in a roller coaster adventure? This mega-coaster isn’t for the faint of heart.

Cannibal at Lagoon Amusement Park reaches a height of 208 feet before diving drastically into a beyond-vertical free fall and immediately launching into an underground tunnel.

Vermont: Beast Mountain Coaster at Killington Adventure Center (Killington)

Kalim/Adobe senior woman riding roller coaster

Ascend Killington Mountain to ride the Beast Mountain Coaster, which winds down a 4,800-foot-long alpine coaster track.

You’ll take in the fresh Vermont air while twisting and turning through the woods, including shriek-inducing 360-degree corkscrews.

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Virginia: Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion (Doswell)

GenieStock/Adobe friends enjoying roller coaster ride

A 300-foot drop and 90-miles-an-hour speeds make the Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia, one of the most exhilarating roller coasters.

Twists, turns, and unbelievable speeds keep coming for three solid minutes of thrills.

Washington: Timberhawk at Wild Waves Theme and Water Park (Federal Way)

Keitma/Adobe mother and kids enjoying roller coaster

Measuring 75 feet tall, Timberhawk is Washington state’s most thrill-seeking roller coaster, with maximum speeds of 60 miles per hour.

You’ll get daring drops and turns as you fly through the tree-lined park.

West Virginia: The Big Dipper at Camden Park (Huntington)

Jacob Lund/Adobe couple riding roller coaster at park

The Big Dipper at Camden Park in Huntington, West Virginia, is a timeless wooden roller coaster that opened in 1958.

The ride remains one of the state’s most popular and thrilling attractions, standing 50 feet tall and including a 35-foot drop.

Wisconsin: Hades 360 at Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park (Wisconsin Dells)

Tetiana/Adobe senior couple riding roller coaster

Brace yourself for a drop of 140 feet at 70 miles per hour, followed by a full 360-degree loop.

Hades 360 in Wisconsin Dells is the world’s first upside-down wooden roller coaster, and it has the world’s longest underground roller coaster tunnel — hence the name Hades.

Only the biggest adventure seekers should board this one!

Wyoming: Cowboy Coaster at Snow King Mountain (Jackson)

Jacob Lund/Adobe friends group on roller coaster

Whether you’re spending time in the mountains in the summer or winter, it’s all fair game for a ride on the Cowboy Coaster.

You’ll zip down the mountain, darting in and out of snow-covered Teton scenes or wildflower meadows, all while navigating loops, curves, and drops.

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Bottom line

Drobot Dean/Adobe woman taking selfie at amusement park

Whether you love the stomach-curdling thrill of a hypercoaster or prefer the gravity-defying antics of an inverted coaster, the thrill rides on this list are serious business.

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Heather Bien

Heather Bien is a writer covering personal finance and budgeting and how those relate to life, travel, entertaining, and more. With bylines that include The Spruce, Apartment Therapy, and mindbodygreen, she's covered everything from tax tips for freelancers to budgeting hacks to how to get the highest ROI out of your home renovations.