Missouri’s Scenic Byways

Missouri established the Missouri Byways Program in 1990. Over the span of three decades, the program has designated 13 scenic routes, all of which showcase the state’s exceptional cultural, historical, archaeological, natural, scenic, and recreational attributes.  Under state statute 226.797 any county commission or the governing body of any municipality may nominate a road or highway as a scenic byway and must meet the approval of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.

Byways Provide Access to Public Lands

Missouri byways provide access to the state’s most spectacular public lands, including 10 state parks, two state forests, the Mark Twain National Forest, the Gateway Arch National Park, and the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site.

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.