National Scenic BywaysIowa has two designated National Scenic Byways that flank the state with Loess Hills along the western border and Iowa Great River Road along the eastern border.
The Loess Hills Scenic Byway is a 220-mile route in western Iowa. Majestic views are the hallmark of a trip on the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway. Formed by deposits of very fine, windblown soil at the end of the last ice age, these are not your average hills. Spanning 15 miles at their widest and nearly 200 miles long from Sioux City, Iowa, to St. Joseph, Mo., you would have to travel to China to see any taller loess formations.
The Great River Road stretches the 3,000 mile length of Mississippi River from Lake Itasca in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. Follow the Mississippi River between Iowa's southern and northern borders on the Iowa portion of the Great River Road National Scenic Byway, and you will find world-class vistas, charming river towns, magnificent limestone bluffs and so much more. One constant as you travel this world-renowned route, is the stories you'll hear of the Mighty Mississippi and the nation it helped build.
The National Scenic Byways Program is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. The program is a grass-roots collaborative effort established to help recognize, preserve and enhance selected roads throughout the United States. Between 1992 and 2012, the National Scenic Byways Program funded 3,174 projects for state and nationally designated byway routes in 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The U.S. Department of Transportation recognizes certain roads as All-American Roads or National Scenic Byways based on one of more archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic qualities. Currently, no federal grant applications are being accepted.
Learn more about the National Scenic Byways Program - byway traveler website
Learn more about the National Scenic Byways Program - byway community website