National Scenic Byways – magnificent scenery and camping


Here’s a question from a reader of about boondocking. 

Hi Bob,
We like boondocking whenever possible, especially in scenic areas. But when we’re traveling through a new area we don’t always know where to look. I’ll bet you have some good ideas you could pass on to us boondockers – without, of course, giving away your favorite secret spots. —Marcia and Dick

Hi Marcia and Dick,
I would love to pass along some of my favorite spots, but they’re not really secret. Many of this country’s well-known scenic locations are in our national forests and parks. But not so publicized are our National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads, which often connect one national forest with another or serve as corridors between the forests and the national parks and monuments. 

National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads – click image to enlarge

The National Scenic Byways is a program administered in part by the National Forest Service (FS) and describes routes through lesser-known scenic lands in the country, many through national forests or other public lands where you can find nesty primitive campgrounds and scattered boondocking campsites along your route. You can find the nation’s byways on the America’s Byways website from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. 

Some states also have scenic roads or byways that are not yet listed as “national” scenic byways. You can find these at the individual state’s scenic byways Web page. Type the state name followed by “scenic byways” in your browser’s search box.

What fun it is to dawdle along these scenic roadways with no need to travel the entire route between private campgrounds or RV resorts on either end – or often even farther away. When you’ve perfected your boondocking radar alert skills, you will be able to find multiple boondocking and primitive camping opportunities along the byways. This will enable you to slow down to fully appreciate the area and to spend a few extra days enjoying the beauty of the byway and the forested campsites or campgrounds you find along the way. Watch for marked FS roads and obtain a list of dispersed camping possibilities and primitive campgrounds from the byway, FS office, or online at sites like Forest Service Camping.

Read more about boondocking at my BoondockBob’s Blog.
Check out my Kindle e-books about boondocking at Amazon.

Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) .




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It appears that the free brochure/map of the scenic byways is no longer available, possibly due to the high cost of mailing out a full-color free brochure and the migration of information seekers to online sources. The online information on the Byways website (, however, is quite extensive and, of course, free.


Your ” America’s Biways” link is bad. I had to go here for listings by state.

Chuck Dunn

Hi Bob, I could not find where you said the brochure for the America’s Byways. I am always checking for remote spots. I was in a spot last summer in the National forest near Crater Lake and I saw not one for nearly three weeks.