National and state scenic byways have been the delight of the traveling public for decades. It’s no accident that billboards are prohibited on scenic byways.

However, these roads provide more than scenic views. Establishing a scenic byway protects the historical and environmental resources surrounding the area and provides local communities with economic development through tourism.

The mission of our state Scenic Byway program is to “identify, promote and protect the state’s most exceptional roadways for the traveling public and for the betterment of Nevada communities.” There are about 23 road segments throughout Nevada designated as state scenic byways. The system comprises approximately 420 miles of roads. Fifteen of the state’s scenic byways overlap with state-maintained highways.

Nevada’s scenic byway program was established by the Nevada Legislature in 1983. The Nevada Department of Transportation is the primary agency responsible for the program, and its director has the authority to add new byways into the system. However, at this time there is no mechanism in place for Nevada citizens to nominate new ones.

We strive to cultivate strong citizen interest in Nevada’s scenic byways by advocating for protection of and promoting new byways as well as encouraging participation in the state’s Adopt-a Highway litter control program.

At the federal level, 150 special roads around the country have been designated as National Scenic Byways since the program’s inception in 1991. But the last round of designations occurred in 2009, and Congress pulled support for the program in 2012 transportation legislation.

At the state level, Scenic Nevada is following NDOTs progress on reinstating Nevada’s program. Scenic America is working on getting a bill introduced in the U.S. Congress to reinstate funding for the National Scenic Byway Program.

For more information about the future of the state’s scenic byway program go to the Nevada Department of Transportation website.