San Juan Highway

Colorado Byways

Colorado established the Scenic and Historic Byways Program in 1989.  Over the span of three decades, the program has designated 26 Colorado routes showcasing the state’s exceptional scenic, ecological, cultural, and historic Byways Commission, and in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Byways Provide Access to Public Lands

Colorado byways provide access to the state’s most spectacular public lands, including four national parks, 36 state parks, 13 national recreational trails, eight national forests, and eight national monuments.


About the National Scenic Byways Program

The National Scenic Byways Program, established by Congress in 1991, recognizes historic, scenic, and culturally important roads, all of which promote economic development and tourism in communities around the U.S. There are more than 1,200 byways in all 50 states.

All scenic byways exhibit one or more of six core intrinsic qualities — scenic, historic, recreational, cultural, archaeological, or natural. For a road to be named a national scenic byway, it must first be designated a state, tribal, or federal agency scenic byway. Once achieving that, a road may apply for national scenic byway designation, but its intrinsic quality must be of regional significance. All-American Roads are the very best of the national scenic byways, demonstrating at least two intrinsic qualities of national significance.