Diablo Lake Overlook, Cascade Loop

Washington’s Scenic Byways

Washington was among the first states to establish a scenic highway system shortly after the federal program began. Washington lays claim to two All-American Roads in the Chinook Pass Scenic Byway and the International Selkirk Loop – both of which highlight the diverse natural beauty of the state as they wind through charming communities, picturesque views, waterfalls, and unique basalt flows. National scenic byways offer unmatched experiences and contribute to the robust Washington tourism sector.

Byways Provide Access to Public Lands

Washington byways provide access to the state’s most spectacular public lands, including three national parks, 132 state parks, three national recreational areas, seven national forests, and six state recreation areas.


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.