Great American Road Trips, Twelve of Twelve; Northern Rockies

Reaching well into Canada’s Yukon Territories and Western British Columbia, the northern span of the Rockies in the United States runs through Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. In this final section of our coverage of Great American Road Trips, see what’s in store for your journey through some of the most awe-inspiring destinations in America.

YellowstoneYellowstone National Park, Wyoming

This iconic national park should be toward the top of every American’s to-do list. With such landmarks as Old Faithful and the Great Falls, Yellowstone spans more than 3,500 square miles of recreational land. The pride of Wyoming, Yellowstone is the largest national park in the country and one of the final places you can witness herds of buffalo stampeding through grassy hillsides and packs of wolves – which have been recently reintroduced to the region – on the hunt.

TargheeTarghee National Forest, Idaho

A quintessential part of Idaho, boasting a perpetual backdrop of towering, snow-capped Rocky Mountains, the Targhee National Forest is composed of more than 1,600 miles of trails stretching across vast, lush meadows. But what makes Targhee unique to its neighboring national parks is not what’s above it, but rather what’s below it. Minnetonka Cave is one of only two caves administered by the U.S. Forest Service. Visitors can take the half-mile tour through this limestone cavern, sure to dazzle the senses with its towering stalagmites and amazing stalactites.

FlatheadFlathead National Forest, Montana

On the fringe of the northern frontier, Flathead National Forest lies along the Canadian border in north-central Montana. Home to two ski resorts and 34 campgrounds, the peace and serenity of this rural and vast wilderness is unmatched. It’s also home to such wildlife as grizzly bears, lynx and mountain lions, making it as diverse in animal life as it is in its remarkable scenery. Before you head north, it might not hurt to have some degree of wilderness training to prepare yourself for a stay in this vast land.

Do you have any road trips in mind that we didn’t cover? Share your experience, tips and recommendations in the comments below!