For those not from Western Washington, State Route 503 may need a bit of explanation. This road starts over at Interstate 5 and heads East to the village of Yale, then turns to the South and down towards Vancouver, Washington. While the West Leg of 503 is a nice little road, it’s becoming increasingly urbanized and widened and is not a topic for today. For our purposes, we’ll discuss the South Leg of Washington State Route 503.
South of Yale, 503 twists around in a surprisingly delightful fashion much like FS25 or FS90. To get curves this nice, one generally has to go to Idaho, as even the forest service roads have far worse pavement quality. The countryside up on the north end is a mix of heavy woods and semi-cleared scrubland, all overpoweringly green.
Once across the Lewis River, it settles down more into what one expects out of a Western Washington rural state highway. The curves are more “sweeper” than “twisty” with a few notable 90-degree exceptions. The countryside is vastly different too, with more open farmlands and more people.
Ultimately, of course, this road ends down in Vancouver. Pretty much straight down at that end, it’s busy and suburban. But if you’re heading north and you can put up with that for a mile or two, it’s a road that’s well worth the trip.
- County: Clark & Cowlitz Counties, Washington
- Length: 30 miles (and another 5 miles up to Cougar & FS90)
- Towns: Yale, Chelatchie, Amboy, Fargher Lake, Brush Prairie, Union
Google Map of Washington Route 503:
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