National Awards for Colorado Byways




DENVER – Colorado is receiving national recognition for its efforts to improve and publicize its Scenic and Historic Byways program.

The state was presented with two awards by the National Scenic Byway Foundation – for communications and viewshed improvements.

Colorado’s diverse transportation system links all of us together, but most importantly takes us to places in our beautiful state that often go missed. The #ColoradoByways campaign on Instagram was a visual storytelling project that highlighted the rich history, beautiful landscapes, wildlife and more along each of the 26 Scenic and Historic Colorado Byways. Our goals were not only to educate and engage our followers on Instagram about Colorado’s Scenic and Historic Byways, but to also grow this channel to reach more travelers across colorful Colorado. For seven months (June – December), we showcased a new Colorado Byway weekly in different regions across the state. Using a byways map to strategically create an editorial calendar of which roadway we would feature based on best times to safely travel became an excellent two-way communication effort to reach travelers.

“Colorado has 13 National Byways, more than any other state, so our Scenic and Historic Byways program is one of our prized assets,” said Colorado Department of Transportation Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “To be recognized nationally, not just once but twice in one year for our program, is an honor we’re very proud of.”

The Silver Thread National Scenic Byway traverses the central San Juan Mountains along Lake San Cristobal, Colorado’s second largest natural lake near Lake City. A community-driven purchase of the peninsula and adjacent islands on the Lake’s shoreline enhances the visitor’s experience along both the Silver Thread and Alpine Loop Scenic Byways. The visitor experience is enhanced by 1) maintaining the visual corridor of the lake overlook; 2) creating additional activities along the byway with the enhanced outdoor recreation and lake shore access; 3) establishing an outdoor classroom site where eventual interpretive programs will be offered to byway visitors; 4) protecting the only archipelago in Colorado (a series of islands); 5) increasing the ADA fishing; and 6) increasing “spaces of solace” for byways visitors.

“Lake San Cristobal is a hidden gem in the Colorado countryside,” said Hinsdale County Commissioner Kristie Borchers. “We are pleased to accept this national award to recognize the work of Hinsdale County, Trust for Public Land, Great Outdoors Colorado, and private donors protecting this viewshed by purchasing the peninsula.

The awards were presented to CDOT a few weeks ago at the National Scenic Byway Foundation presentation in Leavenworth, Kansas.

CDOT established the Scenic and Historic Byways program in 1989.  It supports 26 byways, including 13 America’s Byways®, 10 National Forest Scenic Byways, and two Bureau of Land Management Backcountry Byways. The statewide system is comprised of nearly 2,600 miles of roadway through 48 of Colorado’s 64 counties. More information is available at:

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Filed Under: Chamber of CommerceCountyEnvironmentFeaturedMedia ReleaseRecreationTourismTransportation

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