What is a Scenic Road?

A scenic road is a general term that is often used to apply to several types of roadways offering visual, historic, and cultural significance. A scenic road is also used as a specific term to describe a certain type of roadway.


The Arizona Department of Transportation oversees the designating and planning of of scenic roads.


There are 26 State designated scenic roads in Arizona. They are divided into the following 3 scenic road designations:

» 19 are designated as Scenic Roads,
» 3 are designated as Historic Roads, and
» 4 are designated as Parkways.

Of these 26 State designated scenic roads, 5 are also Federally designated.


Scenic Roads


These roads include a roadway (or segment of a roadway) that:

» has a memorable visual impression,
» is free of visual encroachment,
» forms a harmonious composite of visual patterns.


Some of the more popular Scenic Roads include:



Historic Roads


These roads include a roadway (or segment of a roadway) that:


» has historical importance to the state, nation, or region,
» is easily accessible,
» has uniqueness.


The Historic Roads in Arizona are:





Parkways include a roadway (or segment of a roadway) that:


» meets scenic or historic road criteria,
» has a one-mile minimum distance between access roads,
» allows visitor facilities/interpretive areas,
» offers controlled access to adjacent development.


The Parkways in Arizona are:



National Scenic Byways


National Scenic Byways include a roadway (or segment of a roadway) that:


» must be a currently designated State scenic road,
» has multi-state significance,
» possesses one or more of the following intrinsic qualities:
   - scenic,
   - historic,
   - recreational,
   - cultural,
   - archaeological, or
   - natural qualities,
» contains no gaps in continuity,
» accommodates bicycles and pedestrians,
» has a completed Corridor Management Plan.


There are 3 National Scenic Byways in Arizona:



All-American Roads


All-American Roads include a roadway that meets the criteria of a National Scenic Byway, but with the following additional requirements:


» has national significance instead of multi-state significance,
» possesses multiple intrinsic qualities,
» be considered a destination unto itself.


There are 2 All-American Roads in Arizona: