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Iowa's Most Scenic and Roads and Byways


Great River Road - Iowa

The 2,069-mile Great River Road borders the Mississippi River through the states of Mississippi, Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The 326-mile stretch in Iowa preserves historic resources associated with the Mississippi River and the story of transportation. Visitors can explore the towns and cities along the route, experience the Mississippi River on steamboats, commercial barges, and recreational crafts, visit sacred sites and landscape effigies of Native Americans (including Effigy Mounds National Monument), and view bald eagles and the migration of 100,000 geese and ducks along the Mississippi Flyway.

Start and Endpoint: The Iowa section of the Great River Road follows the Mississippi River along Iowa's eastern border from the Minnesota state line near New Albin south to the Missouri state line near Keokuk.

For further information, contact: Iowa Department of Tourism

Loess Hills Scenic Byway

The 220-mile byway weaves through a landform of windblown silt deposits that formed a yellow soil called "loess" along the eastern edge of the Missouri River Valley. Strong windstorms deposited layers of loess several hundred feet thick on both sides of the Missouri River Valley, molding the soft soil into sheer ridges and rippled hills. The Loess Hills region includes many culturally and historically important sites, public parks, and recreation areas.

Start and Endpoint: Byway follows the Missouri River along western Iowa from Akron near the South Dakota state line to the Missouri state line south of Hamburg.

For further information, contact: Harrison County Historical Village & Iowa Welcome Center

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