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

Original Pacific Highway Identified

Recommended Posts

Elsewhere HERE I have noted that the old Pacific Highway (now US99) ran through the Lewis and Clark State Park. What makes that interesting is that the original 1913 alignment apparently still exists in the Park, now as an equestrian trail. And that old Pacific Highway alignment follows the Cowlitz Wagon Road, which was a pre automobile road that carried passengers and freight into the Puget Sound area in pioneer days. And the wagon road followed the Cowlitz Trail, which was the early route followed by the fur trappers of the Hudson Bay Company, and later the first settlers in the Puget Sound.


I looked recently at a 1951 USGS aerial photograph of the area, and to my pleasure, saw a ground trace of the old Cowlitz Wagon Road / Original Pacific Highway just north of the park. That is important because it substantiates the route of the road through the park.


I drove to the closed Park today (opens May 1 for a new season) to look at and photograph the Civilian Conservation Corps structures, and wondered if I could find any trace of the old wagon road/ Pacific Highway immediately north of the Park. I could, and did! See the photo below taken on S. Prairie Road (in a little rain squall).






Point A is where the old wagon road intersects S. Prairie Road at the coordinates shown. My photo above shows the old road. Both point A and point B are visible in modern Google Earth images. The upper green marker identifies the old trace visible in the red 1951 aerial photo above (I changed the B&W photo color to red for clarity) . The lower green marker indicates where the aerial map shows the old road crossing the the northern park boundary.


I had identified the road through most of the park earlier (points C through E) in the map below but until I looked at the aerial image I couldn't be sure where the road exited / entered the park on the north side. (For those who followed my speculations as to where the wagon road crossed the wetland, I was wrong. The actual crossing is apparently about 60 yards east of my guess. No matter, now it is determined.)




Keep the Show on the Road!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are doing good Dave, I've foliowing your posts. Keep the good reports coming.


Dale S

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Jim, Dave ... you should write a book.


I sure appreciate your reports & pics.





Cort | 39.m.IL | pigValve + paceMaker + cowValve | 2 MCs + '79 & '89 Caprice Classics
CHD.cars + RoadTrips.hobbies.RadioShows.us66 = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort
"We all enjoy the madness" __ Robbie Williams __ 'Millenium'
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 years later...

Finally made it out to Lewis and Clark State Park. to see the old highway.

Here is the webpage I created about the Jackson Hill.


Happy trails


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

That section of Jackson Highway was one of the highlights of that day of my 2009 bicycle tour.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...