What is a Scenic Byway?
The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has 4 major scenic byways with State, National or All-American Road designations. These routes have been selected to enhance their "intrinsic qualities" such as natural, scenic, historical, cultural, recreational or archeological.
As designated byways they are now managed as scenic routes that serve to attract in-state and out-of-state travelers, and enhance local communities.
The Federal Highway Administration's goal in recognizing National Scenic Byways or All-American Roads is to create a unique travel experience and enhance the local quality of life through efforts to protect, interpret, and promote the intrinsic qualities of designated byways. To be designated a National Scenic Byway, a road must possess characteristics of regional significance within at least one of the above mentioned intrinsic qualities. All-American Roads must possess characteristics of national significance in at least two of the intrinsic qualities. In Oregon, state scenic byways include outstanding scenic roads that would accomodate most travelers, and tour routes include all other routes with unique features yet may have some form of limited drivability.