In 1996 the U.S. Secretary of Transportation designated the first National Scenic Byways. Nominations were submitted by state and federal land management agencies as well as by local communities.
National Scenic Byways designation recognizes outstanding roads that highlight the diversity of our communities and the stunning landscapes they traverse. Every National Scenic Byway has outstanding qualities in six possible areas: archaeological, cultural, historical, natural, recreational, and scenic. Although National Scenic Byway is a designation by the Federal Highway Administration, the Forest Service also uses the same term and a road may be thus recognized by both agencies. In addition, many states have designated worthy roads as scenic byways. Back Country Byways are the BLM`s contribution to the National Scenic Byways program.