Byways 101

Part 1: Program Overview

USDI Bureau Of Land Management – National Back Country Byways Program

The National Back Country Byways program is the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) unique contribution to the larger byway community. Since 1989, the BLM has designated 54 National Back Country Byways that total nearly 3,000 miles of routes located in 10 western States. Most of the Back Country Byways are located in remote areas far from tourist attractions, providing access to a diversity of landscapes, small rural communities and some of America’s most spectacular country. Many provide roadside kiosk interpretation and BLM offices where interpretive maps and materials are available for visitors.

Back Country Byways traverse much of the 258 million acres of National Public Lands under BLM’s jurisdiction, serving as gateways to public lands and outdoor recreation adventure. Most byways are unpaved, gravel or native-surface roads, and vary from narrow, graded roads passable only during a few months of the year to two-lane paved highways providing year-round access. Back Country Byways are designated by the type of road and the vehicle needed to safely travel the byway. Due to their remote locations, the BLM advises visitors to inquire locally about byway access conditions.

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