Designating a National Scenic Road

Designating a National Scenic Road

Anyone may nominate a road for national designation. A national designation applies to National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads.

The Parkways, Historic and Scenic Roads Advisory Committee takes the first step in the nomination process to determine if the roadway possesses intrinsic qualities sufficient to merit its nomination as a National Scenic Byway or an All-American Road.

The second step is formal submittal of the nomination package to the Federal Highway Administration.

The designation of a National Scenic Byway and All-American Road is made by the secretary of transportation.


National Scenic Byway

To be designated as a National Scenic Byway, a roadway must meet certain requirements and criteria.


The nominated roadway should be a state-designated scenic road (parkway, historic or scenic road). However, roads that meet all criteria for national designation, but not state or federal agencies' designation criteria, may be considered for national designation on a case-by-case basis.

The road or highway must safely and conveniently accommodate two-wheel-drive automobiles with standard clearances.

The road or highway should accommodate, wherever feasible, bicycle and pedestrian travel.

A corridor management plan must be submitted.

The road or highway should not have too many gaps, be as continuous as possible and minimize intrusions on a visitor's experience.


The road or highway must significantly meet at least one of the six byways intrinsic qualities.

The characteristics associated with the intrinsic qualities are distinct and representative of the region. The significance of the features contributing to the distinctive characteristics of the corridor's intrinsic qualities are recognized throughout the region.


All-American Road

To receive an All-American Road designation, the roadway must meet the requirements and criteria of a National Scenic Byway, with several additions.


The All-American Road should safely accommodate conventional tour buses.

There must be a demonstration of the extent to which enforcement mechanisms are being implemented by communities along the highway in accordance with the corridor management plan.

User facilities (such as overlooks and food services) should be available for travelers.


The road or highway must meet at least two of the intrinsic qualities.

The characteristics associated with the intrinsic qualities best represent the nation and may contain one-of-a-kind features that do not exist elsewhere.

The road or highway must be considered a destination unto itself.