Description - California offers one All American Road - Route 1, Big Sur Coast Highway - two National Scenic Byways - Death Valley Scenic Byway and Tioga Road/Big Oak Flat Road - and well over 50 state and National Forest designated scenic byways.
Route One, the Big Sur Coast Highway, from Carmel south to the San Luis Obispo County line follows some of the most spectacular and highly scenic shoreline found along California's coast. Views include rugged canyons and steep sea cliffs, granite shorelines, sea lions and other marine life, windswept cypress trees, and majestic redwood forests.
Death Valley Scenic Byway crosses the sculptured landscape of Death Valley National Monument, a land whose stark setting contrasts the lowest elevation in North America with mountain ridges along the valley.
Tioga Road/Big Oak Flat Road offers one of the most spectacular passages over the Sierra Nevada, making it the highest automobile pass in California with an elevation change of over one mile from west to east. Along the route, views include towering granite peaks, pristine lakes, wildflower-covered meadows, and lush evergreen forests with Giant Sequoia groves.
Recreation - Byways provide access to numerous recreational sites, facilities and activities. Some of the most popular activities along the byways include hiking, picnicking, biking, fishing, photographing scenery, viewing historic sites and of course scenic driving.
Climate - Thanks to California's generally mild climate, many recreation areas are accessible year round. Summer temperatures range from 100+ in the desert and Sacramento and Central Valleys, to a cool and often foggy 50 in San Francisco. The mildest weather statewide occurs in fall. Rain begins in late autumn and continues through winter in most areas. Winter brings heavy snow at higher elevations, particularly in the Sierra Nevada and other mountain ranges. Desert areas remain warm and coastal areas often experience mild temperatures during winter months.
California's Byways travel through scenic and historic areas throughout the state. Maps are available on the individual pages describing each park and activity.