Jump to content
American Road Magazine
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!
sit properly

Using Google To Map The Yellowstone Trail In Washington

Recommended Posts

I'll be taking a two-day quick trip across Washington traveling as much as possible upon the old Yellowstone Trail. Unlike other old roads that I've traveled (Route 66, etc), there's no guide book to tell me to "turn left at crappy dirt road and hope for the best." So I had to gather some common sense, maps, hearsay, luck and prayers and map it out myself.

 

I think I done good. But certainly not perfect. Not by a long shot.

 

Here are links to how I'll be driving it with a little explanation along the way. Again, much of this is speculation. I could be wrong on a good many things. If I am and you have another idea, please correct me. I'm not anything close to an expert on this, I'm just having fun. These are my *driving* directions. I'm trying to drive upon every available section of the YT. Obviously, with some sections that's not possible.

 

Each link will go to a map on GoogleMaps.

 

 

Seattle to Fall City (early more northerly alignment according to 1917 & 1924 Blue Books and others)

*YT used 4th Ave, south to Jackson, but you can no longer go that way - used 2nd instead.

*YT used 19th Ave north from Jackson, but it's now a park. Used 18th and Yessler to bypass back to 19th.

*YT crossed Lake Washington via a Ferry from Madison Ave to Kirkwood Way (at Marina Park, Kirkwood). You can see how I detoured.

*I'm pretty sure I'm wrong from Kirkland to Redmond. Help!

*The use of the famous "brick road" is a bit of a mystery. The 1924 alignment definitely used it, but the 1917 alignment, which is almost identical to the 1924 alignment, did not.

 

Seattle to Fall City (later more southerly alignment - post 1925ish)

*This is mostly based upon Hobb's 1926 map/guide. There's very little to go on, so much of this is speculation. The only road I know for sure is Rainier Ave.

Any help would be helpful.

 

 

There was an even earlier alignment through Seattle, but the routing from the 1916 Blue Book makes no sense when compared with modern Seattle.

 

 

 

Fall City to east of Cle Elum (updated 04.30.09)

*The routing around Snoqualmie is from the 1917 Blue Book. The 1924 alignment entered Snoqualmie via WA 202, took a left at River ST and a right on Park Street, meeting up with the 1917 YT.

*Also, the routing around Snoqualmie Falls as shown on the map is from 1917. By 1924, the YT used modern 202.

*Since much of the YT after Exit 34 of I90 is buried under the interstate, I've marked places where I believe there to be old sections of the road. Most of these are side-trips and not "through" roads.

*From Exit 54 to 71 - Most of the old YT is still out there. It's marked on my maps (thanks John!)

*Exit 70 is a bit confusing. You exit, cross I90, left on Sparks, left on NFD 4828 (crossing I90 again) and right on the frontage RD. There's an old bridge and I'm betting the frontage road was old something, but it now seems doubtful that it was YT. If you retrace your route, but instead of getting back on I90, you cross it and continue on Lake Easton RD to Easton, reentering I90 at exit 71 (though not before following Railroad Street till it dead ends), you are traveling on a continuation of whatever road that bridge was on. seems doubtful now that it was YT.

*Exit 74 - Nelson Siding Road was not YT.

*The routing through and around Cle Elum matches up with Hobbs Guide and matches the mileage of the 1924 Blue Book exactly (yay!!)

*YT never used WA 10. And if you want to get REALLY technical, it never used WA 970. Though you have to do a little driving on 970, it's only because the original road no longer exists. You can see what I mean at the eastern terminus of this section of my mapping.

 

From here, the YT divided. Taking modern US 97 South took you on the older alignment. Taking US 97 North took you on the newer alignment.

I'll be taking the older alignment east and the newer alignment west, on my return trip.

 

 

 

East of Cle Elum to Zillah

*In Ellensburg, it's very clear that YT came into town on Dry Creek RD/15th, which curved right to meet Main. That curve can't be done now, so a short detour of Water & 14th Street to Main is necessary.

*The routing of everything after Ellensburg is 100% pure speculation. I really have no idea. I'm just guessing. If anyone has any details, help me out.

*I've got a big hunch that US 12 through Sawyer and Flint wasn't the YT, but I'm not sure where it was.

*Going into Zillah, I'm pretty sure YT did the right angle thing. I love that.

 

 

Zillah to Walla Walla

*After Granger, I'm not sure why I think YT was on Outlook RD and not Gap RD. Maybe it was both, maybe it was neither. Any ideas?

*The Routing south of Sunnyside is a totally mystery to me. I "know" that YT used the Grandview Pavement RD, but not sure how it got there. Thankfully after Grandview, there's a road called Old Inland Empire Hwy. I'm hoping that's YT as well.

*The routing through West Richland and Richland feels a bit wrong. But I don't know what else it could be.

*Though unmarked on my map (Google wouldn't let me add another destination), opposite Dodd RD after Burbank seems to be an old section of road. It's just a small stretch and was probably either where the bridge crossed or where the water rose after being dammed somewhere.

*I've also got some confusion about the roads west of Reese. Which was YT?

*The routing through Walla Walla is pure speculation.

 

 

Walla Walla to Colfax

*Between Delaney and Dodge, I think YT was just north of US 12. I doubt most of it is drivable.

*Before Central Ferry, the YT used to cross at a ferry just upstream (north). I think it should be accessible via Hastings Hill RD. I'm sort of confused about this and I'm doubting I'll figure it out anytime soon.

*In Wilcox, I'll turn south onto Wilcox RD and follow it and Penawawa RD as far as I can, hopefully to the river where the ferry crossed to Hastings Hill RD. I'll then return the way I came. I'll take a right on Musgrave RD, which I (for some reason) believe to be YT after they cut off the Penawawa ferry.

*There is some speculation (by me) that Wilcox was cut off at some point. If that's so, then I bet they used Colfax Airport RD to go into Colfax. Dave has mentioned that there are old road graters along this road. I'm not really convinced that the airport road was ever YT, but I'll check out the graters anyway!

 

 

Colfax to State Line, ID

*Into the Cashup (which is a really fun town name), YT when into it from the south on Cashup Flat RD. For some reason, Googlemaps won't let me do that.

*Around Rosalia, there's the original YT arrow on a RR overpass. I don't know if it's on 195 or old 195 (assuming "old"). That would determine where the YT was.

*Going into Spokane from the south, I'm a bit confused. My best guess is what I have. My second best guess (and the one I wish it were) is, starting just west of Hangman Valley Golf Course and just west of 195 at Hatch RD. It would loop back to 195 and then turn off right again just south of Campion Park. From there, Hatch RD to High Drive to Cedar ST to Walnut or Maple and then to Sprague (which you can't take east anymore).

*The Hobb's Guide is for the later, northern alignment, so it's no help here at all (till later, of course, where it helps quite a bit).

*On my map, I use 3rd Ave because Sprague is a one way street. I move to it when it becomes both ways.

*I'm fairly certain of the Appleway alignment just east of Spokane. I do believe that it wasn't always this - there was a slightly more northern alignment, but I don't know which came first (or if I'm even correct).

 

 

The Way Back! (The later, northern alignment)

State Line, ID to Creston

*First, I have pretty much zero idea about this routing into Spokane. It would be nifty, but I don't believe I have any real proof of this. Or maybe I did and now I forget. I do know that it *was* as good road at the time.

*Ignore the weird little loop thing when Wellesely Ave meets Trent RD/290. GoogleMaps insists that I can't enter 290 without making a weird little loop. I assume they're wrong and so should you.

*I don't know how the YT got to Sprague Ave. But according to Hobb's Guide (1926), it did. The Routing through Spokane (from Sprague > west) is almost like Hobb's. You can't do it anymore due to the interstate. Hobb's has it: Sprague > Riverside > 1st > Cannon > 6th > Lindeke. Today, you have to travel: Sprague > Riverside > 1st > Cannon > W Sunset Blvd. Here, 6th Ave is covered by I90's exits 279 and 280. Lindeke is partially covered/moved, etc. The routing on my map is as close as you can get (though it wouldn't surprise me if modern day Rosamond Ave was used).

*At Deep Creek, there's an old section called Old Sunset Highway. I wanted to put this on the routing too, but Google wouldn't let me use another destination point.

*Alexander Road comes up quite a lot in this part of Washington. Anyone know what it was?

*Mapping the north is easy because "Old Sunset Hwy," etc still exist. I just assume that this was also YT.

 

 

Creston to Monitor (Updated 05.12.09)

*There are TONS of zig-zaggy wild speculations here! I have reasons for all of them, but pretty well zero proof.

*Just after Coulee City and right after crossing the dam, to the left, right before WA 17, there's an "unknown road" that I believe is how the original YT meets US 2.

*The old section between G RD SE (yes, that's a road name) and F RD SE is probably *not* drivable. I saw it and was tempted to take the sedan over it, but ehh. I could do it in a scooter though. And will. You can see the old road pretty well from US 2 though.

*The Sulpher Springs loop might very well be not accessible. I couldn't find it when I drove it before.

*The road up over Moses Coulee (just after Sulpher Spring loop) may or may not be private property. The ground on either side of the road is owned by some hunting group. It's not very well marked and if they really wanted to keep people out, they'd gate it. I don't know how much land they own or if any of the road is private property. As always, tread very lightly and use your head.

*Just west of Waterville, the old road used a different alignment to make the climb. Google says that there's still a road there, but I'm doubting that it will head all the way back to US 2. I'll find out.

*The original bridge from East Wenatchee to Wenatchee went from 9th Ave (in East Wenatchee) to Bridge ST (in Wenatchee).

*I'd love to know why Badger Mountain RD wasn't used.

*East of Monitor, I really have no idea. Maybe it was Lower Monitor RD, maybe it was Easy Street the whole way. Who knows?

 

 

Monitor to Cle Elum

*The weird loop thing just after Monitor is intentional. I'm not sure where the YT was here. Wherever it was, US 2 cuts it apart. I'm pretty sure you can't drive it like it was. I do the loop thing to drive as much as possible.

*According to Hobbs, the YT was on the south side of the Wenatchee River. US 2 is on the north.

*Dryden was on YT, but you have to loop around it to drive it. It probably crossed the river to Motel Street and connected back to US 2. While there, please visit Dead Man's Hill RD. It overlooks Dryden and is really beautiful.

*You can see on my map, that I pretty well follow US 97 over Blewett Pass. There's a big bulge sticking out to the east. I have a hard time believing this is the original road. NDF 7320 to 9715 is a good assumption for the original road. Also, 7320 > 200 > 113 > 9714 (or some combination thereof) might be correct also.

*Some sources claim that Liberty was on the YT. But I'm not sure how it all fits in here. I'm betting Dave knows.

 

 

And that's it! Everything else has been covered.

 

Again, these are my speculations. If you have other ideas, let me know. I'll change the maps and mark when they were updated. I'd like to keep this as a work-in-progress. At least until there is some official book/site, etc about it.

 

-Eric

Edited by sit properly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To Sit Properly,

 

I'm impressed with your work! I was not aware that we can draw and then share maps on Google Maps. So I had to try it. I very quickly drew a map of the YT from Seattle to north of Ellensburg using my sketch maps and notes. While we spent a long time working out the route with BBs, old maps, guides and all that stuff, we have not followed through by creating a detailed map. Nor have we checked out many ambiguities. But for what it is worth take a look at http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?source=s_d&...p;msa=2&z=4

 

If it is of use to you, let me know and I will try to complete the Google map through the rest of Washington. Unfortunately I don't have time to discuss a whole lot about the conflicts and unknowns - at least until July. (We are getting the Wis YT Guide ready to print and then taking a month off for a trip to the UK).

 

Go to it! Waiting to hear from you. I need to know if all this works. When is your trip?

 

John Ridge (yttrailman)

 

 

 

 

 

I'll be taking a two-day quick trip across Washington traveling as much as possible upon the old Yellowstone Trail. Unlike other old roads that I've traveled (Route 66, etc), there's no guide book to tell me to "turn left at crappy dirt road and hope for the best." So I had to gather some common sense, maps, hearsay, luck and prayers and map it out myself.

 

I think I done good. But certainly not perfect. Not by a long shot.

 

Here are links to how I'll be driving it with a little explanation along the way. Again, much of this is speculation. I could be wrong on a good many things. If I am and you have another idea, please correct me. I'm not anything close to an expert on this, I'm just having fun. These are my *driving* directions. I'm trying to drive upon every available section of the YT. Obviously, with some sections that's not possible.

 

Each link will go to a map on GoogleMaps.

 

 

Seattle to Fall City (early alignment according to 1924 Blue Book and others)

*YT used 4th Ave, south to Jackson, but you can no longer go that way - used 2nd instead.

*YT used 19th Ave north from Jackson, but it's now a park. Used 18th and Yessler to bypass back to 19th.

*YT crossed Lake Washington via a Ferry from Madison Ave to Kirkwood Way (at Marina Park, Kirkwood). You can see how I detoured.

*I'm pretty sure I'm wrong from Kirkland to Redmond. Help!

 

Seattle to Fall City (later alignment - post 1925ish)

*This is mostly based upon Hobb's 1926 map/guide. There's very little to go on, so much of this is speculation. The only road I know for sure is Rainier Ave.

Any help would be helpful.

 

 

There was an even earlier alignment through Seattle, but the routing from the 1916 Blue Book makes no sense when compared with modern Seattle.

 

 

 

Fall City to east of Cle Elum

*I'm pretty sure that YT follows WA 202 from FC to I90 (except River RD > Park ST > Boalch Ave in and out of Snoqualmie)

*Since much of the YT after Exit 34 of I90 is buried under the interstate, I've marked places where I believe there to be old sections of the road. Most of these are side-trips and not "through" roads.

*I have a TON of questions about old segments along the I90 corridor.

--from East Exit 38 to Exit 42 - was Homestead Valley RD part of the YT?

--from Exit 42 to 47 - was Tinkham RD part of the YT?

--from Exit 54 to 70 - are ALL of the YT segments really buried?

*Exit 70 is a bit confusing. You exit, cross I90, left on Sparks, left on NFD 4828 (crossing I90 again) and right on the frontage RD. There's an old bridge and I'm betting the frontage road was Old YT. You then retrace your route, but instead of getting back on I90, you cross it and continue on Lake Easton RD to Easton, reentering I90 at exit 71 (though not before following Railroad Street till it dead ends.

*Exit 74 and Nelson Siding Road make no sense to me. I've driven it before and it had that old road feel, but I have no idea if it was YT. I'm taking it because it's better than I90. Any ideas here?

*Hobb's shows YT doing a little zig-zag through Cle Elum, but I can't figure out where. My suspicion is shown on my map. I think I believe that Ranger Station Road was YT.

*It's my little theory that the YT never used WA 10. And if you want to get REALLY technical, it never used WA 970. Though you have to do a little driving on 970, it's only because the original road no longer exists. You can see what I mean at the eastern terminus of this section of my mapping.

 

From here, the YT divided. Taking modern US 97 South took you on the older alignment. Taking US 97 North took you on the newer alignment.

I'll be taking the older alignment east and the newer alignment west, on my return trip.

 

 

 

East of Cle Elum to Zillah

*In Ellensburg, it's very clear that YT came into town on Dry Creek RD/15th, which curved right to meet Main. That curve can't be done now, so a short detour of Water & 14th Street to Main is necessary.

*The routing of everything after Ellensburg is 100% pure speculation. I really have no idea. I'm just guessing. If anyone has any details, help me out.

*I've got a big hunch that US 12 through Sawyer and Flint wasn't the YT, but I'm not sure where it was.

*Going into Zillah, I'm pretty sure YT did the right angle thing. I love that.

 

 

Zillah to Walla Walla

*After Granger, I'm not sure why I think YT was on Outlook RD and not Gap RD. Maybe it was both, maybe it was neither. Any ideas?

*The Routing south of Sunnyside is a totally mystery to me. I "know" that YT used the Grandview Pavement RD, but not sure how it got there. Thankfully after Grandview, there's a road called Old Inland Empire Hwy. I'm hoping that's YT as well.

*The routing through West Richland and Richland feels a bit wrong. But I don't know what else it could be.

*Though unmarked on my map (Google wouldn't let me add another destination), opposite Dodd RD after Burbank seems to be an old section of road. It's just a small stretch and was probably either where the bridge crossed or where the water rose after being dammed somewhere.

*I've also got some confusion about the roads west of Reese. Which was YT?

*The routing through Walla Walla is pure speculation.

 

 

Walla Walla to Colfax

*Between Delaney and Dodge, I think YT was just north of US 12. I doubt most of it is drivable.

*Before Central Ferry, the YT used to cross at a ferry just upstream (north). I think it should be accessible via Hastings Hill RD. I'm sort of confused about this and I'm doubting I'll figure it out anytime soon.

*In Wilcox, I'll turn south onto Wilcox RD and follow it and Penawawa RD as far as I can, hopefully to the river where the ferry crossed to Hastings Hill RD. I'll then return the way I came. I'll take a right on Musgrave RD, which I (for some reason) believe to be YT after they cut off the Penawawa ferry.

*There is some speculation (by me) that Wilcox was cut off at some point. If that's so, then I bet they used Colfax Airport RD to go into Colfax. Dave has mentioned that there are old road graters along this road. I'm not really convinced that the airport road was ever YT, but I'll check out the graters anyway!

 

 

 

 

Ok, I'm worn out for tonight. I'll be mappin' and justifyin' more tomorrow.

 

Any tips, hints, suggestions would be great!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi John!

 

For some reason, your map wasn't loading. I'm not sure why, but you posted it elsewhere and it works now.

John's Map

 

 

 

 

You can do really detailed and annotated maps with GoogleMaps, but I don't really know how. I tried yesterday, but failed and just made regular maps.

 

I think I'll complete my maps and then wait for yours (if you're up to it). I just like doing it, but you're more of an authority on this than I am. I'm just a wild speculator.

 

I'll post the rest of my maps in the original post.

 

As for when the trip is, it might be this week, but we shall see.

 

-Eric

 

Edit: I have some differing ideas about the YT in some sections, based upon the 1924 Blue Book. My maps (from Seattle's northern alignment to east of Cle Elum) reflect both John's map and my interpretation of the Blue Book. You can find them here. They will be updated as I learn more from John and if any other Blue Book pages are made available on the forum (hint hint... :) ).

Edited by sit properly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to John's map and the 1924 Blue Book, my routing on the map: Fall City to east of Cle Elum has been changed quite a bit. Thanks, John (for the map) and thanks, Dave (for scanning the '24 Blue Book in one of your posts).

 

Here's the updated info:

 

Fall City to east of Cle Elum (updated 04.27.09)

*I'm pretty sure that YT follows WA 202 from FC to I90 (except River RD > Park ST > Boalch Ave in and out of Snoqualmie - which matches the '24 Blue Book exactly)

*Since much of the YT after Exit 34 of I90 is buried under the interstate, I've marked places where I believe there to be old sections of the road. Most of these are side-trips and not "through" roads.

*From Exit 54 to 71 - Most of the old YT is still out there. It's marked on my maps (thanks John!)

*Exit 70 is a bit confusing. You exit, cross I90, left on Sparks, left on NFD 4828 (crossing I90 again) and right on the frontage RD. There's an old bridge and I'm betting the frontage road was old something, but it now seems doubtful that it was YT. If you retrace your route, but instead of getting back on I90, you cross it and continue on Lake Easton RD to Easton, reentering I90 at exit 71 (though not before following Railroad Street till it dead ends), you are traveling on a continuation of whatever road that bridge was on. seems doubtful now that it was YT.

*Exit 74 - Nelson Siding Road was not YT.

*The routing through and around Cle Elum matches up with Hobbs Guide and matches the mileage of the 1924 Blue Book exactly (yay!!)

*YT never used WA 10. And if you want to get REALLY technical, it never used WA 970. Though you have to do a little driving on 970, it's only because the original road no longer exists. You can see what I mean at the eastern terminus of this section of my mapping.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks to John's map and the 1924 Blue Book, my routing on the map: Fall City to east of Cle Elum has been changed quite a bit. Thanks, John (for the map) and thanks, Dave (for scanning the '24 Blue Book in one of your posts).

 

Eric,

 

I have several ABBs from difference years covering the Northwest. Being a little lazy and working right now on several projects, I don't want to guess how and where I can help....but I very probably can help. Tell me the sections of the road you want, and I'll see what I can do.

 

I am following your excellent work with interest!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the Blue Books have helped. You've got to interpret them to the modern maps, but that's easy enough.

 

I'm interested in the alignment from Seattle to Falls City that went through Issaqua. The 1924 Blue Book has the "middle" alignment. The 1916 Blue Book has the "early" alignment and Hobbs has the "later" alignment.

 

In my opinion, I've got the middle alignment down. It's the early and later that have got me stumped.

 

The description of the first (early) alignment from the 1916 blue book makes no sense to me, but maybe there's a map?

Hobbs "description" of the later alignment through Issaqua is vague.

 

These two alignments are close to each other, I think. The middle one took Madison and went through Kirkwood, etc.

 

Aside from that, nothing is ridiculously urgent. Though if I could find my own copy of the ABB, I'd be ecstatic. I wonder if the libraries might have one (edit - they do, they've got the 1913-1914 edition and one for the whole US from 1921. Also 1923 and 1925 editions of a volume covering most of the western states, including Washington. They've also got multiple years of Automobile blue book ... v. 6: The Southwest and all year transcontinental routes... would this be helpful?).

 

Thanks a bunch!

 

-Eric

Edited by sit properly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, the Blue Books have helped. You've got to interpret them to the modern maps, but that's easy enough.

 

I'm interested in the alignment from Seattle to Falls City that went through Issaqua. The 1924 Blue Book has the "middle" alignment. The 1916 Blue Book has the "early" alignment and Hobbs has the "later" alignment.

 

In my opinion, I've got the middle alignment down. It's the early and later that have got me stumped.

 

The description of the first (early) alignment from the 1916 blue book makes no sense to me, but maybe there's a map?

Hobbs "description" of the later alignment through Issaqua is vague.

 

These two alignments are close to each other, I think. The middle one took Madison and went through Kirkwood, etc.

 

Aside from that, nothing is ridiculously urgent. Though if I could find my own copy of the ABB, I'd be ecstatic. I wonder if the libraries might have one (edit - they do, they've got the 1913-1914 edition and one for the whole US from 1921. Also 1923 and 1925 editions of a volume covering most of the western states, including Washington. They've also got multiple years of Automobile blue book ... v. 6: The Southwest and all year transcontinental routes... would this be helpful?).

 

Thanks a bunch!

 

-Eric

 

Eric,

 

Excuse my confusion/ uncertainty. I understand that your immediate interest is more information about the route of the Yellowstone Trail from Seattle through Issaquah and Fall City. I also understand that you have access to the Western ABB’s for 1913-14, 1923, and 1925 and the Transcontinental ABB from 1921. Right?

 

So what you need is something between 1914 and 1923 for that route? Is that right?

 

In addition to what you have access to at the libraries (where are these libraries?), I have the 1915-16 and 1919 ABB’s as well, and if I look maybe the 1917. I probably have the 1917-1919 strip maps for that route if I haven’t already copied them for you. Are these what you need? If so, I can easily and happily copy and post them for you. All I ask is that when you use them, note where you got them.

 

I am impressed with your mapping! Before I had the family emergency I was playing with Google Earth with the intension to put the National Parks Highway up. I will follow your good work with interest, as I am temporarily delayed in the NPH project by my US99 “discoveries.” Ain’t it great to have so many goodies and so little time?!!!

 

The National Parks Highway project is going to get my attention soon, so what you learn and can pass along as Executive Vice President :) of “The Association” B) will be appreciated.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave,

 

I'm actually not sure what the Seattle Libraries have. Their descriptions are vague and jumbled. I'm honestly not sure what I need. Whatever they have is in the central, downtown library. I have never been there and with these books, I believe you have to go there to see them.

 

Basically, how I like to do the mapping is if an old road at any time took what we today think of as a side road, map the side road and forget the "main road."

 

So really, I'm confused as to what I need as well.

 

The 1924 Blue Book that you've been posting has been perfect. Maybe that and the strip maps from around the same time is all I "need" for the basic route.

 

Though I would also need something different for the northern route. And then the three different routes through Seattle and two east of Spokane (if that ever changed, which I think it did).

 

I'm impressed that I've been able to figure out alignments based upon mileage and very dated descriptions of the Blue Books.

 

Most of all, I'm just having fun. I'm not sure where/how I'd credit you as the only place I'll be posting this info is here (and I'll credit you here, of course). If I ever do anything more with it, which is amazingly doubtful, you'll definitely get the credit. If I ever wrote a book about it, I could probably just put your name and John's name on it and it wouldn't be too far from the truth.

 

As for stuff with the National Parks Highway, I'm assuming most of what I'm finding with the YT would be applicable to the NPH. Speaking of, I noticed on one of your 1920's maps that the NPH went through Issaqua and probably up Rainier Road east of Seattle. That's what I've termed the "later more southerly" alignment of YT (post-1925).

 

And of course, you're more than welcome to any info that I post and whatever info I find, I'll post here. I guess I'm of the "all information for everyone" school of thought.

 

 

-Eric!

Edited by sit properly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric,

 

You have been cranking out good stuff so fast, I was wondering if my older brain just couldn’t keep up! I also excuse being behind the curve because of my emergency trip to California. I am now back at the KtSotR command post and archives!

 

To help you refine your efforts, here is the 1917-19 Automobile Club of Western Washington strip map for that area. They don’t identify marked trails, but they do show alternative routes. I have in the past “casually” assigned the YT to Rainier Ave. and the Sunset Highway routing.

 

I’ll copy some more ABB’s for you ASAP.

 

AR12.jpg

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave,

 

Well, for now that's pretty much all the good stuff I've got. Now, instead of cranking, I'll be refining.

Not really sure why the strip maps are so interesting to me, they don't really clear up much, especially outside of a city. But they sure are fun to look at.

 

From this I assumed that the earliest alignment of YT took Jackson to the ferry to Newport and then to Issaqua. What's great about this map is that all three alignments out of the city are basically shown. The alignments inside Seattle's downtown aren't, but the general idea is there. That's nice.

 

Thanks for the scan of the map, it's saved and thanks for offering to scan more ABBs, that would make my day. You're one of the good ones, Dave!

 

-Eric

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric,

 

The best maps I know of to discover the old routes are the USGS historical topos, unless someone happened to publish a county map in greater detail. They are much harder to find, but I have a Snohomish county atlas that is a pure jewel.

 

For some Washington counties, including King, look at the WSU digital library site. They are the front runners, with UW also in the race re old Washington maps on the web.

 

The USGS has a project going to collect and digitize their old maps. Apparently no one there thought to keep copies…..or maybe there was a fire. Another useful source is the old land surveys which are on the BLM web site. Those are usually from the mid 1800’s but can help.

 

Both the USGS and land surveys are quite accurate so they can be easily overlaid on Google Earth, and modern routes compared with the historical. If you do that, I’ll give you some hints as to using the townships and sections overlay, if you don’t already know of it.

 

The Automobile Blue Books are very useful, but they get less detailed the newer they are. In 1913 you needed every turn described because the route was undefined, unsigned, and unused. By 1924 you only need to follow the signs and the fellow in front of you along the obvious improved route, so just a list of towns is almost good enough. In fact what you note as you look at them is that in their later years they shift to describing towns and tourist sites rather than roads…sort of like modern AAA Tour Books.

 

I agree that the strip maps are a wonderful “read.” I have a sizable (a few hundred) of the Automobile Club of Southern California strip maps, which incidentally do include parts of Washington. Some of the older ones are real fun, with windmills, schools, etc shown.

 

Below I have posted the 1915-16 ABB section for the route along with the May, 1915 Seattle map. I’ll post the 1919 ABB ASAP. Note, for example, the route missed Issaqua....interesting.

 

Keep me “in the loop” as you do your research and trip. I am messing with the trip along US99 in California and Oregon at the moment, but I should soon have that stuff posted, and I can get to the National Parks Highway….with its ties to the Yellowstone Trail.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

 

ARABBEric1.jpg

 

 

ARABBEric2.jpg

 

 

ARABBEric3.jpg

 

 

ARABBEric4.jpg

 

 

ARABBEric5.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave,

 

Thanks for posting the ABB sections and maps! It's really interesting and amazingly frustrating trying to figure it out. Very few of the streets remain, especially around the airport. It's very literally gone. Some streets are renamed and that's "easy" enough to figure out, but many no longer exist.

 

So I thought I'd try working my way back to Seattle. Turns out, this isn't the YT at all! You unload your cars from a train, which is one of the coolest things I've heard in a LONG time. But sadly, this isn't the YT. The YT may have used some of the same streets in Seattle, etc, but overall, this is not our beloved trail!

 

It certainly wasn't a waste of time though. Now I want to head up to Cedar Falls to see if anything remains of the old station/platform and of that windy road over the summit and then along the river to North Bend.

 

Also, I keep seeing the word "Ry." - what might that mean?

 

Thanks for the fun. Even if it's not the YT, it was worth it. I will probably come back to this later today and see if I can map it from North Bend into Renton.

 

-Eric

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave,

 

Thanks for posting the ABB sections and maps! It's really interesting and amazingly frustrating trying to figure it out. Very few of the streets remain, especially around the airport. It's very literally gone. Some streets are renamed and that's "easy" enough to figure out, but many no longer exist.

 

So I thought I'd try working my way back to Seattle. Turns out, this isn't the YT at all! You unload your cars from a train, which is one of the coolest things I've heard in a LONG time. But sadly, this isn't the YT. The YT may have used some of the same streets in Seattle, etc, but overall, this is not our beloved trail!

 

It certainly wasn't a waste of time though. Now I want to head up to Cedar Falls to see if anything remains of the old station/platform and of that windy road over the summit and then along the river to North Bend.

 

Also, I keep seeing the word "Ry." - what might that mean?

 

Thanks for the fun. Even if it's not the YT, it was worth it. I will probably come back to this later today and see if I can map it from North Bend into Renton.

 

-Eric

 

Ry. = Railway, at least in this context.

 

I haven’t given the YT in the Seattle area anything approaching your level of attention, so I yield to your expertise…..but, how does anyone know whether the 1915 YT route was along the Interurban line or along Rainier Ave into Renton?

 

I may have missed it because I don’t read everything I should, but I’m not aware that the original YT folks ever produced a detailed street level map, or if they did, that it has survived. I think that most modern researcher’s are working from Automobile Blue Books, Hobbs, USGS topos, contemporary magazine and newspaper articles, local maps, and the like. That’s the fun….dong what you are doing. Keep it up and you will be the Seattle or Northwest expert! (Did I tell you there was an advantage that good Washington history isn’t all published already???)

 

When I looked at the map I sent you, I said….hum….probably along the interurban line rather than Rainier Ave, and the Sunset Highway missed Issaquah…I didn’t know that….interesting.

 

I wasn’t surprised that cars came by rail in 1915. In fact long distance travel (e.g. transcontinental) by auto usually included a rail trip, one way at least. And who in their right mind in 1915 would choose going over the Cascades by car 6 months out of the year? :o

 

Great stuff, and good luck….I’ll be more engaged after I get the rest of the US99 travel posts up.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave,

 

Please keep in mind that I am often "wildly speculating." :) But as far as the 1915 routing, I really don't know. I read it somewhere in here and it was from a 1916 ABB (if memory serves me)... I'll look for it, but I don't believe you were the one who posted it, but I think you were in on the conversation.

 

As for the later Rainier Road alignment, that's from the Hobbs Guide on your site. The "middle" alignment is the one up Madison and across the ferry.

 

But as for the 1915ish routing, I remember seeing somewhere that it used a ferry to Issaqua (though may not have gone through the quaint little town).

 

I'm assuming that the YT followed the Sunset Highway till it got to North Bend. That's probably the routing that it took. Maybe it grabbed a ferry at some point (there's one in bold on the map). Maybe they didn't designate the routing in the cities till later. And if that's so, well, easy for us since if there's no original routing, there's no original routing to find!

 

Which begs the question, what *was* the earliest known YT routing through Seattle? My guess is that it followed the 1915ish routing of the Sunset Highway. I mean, why wouldn't it?

 

-Eric

 

 

 

Edit: I think I found what I was thinking of here... http://americanroadmagazine.com/forum/inde...post&p=7283

 

"Checking the 1916 Blue Book, it gives yet a different routing in the Seattle area, with the Trail starting/ending at 2nd Av and Pike St. It then went northeast/east on Pike to curve left onto Madison St "running up steep grade", then south on 17th Av, east on Cherry St, north on 34th Av and "down long winding grade" onto 'Hugo Place'. Then it continued south on Lakeside Av "running along shore of Lake Washington" to the ferry landing. It then crossed Lake Washington via the Issaquah Ferry and followed a more southerly routing towards Fall City, WA."

 

This was posted by "Wiseguy." It looks like a different routing than the books you posted. And I have no idea what "Hugo Place" is. And a few other streets are missing, though it's not a gnarly as what happened to the streets from the ABB you just posted. Yikes!

 

 

Edited by sit properly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok... here's a map of the ABB you posted from North Bend to Seattle. It's VERY VERY speculative around the Issaquah and Redmond areas. The ABB is vague (for using today) and tons of railroad and highway stuff has changed since then.

 

Seattle, however, was pretty easy.

 

Take a look.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric,

 

I really appreciate the research you are doing….and your maps, combined with your “on the ground” explorations. The more I read the accounts, the more I wonder if anyone really knew where the YT went in the Seattle area in 1915.

 

Maybe John knows better, but I have the feeling that it was more important to arrive than to worry too much about the exact route. John concludes, (THE YELLOWSTONE TRAIL by John and Alice Ridge) so far as I can tell, that the route was via Bothell. I worked there ten years ago and know the road of which he speaks. It is, as I think you have observed, also likely that the Seattle boys could have favored their pet route, which I would think was the Sunset Highway, as per your map.

 

I also surmise that maybe the successful 1916 YT “race” to outdo the Lincoln Highway best time cross-country better established the local routing. So a 1917 ABB would be a good source, and “Gee, I just happen to have one.” I have a 1915-16 ABB (which I have copied here earlier), a 1915 Mississippi River and West ABB, and the 1917, 1919, and later ABBs devoted to the northwest.

 

But before I start the next coping project, I had a passing thought. If I copied the Seattle area ABB’s and some of my maps for you, you could research the main traveled routes in the area, not just the Yellowstone. I fact, I would think The Roads, Rails, and Ferries of Seattle is a possible book title. Even without the book you could create a website with that focus.

 

In all events, I am just stumbling around hoping you will make it all clear as we go along! :rolleyes:B)

 

Anyway, I’ll copy the 1917 stuff next.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric,

 

Here are the pertinent pages for the route between Seattle and North bend from the 1917 Automobile Blue Book, Section 2, Wash., Ore., & Idaho. Keep an eye out for the blacksmith and the water trough!

 

But seriously, the Reliable Auto Company building is still very evident in Cle Elum, but now it is offices. I recall a few years ago when it was being converted, and as they sand blasted the brick, old painted FORD signs became very evident

 

Have fun! What do you need next as you chart the Old Road Routes of Seattle?

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!!

 

AR1917ABB1.jpg

 

 

AR1917ABB2.jpg

 

 

AR1917ABB3.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave!

 

I'm going to say "no" for 1915, but by 1917, it seems like they did! Actually, the whole routing is almost identical to the 1924 routing. The differences are pretty surprising.

 

First, here is the map of the 1917 YT alignment from Seattle to North Bend.

 

In 1917, the YT did *not* use the brick road outside of , instead taking what would seem to be the more logical route, modern 202. Why, by 1924, they found it necessary to use the brick road, I have no idea, but, according to the ABBs, that seems to be true.

 

The routing through Kirkland and Redmond is probably impossible to gather from the ABBs. It's very "you had to be there." I did my best and came up with the same routing using both the 1917 and 1924 ABBs.

 

From what I could gather, in the 1917 alignment, the YT used Fish Hatchery Road, just east of Fall City and passed through what is now Snoqualmie Falls park area. The road is gone, but some of it can be followed. By 1924, modern 202 was used.

 

After the falls, the 1917 alignment crossed what is now 202 onto what is now Stearns RD onto Mill Pond RD, just north of 202. By 1924, 202 was used.

 

The 1917 alignment avoided Snoqualmie (the town). Mill Pond RD went to Meadow Brook Farm. There, the 1924 alignment, which went through Snoqualmie, joins with it on Park ST, continuing to modern 202.

 

The alignment through North Bend is the same, as is the stretch to where it meets the interstate.

 

 

What did I learn from this? I learned that there are more "back road" that were old alignments. That's a good and fun thing. If it was just 202, it would be ok, but not a nice as some back road. Bummer about missing Snoqualmie though, it's one of my favorite little town... but I'm a big train geek.

 

 

 

Ok, backing up a bit. John thinks the YT in 1915 went through Bothell? That's interesting since it's the exact opposite direction I expected it to have gone. The 1916 ABB (according to Wiseguy) has it a bit differently. But really, maybe it was just whatever was the best way that year. Maybe there were no official big city routes.

 

 

 

As for the book and/or website... I'm not sure just yet. I'll let it develop (or not) naturally. As usual, I have a feeling that the only folks *this* interested in such things are having a conversation about them right here, right now. :)

 

Thanks a bunch for posting the ABB pages. This was a big help. It shows that by 1917, the route through Seattle was pretty well set till 1924 (at least). That's great, as I thought that not to be true. And the added bonus of new back road alignments! Good stuff! Thanks!

 

-Eric

 

ps - No need to update my 1924 map of Seattle, but the general map of Fall City to Cle Elum needs some updates. Thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric,

 

I'm about to hit the sack, but you are a marvel with the maps!

 

I will "push" a little more in the future to get you to use that talent. I think the newspapers at least would enjoy an article on the old routes around Seattle.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's funny, Sarah can tell when I'm mapping because I'm sitting at the computer making disgruntled sounds of frustration. "You're mapping again, aren't you?"

 

"Apparently not."

 

It's fun! Routing old roads is nice, but honestly, I'm not sure about most of this. The mileage sometimes matches up perfectly and other times I'm just guessing. Street names have been changed, buildings that are referenced haven't been there in 80 years. And ahh, the interstates!

 

I'm guessing that each year of the ABBs I look at will have a few changes here and there for the YT. That was the case with Route 66 and at times, you had to do a lot of back tracking to hit just the main alignments (Illinois comes to mind).

 

The trip over the state is postponed for a bit, but will happen before too long, I hope. I'm in the middle of obtaining a job or two, so I'll have to sort out my schedule and see what's what.

 

That just gives me more time to dive into this.

 

 

Here's a question - are the ABBs ever wrong? I mean, where did they get *their* information?

 

Thanks again!

 

Eric

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric,

 

I have learned to “suffer in silence,” as I map, but it takes years of practice!

 

And ah yes...a job or two. Work sure can reduce your free time!

 

As for whether the ABB’s are ever wrong. I have found them quite good. In fact, given the built in inaccuracies of odometers, and humans, etc, they are amazingly good. The most frequent error I find, and it isn’t often, is “right” exchanged for “left” and vise versa.

 

They used pathfinders, and by some indications drove the road both ways. I am inclined to believe they really drove both ways because they often note different landmarks in the two directions.

 

It is very clear that they reused information from year to year….they didn’t redrive all the roads annually. And I have at least a few examples where they cite other sources (e.g. an auto club) as their source, and they seem pretty conscientious in doing so. I suppose I would also expect later editions to be more accurate, if for no other reason than they had multiple iterations.

 

I have an article written in a 1920’s Touring Topics (Automobile Club of Southern California) describing how they made their famed strip maps. They used two people in the car and produced darn good maps, given they had no aerial shots or grids to work with. I guess the Google and Virtual Earth street level drive bys are today’s equivalent!

 

You mentioned that only two or three may even care, and there is some truth to that. But I have been doing this for 40 years, and lately there has been much greater interest shown, beyond just the celebrity of US66. It is growing as an interest. American Road has helped a lot in the heritage road travel area, and the aging of baby boomers helps as well. And consider recent PBS road programs.

 

I get a particular “kick” out of seeing the “youngin’s” get involved because you guys are sharper and faster than an old dog like myself. I have seen you and others run circles around me in just a few weeks, and develop skills that took me years to acquire. You already know more than I do about the YT in the northwest, and I have been around it for 25 years!

 

I don’t know how popular this activity will become. We have to think about it in different categories, with different audiences. Those who get a kick out of a particular 200 yard section of old dirt road may be few and far between, but those who want to stay in a vintage hotel, or drive a section of a vintage road as a “detour” off an interstate may be much more numerous.

 

Enough pondering…..

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Work sure can. And I've got a lot to memorize too. I'm pretty bad at that. My brain is basically pudding at this point.

 

It's good to hear about the ABBs basically being gospel. The left for right thing is such an easy mistake to make. I do it all the time (which is fine if you have an accompanying map, but can really get you lost of you don't).

 

And I'd have to agree that they seem to have driven a lot of it both ways. Or maybe they just had some guy sitting on the back bumper taking notes. But the "other way" directions are a huge help when trying to map it out.

 

Whatever "skills" I've gained is because of the good work of old dogs before me. That and actually doing a ridiculous amount of traveling with old alignments as the "destination." For some people, it's just getting to some destination. For others, it's the trip. For me, it's the roads that people used to take to get to wherever they were going. It's really specific and fairly vague all at the same time. Fun!

 

Youre right about those just wanting a detour. I've seen that quite a bit on 66. I always got a kick out of folks who said, "we're driving Route 66!" But had just gotten off the interstate when I hadn't touched the super slab at all yet. I was in Texas when that happened (about to take I-whatever around Jericho Gap).

 

I guess "taking old alignments" means different things to different people. I get caught up in my own deal from time to time. I should try to not do that. Still, find me a dirt road that used to be part of a cross-continent road and I'm a happy guy.

 

Told you my brain was pudding...

 

-Eric

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been slacking here a bit. Yesterday, we were able to explore a very small segment of old YT (from 1912-1916) along Fish Hatchery Road, just east of Fall City. I'd documented that here with a map and pictures.

 

There are two segments to the road and I'm 100% sure it followed the eastern segment, but am not totally sure about the western (though probably).

 

In the ABB from 1917 explains that at 1.4 miles after crossing the bridge heading east out of Fall City that there is a fork and you should take it right. "Road to the left may be road for 1917." I'll have to see a slightly later ABB to see if that happened, but I'm assuming it did. The "road to the left" is WA 202. The road to the right is Fish Hatchery Road.

 

The 1.4 miles, by the way, is the "eastern segment" of Fish Hatchery Road. Today, the road doesn't connect with 202 there, but runs right next to it for a short spell.

 

This doesn't mean that the "western segment" of FHR wasn't the YT/Sunset Highway/NPH, of course (as the newer 202 road wouldn't have even been there and there would still be a fork in the road either way at 1.4 miles), but it does make me uncertain.

 

We visited the falls and because of the floods, it was massive. We were on the lower observation deck. It's like a rain forest down there. This is near where the etching in the 1917 ABB was made. It claims to be 268 ft. from the Sunset Highway, but that's sort of misleading.

 

The view in the book isn't 286 ft from the Sunset Highway, it's about 3/4 of a mile, which would include some walking as, from where it was taken, there's no way a road could exist.

 

There *was* an old road there at one point, however. It was a corduroy road for the sawmill that was located right where the old YT take a quick turn to the left, up modern day 372nd Ave. There's a little historical plaque describing it.

 

The upper part of the falls was 286 ft from the Sunset Highway. This really confused me, as I had images of the original highway going really close to the bottom of the falls. After being there, it's very clearly impossible.

 

So, according to the ABB from 1917 (and the 1915-16 one - though it's not nearly as descriptive), Fish Hatchery Road was part of the old YT/SH/NPH.

 

I've just written a whole bunch of words about a segment of road that isn't even a mile long.

And you've just read them. :)

 

-Eric

 

ps - be sure to check out the pics, if you like.

Edited by sit properly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric,

 

I just got back from Eastern Washington and my Granddaughter’s graduation at Washington State University.

 

I read your blog and looked at the map. Good stuff! I am derelict in not sending you the 1919 ABB material so you can compare the turns at the fork. I’ll get that off ASAP. I have not seen the Falls from the base, but some of the old post card shots are from that angle. Good to have a modern example.

 

In the evening after graduation I mapped the National Parks Highway and Yellowstone Trail between Spokane and a little past Coulee City. I was going to take it on the way home, but decided that Sheila would be bored if I kept turning off the main road for some short abandoned segment, so we did a different route which I will post as appropriate.

 

What was amazing, even though I have taken US 2 between Spokane and Waterville several times, was the proportion of the route that is abandoned but still drivable. I used 1919-1917 maps to chart the old road and marked each segment on Delorme. I’ll post the results later today. Perhaps half of the route is abandoned but still there. By abandoned I mean not used by the modern road….it may still be a farm or access road.

 

More later.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey there Dave,

 

Can't wait to see the results. I've not done much at all from Waterville > east. I did notice that there were a lot of abandoned sections too and I think I've got a bunch of them in my maps, but am anxious to see what else there might be.

 

I'm not sure that I've found nearly half the road to be abandoned, so that should mean that there are things I've missed. That's pretty exciting. Thanks!

 

We were going to go to North Bend today via Kirkland and return via Issaqua, but I think we'll have to put that off for another day - we're feeling a bit lazy. :)

 

So, between Coulee City and Spokane, are the YT and NPH exactly the same? I can't imagine why they wouldn't be (through that area anyway).

 

Did you happen to check out the squiggly old road just west of Waterville? I'm anxious to try it.

 

-Eric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×