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Each two-page document includes information about the state’s scenic byways program, in addition to a listitng and map of all state and national scenic byways within its borders.
In Iowa, there are three national scenic byways and 11 state scenic byways. The Great River Road Byway was conceived by Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes in 1938, and the Iowa portion became an All-American Road in 2021. The Loess Hills Scenic Byway runs through several communities and circulates millions in revenue as well as generating thousands of jobs. The Loess Hill Alliance was started in 1999 as a part of a conservatory effort by the community to declare it a National Landmark.
- Iowa has 14 scenic byways, including three national scenic byways and 11 state scenic byways.
- Domestic traveler spending in Iowa in 2017 was $8.5 billion and generated over $507 million in sales tax receipts.
- Scenic byways also helped support 70,000 tourism-related jobs in Iowa.
National Scenic Byways
State Scenic Byways
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.