Western Skies Scenic Byway

“See the first bank Bonnie & Clyde robbed”

This 142-mile byway parallels I-80, offering travelers several easy opportunities to venture off the beaten path and experience what Iowa is truly about. Travelers can start their byway journey just off of Exit 75 on I-29 near Missouri Valley, which features the Watson Steam Train Museum and the Wisecup Farm Museum.

Taking Highway 30 north from Missouri Valley, travelers have the option to turn east onto State Highway 44 or to continue north into Woodbine where the byway forms a loop at County Road F32. Both routes lead travelers to Harlan, where they continue east on Highway 44 into the heart of the Danish countryside: Kimballton and Elk Horn. Kimballton features a bronze reproduction of the Little Mermaid sculpture in Copenhagen Harbor. Just a few miles south on Iowa 173, Elk Horn is home to the only working Danish windmill in America and the Danish Immigrant Museum.

Back on Highway 44, follow the rolling ridge top through Hamlin and Guthrie Center, and into Panora. Along the way be sure to keep an eye out for one of Iowa's many Barn Quilt displays. These large quilt blocks are a fun nod to America's treasured quilting history. The Barn Quilts typically adorn barns or corn cribs visible from the roadside, and no two displays are alike.

Turning south on to P28, the byway ends at Stuart where in the 1930s the town's First National Bank was robbed by the infamous duo Bonnie and Clyde. The former bank is now home to the Stuart Police Department.

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Western Skies Scenic Byway

  • 188mi
  • 03h 56m
  • $22