St. Joe River Scenic Byway

Idaho Byways

Idaho started a state scenic byway program over a decade earlier, in 1977.  The Idaho Transportation Department is the main administrator for the program, but it is also guided by the Idaho Byways Advisory Committee, which includes state and national agency representatives, local business leaders, and community members.  Byway designations must be initiated and supported by local communities. Two of the byways in Idaho, the International Selkirk Loop and the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway, have been given the highest honor a road can have, being named All-American Roads.

Byways Provide Access to Public Lands

Idaho byways provide access to the state’s most spectacular public lands, including one national park, 23 state parks, 10 national forests, five national recreational trails, and one national recreational area.


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.