List of Bureau of Land Management Back Country Byways

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Bureau of Land Management Back Country Byways
Back Country Byways highlighted with brown squares
System information
Length: 2,952 mi[1] (4,751 km)
Formed: 1989 (1989)[1]
Highway names
Interstates: Interstate nn (I-nn)
US Highways: US Highway nn, US Route nn (US nn)
State: Varies by state
System links

The Bureau of Land Management Back Country Byways are roads that have been designated by the Bureau of Land Management as scenic byways. Some are also National Scenic Byways or National Forest Scenic Byways. The program was initiated in 1989, and since then, 54 byways have been designated in the Western United States.[1] Each byway is classified into one of four types based on the vehicles that can traverse it.

  • Type I—Roads are paved or have an all weather surface and have grades that are negotiable by a normal touring car. These roads are usually narrow, slow speed, secondary roads.
  • Type II—Roads require high-clearance vehicles such as trucks or 4-wheel drives. These roads are usually not paved, but may have some type of surfacing. Grades, curves, and road surface are such that they can be negotiated with a 2-wheel drive high clearance vehicle without undue difficulty.
  • Type III— Roads require 4-wheel drive vehicles or other specialized vehicles such as dirt bikes, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), etc. These roads are usually not surfaced, but are managed to provide for safety considerations and resource protection needs. They have grades, tread surfaces, and other characteristics that will require specialized vehicles to negotiate.
  • Type IV—Trails that are managed specifically to accommodate dirt bike, mountain bike, snowmobile, or ATV use. These are usually single track trails.[2]

List[edit]

Type Name Length (mi) Length (km) Southern or western terminus Northern or eastern terminus Date Description Ref(s).
III Alpine Loop National Back Country Byway 0 0 September 22, 1989 This route winds its way to an elevation of 12,800 feet (3,900 m), crossing Engineer and Cinnamon passes. The rugged scenery includes river meadows, alpine tundra, ghost towns, ore mills, abundant summer wildflowers and impressive fall colors; portions of this byway may require a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
III Barrel Springs Back Country Byway 0 0 June 20, 1989 This route in the northern corners of California and Nevada travels through rugged terrain perfect for wildlife viewing. Historical buildings and evidence of emigrant life remain along the route, testifying of early settlers' trials on the frontier; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle
I Big Sheep Creek Back Country Byway 0 0 July 21, 1989 Located near Dell, 24 miles (39 km) north of the Montana–Idaho state line, the road is mostly two-lane gravel with a few side roads that lead to the foot of the Rocky Mountains and provide many opportunities for solitude and exploration.
I Big Sky Back Country Byway 0 0 July 13, 2000 Crossing a variety of different landscapes across vast Montana wilderness, Big Sky Back Country Byway follows much of the Regina-Yellowstone Trail, once used as the principal route from Canada to the famed Yellowstone National Park.
II Bitter Springs Back Country Byway 0 0 June 19, 1989 Bitter Springs Back Country Byway offers more than a drive with many rock formations, like the Muddy Mountains and colorful sandstone for sightseeing; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle.
III Black Hills Back Country Byway 0 0 May 28, 1992 Black Hills Back Country Byway is the perfect place for experienced mountain bikers and four-wheel-drive enthusiasts to test their skills. For some quiet time, take a hike along the numerous nature trails and end up at a natural hot springs; portions of this byway may require a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
III Bradshaw Trail 0 0 November 8, 1992 This BLM Back Country Byway follows historic desert trails steeped in western lore and showcasing spectacular scenery; portions of this byway may require a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
II Buckhorn Back Country Byway 0 0 June 20, 1989 Famous for wild animals, including horses and burros, the unique Ponderosa Pine Dunes, and wet season waterfowl, Buckhorn Backcountry Byway is the perfect way to enjoy nature up close; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle.
III Bull Creek Pass National Back Country Byway 0 0 June 21, 1989 This byway travels through the Henry Mountains, surrounded by tall walls of granite; portions of this byway may require a 4-wheel drive vehicle; also a Utah Scenic Byway
I California Trail Back Country Byway 0 0 June 5, 1990 Parallels a portion of the California National Historic Trail, which saw over 250,000 immigrants make their way from Independence, Missouri, to California over 150 years ago; byway consists of Elko County routes 761, 762, 763 and 765, gravel roads which are maintained by the Elko County Highway Department. They are considered Type | bgcolor= dff9f9 align=center | bgcolor= dff9f9 align=center | In dry weather during the warm season (May to October), but may degrade to Type II or even Type III during wet weather due to mud, particularly during the cold season (November to April).[3]
III Chain of Craters Back Country Byway 0 0 March 10, 1993 This byway follows New Mexico County Road 42, showcasing the Chain of Craters and providing access to the Continental Divide Trail and to other attractions; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle; also a New Mexico State Backway
II Chimney Peak Back Country Byway 0 0 June 8, 1996 This is a rugged trek through some of California's best desert landscapes, passing over 50,000 acres (20,000 ha) of designated wilderness; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle.
I/II Christmas Valley Back Country Byway 0 0 June 29, 1989 Christmas Valley provides the best of nature. The 93-mile (150 km) loop runs through breathtaking high desert landscapes, by Fossil Lake, and up to Lost Forest where you can learn about the prehistoric creatures that once lived there; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle.
I Cow Creek Back Country Byway 0 0 1999 A refreshing break from the steady highway pace, this 45-mile (72 km) detour wanders alongside Cow Creek as it dips through the coastal mountain range of Oregon. Along the route are quaint farms and ranches, and stately forests; also an Oregon State Scenic Byway
I Diamond Loop Back Country Byway 0 0 March 14, 1991 Travel alongside ancient craters formed from long ago volcanic eruptions.
II Fort Churchill to Wellington Back Country Byway 0 0 November 11, 1989 This byway spans 67 miles (108 km) beginning in Fort Churchill and ending in Wellington. Fort Churchill was built in order to protect the Pony Express riders and settlers against the Indians in the area; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle.
I Galice to Hellgate Back Country Byway 0 0 June 29, 1989 Travel through a deep river canyon and steep mountain slopes. Enjoy a day of white water rafting, fishing or a guided tour along the Rogue River
IV Garnet Back Country Byway 0 0 July 21, 1989 This byway lies in the midst of the mountainous wilderness punctuated by the Garnet ghost town. Picnic, cross-country ski, snowshoe, horseback ride, hike, snowmobile, camp, and stop by the ghost town visitor center to take advantage of all this scenic byway has to offer; [ortions of this route are narrow trails, suitable only for bikes, snowmobiles, ATVs or similar vehicles
III Gold Belt Tour Scenic and Historic Byway 0 0 September 22, 1989 The Gold Belt Tour follows historic railroad and stagecoach routes leading to North America's greatest gold camp, three world-class fossil sites, and numerous historic sites. The Shelf and Phantom Canyon Roads cut along unpaved routes through winding canyons. Five byway communities allow a glimpse into this area's rich heritage portions of this byway may require a 4-wheel drive vehicle; also a National Scenic Byway and a Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway
II Gold Butte Back Country Byway 0 0 June 19, 1989 This byway travels across 62 miles (100 km) of Nevada desert. The town of Gold Butte stands as an old mining town established in the early 1900s where precious metals such as gold, copper, zinc, and lead were mined; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle.
I Grave Creek to Marial Back Country Byway 0 0 June 29, 1989 Explore the rugged mountains and canyons north of the Rogue River in the southwestern part of Oregon as you climb from the Rogue River's narrow gorge over the ragged ridges of the Siskiyou Mountains and down to the settlement of Marial.
I Guadalupe Back Country Byway 0 0 September 26, 1994 This backway follows NM 137 in southern New Mexico. It begins at the NM 137/US 285 junction near Brantley Dam State Park and proceeds southwest to Sitting Bull Falls in the Lincoln National Forest; also a State Scenic Backway
III Harquahala Mountain Back Country Byway 0 0 March 2000 The Harquahala Mountain Byway runs through the 22,880-acre (9,260 ha) Harquahala Mountains Wilderness and contains an interesting observatory on top of Arizona's highest mountain; portions of this byway may require a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
I Lake Valley Back Country Byway 0 0 April 14, 1993 This backway is nestled between the Mimbres and Caballo mountains and the Cookes Range in southwestern New Mexico. Drive NM 152 and NM 27 between Las Cruces and Truth or Consequences, near a string of lakes and reservoirs; also a State Scenic Backway
I/II Lakeview to Steens Mountain Back Country Byway 0 0 June 28, 1989 This byway provides an excellent opportunity to take in scenic forested lands, wetlands, and a wide range of recreational activities; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle
I Lewis and Clark Back Country Byway 0 0 June 22, 1989 Explore two National Trails, visit the homeland of Sacajawea and the Lemhi Shoshone, enjoy beautiful scenic vistas and observe the abundant wildlife. You can see how nature and humans have shaped the landscape, from wildfires and critical habitats; also an Idaho State Scenic Backway
I Los Caminos Antiguos 0 0 May 6, 1994 The Ancient Roads' lead you to key historical areas in the San Luis Valley—a high, enormous sun-baked flat between the Sangres and the San Juan foothills; also a Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway
I Lovelock Cave Back Country Byway 0 0 September 16, 1994 Lovelock Cave has yielded 2,000-year-old artifacts. Among the findings to marvel at are the famous Lovelock Cave duck decoys, baskets and textiles now held in museums across the United States.
I Lower Crooked River Back Country Byway 0 0 September 26, 1989 Cross into the hilly sections of Oregon's high sagebrush desert, follow a striking river canyon and catch glimpses of the blue-green waters of the Lower Crooked River.
I Lower Deschutes River Back Country Byway 0 0 September 26, 1989 This byway follows the Deschutes River through the multi-colored walls of a canyon made of Columbia River basalt. Fish or raft the waters of this nationally recognized river.
II Lunar Crater Back Country Byway 24 39 September 24, 1997 Portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle; also a National Natural Landmark
II Missouri Breaks Back Country Byway 0 0 July 21, 1989 This byway runs through central Montana, encompassing an area of varied geography and historical importance; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle.
II Mt. Wilson Back Country Byway 66 106 June 5, 1990 This byway extends over the Wilson Range. The gravel road winds through volcanic caldera now overgrown with piñons and junipers; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle
I Nestucca River Back Country Byway 0 0 September 26, 1989 Explore the wooded canyon of the Nestucca River; the forest is a temperate rainforest and provides habitat for many different species. The canyon walls are made up of seafloor sandstones and basalts.
I Nine Mile Canyon Backway 0 0 June 21, 1989 Nine Mile Canyon is known as a major representative area of the prehistoric Fremont Culture. The canyon houses a myriad of rock panels along the main road and in side canyons; also a Utah Scenic Byway
I Old Route 66 - Oatman Road 0 0 February 8, 1993 This desert route passes through Oatman, Arizona, whose ghost town appearance brings back the Old West. Free-roaming burros, staged gunfights, and gorgeous desert views come together to recreate a truly Western atmosphere.
I Owyhee Uplands Back Country Byway 0 0 June 22, 1989 From expanses of sagebrush and wildflowers, to sheer, red-walled river canyons, the Owyhee Uplands represent what many people believe the real West is all about.
I Parker Dam Road 0 0 August 11, 1994 Following the Colorado River, Parker Dam Road showcases scenery, history, and recreation in one of the West's most impressive places.
II Pony Express Trail National Back Country Byway 0 0 April 27, 1992 This byway takes travelers back in time to experience the Pony Express. Sites along the way tell of the historic trail's operation from 1860 to 1861; it also details stagecoach travel; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle also a Utah Scenic Byway
I Quartzville Road Back Country Byway 0 0 October 28, 1989 Meander beside the blue-green depths of the Green Peter Reservoir and the Quartzville Creek National Wild and Scenic River as you discover a pathway of old-growth forests, highlighted with rocky outcroppings.
I Quebradas Back Country Byway 0 0 June 20, 1989 Follows County Road A-129 to US 380, passing through two wildlife refuges; also a State Scenic Backway
I Red Gulch/Alkali National Back Country Byway 0 0 January 1, 1990 Drive this byway and take a step back in time. View petroglyphs or dinosaur tracks, take the 32-mile (51 km) byway and journey to the past; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle; also a Wyoming State Scenic Backway
I Red Rock Canyon Back Country Byway 13 21 June 19, 1989 Red Rock Canyon Back Country Byway runs across a paved loop through the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
II Saline Valley Road Back Country Byway 0 0 August 28, 1992 From SR 190 north to Death Valley Road near Big Pines, Saline Valley Road takes you to a little-known corner of the Death Valley ecosystem; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle
I/II Seminoe to Alcova Scenic Backway 0 0 June 28, 1989 The backway is in a remote area, but provides amazing landscape transformations while traversing the Seminoe Mountains, the Pedro Mountains, and Fremont Canyon; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle; also a Wyoming State Scenic Backway
II Silver Island Mountain National Back Country Byway 0 0 May 6, 1992 Located 120 miles (190 km) west of Salt Lake City, this byway follows a 54-mile (87 km) loop in northwest Utah; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle; also a Utah Scenic Byway
I Smithsonian Butte National Back Country Byway 0 0 June 21, 1989 Take in the stunning desert landscape of Southern Utah; all nine miles (14 km) between Big Plain Junction and Rockville just south of Zion National Park's southern entrance, offer gorgeous views of the surrounding geographic wonders including the byway's namesake and Zion Canyon, not to mention the historical Grafton ghost town; also a Utah Scenic Byway
I/II Snake River-Mormon Basin Back Country Byway 0 0 March 14, 1991 This byway provides you with amazing sights. The route is full of towering river canyons, aspen lined meadows, flowered basins, and timbered mountains teeming with wildlife; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle
II South Big Horn/Red Wall Scenic Backway 0 0 June 28, 1989 This byway is a 100-mile (160 km) mostly gravel road that traverses the antelope-dotted prairies northwest of Casper, travels up into the Big Horn Mountains, and drops back onto the prairie; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle; also a Wyoming State Scenic Backway
I South Fork-Alsea River Back Country Byway 0 0 April 11, 1990 This byway parallels the Alsea River, which is always in sight. The byway provides ample turn-outs for viewing the timbered landscape and local wildlife.
I South Fork John Day River Back Country Byway 0 0 April 2, 1990 Drive along the South Fork of the John Day River and enjoy the majestic old growth local trees. This byway is a prime place to view a variety of wildlife.
I/II Steens Mountain Back Country Byway 0 0 June 29, 1989 This byway climbs over 9,733-foot-high (2,967 m) Steens Mountain, the highest peak in southeastern Oregon; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle
II Transcontinental Railroad Back Country Byway 0 0 August 16, 1993 Although one might look at Utah’s northwestern region and see nothing but vast, isolated desert, a sharp observer would see a historical playground distinguished by this byway; portions of this byway may require a high-clearance vehicle; also a Utah Scenic Byway
I Wild Rivers Back Country Scenic Byway 0 0 June 20, 1989 Follows the Rio Grande Gorge in the north-central area of New Mexico, near the village of Questa; also a State Scenic Backway

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Bureau of Land Management (October 20, 2009). "BLM Byways Program". Bureau of Land Management. Retrieved June 15, 2012. 
  2. ^ Bureau of Land Management (June 30, 2004). Table 1: Bureau of Land Management BLM Scenic and/or Back Country Byway (BCB) Roster (As of 6/30/04) (PDF) (Report). Bureau of Land Management. p. 1. Retrieved June 15, 2012. 
  3. ^ "California Trail Back Country Byway". Scenic Drives USA. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2014. 

External links[edit]