Belfast Telegraph

TRAVEL GUIDE: USA Mountain Trails

On the rocky road to heaven

The USA has always been synonymous with the Fly-Drive holiday. Long stretch of roads in sunny Florida and California connect you to some of the most magical places in the world. In contrast, the Rocky Mountains are viewed as a destination for the winter sports enthusiasts. But now, with the addition of the Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies to the US holiday market, you can enjoy the ultimate Fly-Drive experience. It will take you just over two weeks, you’ll drive four thousand miles, stay in your own hired campervan or log cabins and travel through five US States (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Washington and Oregon) and two Canadian provinces (British Columbia and Alberta) which include 14 National Parks. Here Sunday Life gives you an insight into the Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies... BEARTOOTH ALL-AMERICAN ROAD This route features amazing views of the Absaroka and Beartooth Mountains lined by high alpine trees and dotted with countless lakes, forested valleys, waterfalls and copious amounts of wildlife. Pass through The Beartooth Corridor which is one of the highest and most rugged areas in the States, with 20 peaks reaching over 12,000 feet. CIRCLE THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE DRIVING TOUR This tour allows you to view the best of the Wyoming Rocky Mountains — including national parks, museums, rodeos, pioneer National Historic Trails, the Wind River Indian Reservation, stunning scenery, and untamed wildlife. The Wind River Indian Reservation spans 2.2 million acres and is home to 2,500 Eastern Shoshone and more than 5,000 Northern Arapaho Indians. HELLS CANYON ALL-AMERICAN ROAD Head to the Oregon Rockies to access the deepest canyon in North America — with extraordinary boating, wildlife viewing, geological wonders and exhilarating outdoor adventure. Recreational opportunities include rafting, jetboat riding, camping, fishing and hiking in the nation's deepest river gorge. HOT SPRINGS CIRCLE TOUR Witness the spectacular scenery, charming towns, and 26 hot springs of this drive through the Kootenay region of the British Columbia Rocky Mountains. INTERNATIONAL SELKIRK LOOP ALL-AMERICAN ROAD Travel the Selkirk Range of the British Columbia, Idaho and Washington Rocky Mountains — offering great vistas, wildlife, crystal clear rivers, year-round recreation and colourful small towns. MONTANA SCENIC LOOP Enjoy striking views of awe-inspiring mountains, placid trout streams and abundant wildlife as they unfold along a near 400-mile loop of the US Rockies, from Glacier National Park around the Great Bear, Bob Marshall and Scapegoat Wilderness Areas. NORTHWEST PASSAGE SCENIC BYWAY Explore the Idaho Rockies, including the land of the Nez Perce Indians, and trace the Lewis & Clark Expedition route across the Bitterroot Mountains and along the beautiful Clearwater and Lochsa rivers. Activities include boating, fishing, heritage sites and wildlife viewing year-round. SALMON RIVER-SAWTOOTH SCENIC BYWAY Experience the majesty of the Idaho Rockies, including the Salmon River, Sawtooth Mountains and world-class Sun Valley Resort. The Main Salmon River carves the second deepest canyon in North America, (deeper than the famous Grand Canyon) second only to Idaho’s Hell’s Canyon. Around 180 miles of the Salmon River Canyon are more than one mile deep. WATERTON-GLACIER INTERNATIONAL PEACE PARK LOOP If you drive past the entrance gate to Glacier National Park as you are sure to come into contact with a grizzly or mountain lion on a hike. Trace this stunning route through the Montana Rockies, formed by Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada and Glacier National Park in Montana, which features breathtaking scenery and the popular Going-to-the-Sun Road. YELLOWSTONE-GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARKS GRAND LOOP America’s first national park is located in the heart of Wyoming Rocky Mountains. Elk, moose, pronghorn, mule deer and bison are commonly seen in the park. Black bears are common in forested areas, while grizzlies are occasionally observed in the northern part of the park. www.drivethetop10.com

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