National Scenic Byways

Looking down the slope of the hill climbing to Independence Pass along Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway in Colorado
Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway, Colorado

The United States Secretary of Transportation has designated more 150 sections of road across the country as America's Byways®. The classification is further broken down into "All-American Roads" and "National Scenic Byways." These are pieces of highway that have earned the designation through their beauty, their charm and their connections to American history.

Some routes follow trails left by Native Americans, like the Silver Thread Scenic Byway in Colorado. There's the Cherokee Hills Byway (Oklahoma) and the Native American Scenic Byway (North & South Dakota) which explore the history and the heritage of Native American tribes and the countryside(s) they live in.

Then there's the Amish Country Byway in Ohio, a journey through a bygone era that is still present. Some byways follow paths taken during significant events in modern American history, like the Selma to Montgomery March Byway in Alabama.

Probably the longest All-American Road is Historic Route 66 as it crosses Illinois, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. Many of America's Byways are also part of the US Forest Service network of byways and/or the Bureau of Land Management's Backcounty Byways.

However you want to look at it, these 150+ scenic byways are among the cream of the crop when it comes to taking a leisurely (and beautiful) "Sunday drive" and experiencing some of the best that America has to offer.

Looking down a lush green valley toward Greenhorn Mountain in the Wet Mountains, along the Frontier Pathways Scenic Byway in Colorado
Along the Frontier Pathways Scenic Byway in Colorado

National Scenic Byways

The stark granite faces of Mount Sneffels from the San Juan Skyway in Colorado
Mount Sneffels, from the San Juan Skyway in Colorado