Western Skies Scenic Byway


  • DesignationState Byway
  • LocationIA
  • Length142 miles
Dedicated Byway Visitor Information
Golden HIlls RC&D
Statewide Byway Partners
Iowa Department of Transportation
Iowa Byways Map - Download
Western Skies Scenic Byway


Venture off the beaten path and experience the cultural communities that define Iowa. The 142-mile Western Skies Scenic Byway parallels Interstate 80 and joins Interstate 29, making it easy to discover all that western Iowa has to offer. Begin your journey at the Harrison County Historical Village and Welcome Center near Missouri Valley. Past and present meet in the largest rural Danish settlement in the country, located in the Danish villages of Elk Horn and Kimballtown. Elk Horn is home to the only working Danish windmill in America. Finding inspiration in their Danish brethren, the area has begun to rely on sustainable sources of energy such as wind turbines. German heritage is on display in the towns of Westphalia and Panama. Discover architecturally stunning churches built with great care and craftsmanship by the towns’ founders.

Native prairies, parks and an abundance of trails will entice you outdoors. Whiterock Conservancy is a 5,500-acre non-profit land trust that balances sustainable agriculture, conservation and public recreation, and provides Iowa’s darkest sky for stargazing.

Whether you’re looking for a change of scenery or just a change of pace, Western Skies Scenic Byway offers both, all while showcasing Iowa’s cultural heritage.

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