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About the Top Ten
The Top 10 Scenic Drives
The Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies include some of North America's most scenic mountains, lakes, charming towns, and historic places. The drives connect 19 spectacular National Parks, Monuments, and Recreation Areas via nationally-designated Scenic Byways and National Historic Trails.
These drives provide a convenient new way for travelers to research and plan incredible Rocky Mountain adventures. It is demand-driven and based on the tastes and preferences of targeted travelers, particularly in off-peak seasons. The effort is backed by state, provincial, and national tourism research.
The Drives and Trails
- Beartooth All-American Road
- Circle the Continental Divide Driving Tour
- Hells Canyon All-American Road
- Hot Springs Circle Tour
- International Selkirk Loop All-American Road
- Montana Scenic Loop
- Northwest Passage Scenic Byway
- Salmon River-Sawtooth Scenic Byways
- Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park Loop
- Yellowstone-Grand Teton Loop
- David Thompson Historic Route
- Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
- Nez Perce National Historic Trail
- Oregon National Historic Trail
The concept began in 2005, after the International Selkirk Loop and Northwest Passage Scenic Byway joined the Beartooth Highway and Hells Canyon Scenic Byway in achieving All-American Road status – the highest level scenic byway designation. The Selkirk Loop was the first international All-American Road. Top 10 partners formed a steering committee to oversee project development and implementation. The committee analyzed traveler research, test-marketed the Top 10 concept, outlined a strategy and budget, and sought National Scenic Byway funding to seed the project. A $428,000 grant was awarded in late 2007, with matching funds from partners, and work began in 2008.
The Top 10 Scenic Drives is a collaborative effort involving more than 450 partners and suppliers:
- State, provincial, and tribal tourism offices in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alberta.
- Regional tourism councils, chambers, and CVBs
- Federal agencies, national parks, U.S. Forest Service, Depts. Of Transportation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, BLM, Fish & Wildlife
- Businesses, lodging, dining, outfitting, retail, attractions, resorts, artisans, transportation
- Nonprofit organizations involved in byway groups, history, economic development, arts, and conservation
The Top 10 seeks to achieve the following:
- Match targeted travelers with Top 10 destinations based on their activity tastes and preferences.
- Offer and implement a high-quality experience – backed by a customer satisfaction guarantee.
- Build and extend off-peak and shoulder seasons.
- Drive bookings and website traffic to partners.
- Increase visitor spending and length of stays at various businesses and communities.
- Create a highly visible destination across geopolitical boundaries, showcasing rural communities.
- Leverage PR and advertising expenditures with partners’ efforts to maximize return on investment.
- Implement geotourism principles, raise awareness and practice of sustainable tourism, and include suppliers based on geotourism standards.
- Track and measure results and return on investment against data for sales, visitation, employment, sustainability, and traveler satisfaction.
Reach extraordinary new heights of travel. Use the Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies to plan truly unforgettable Rocky Mountain vacations. Join the Top 10 e-mail club for exclusive travel info and notifications!