New Mexico
Socorro courtesy New Mexico Tech

New Mexico's Scenic Byways

New Mexico boasts 26 scenic byways in total, eight of which are national scenic byways while 18 are state or federal agency scenic byways. New Mexico enacted its state scenic byway program on July 31, 1998, in partnership with the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) and the New Mexico State Highway Department. Funding has since also come from SAFETEA- LU (2005).

Byways Provide Access to Public Lands

New Mexico byways provide access to the state’s most spectacular public lands, including 15 national parks, 35 state parks, three national trails, 46 national historic landmarks, and three World Heritage Sites.

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.