503-Lewisville Hwy (north of Battle Ground) to Mt. St. Helens Nat'l Forest + ADD NEW ROUTE
13 in Washington Washington93 Miles
on August 1, 2009
- Trip Toolbox
503 is a fork. One can access from I-5 (E) through Woodland (WA) along the Lewis River (though you can't see the river for most of the jaunt). That is nice. Or one can access via Vancouver (WA) via Rt 500 (E) (if you use this access, be patient until just (N) of Battle Ground where it changes from 5 lane urban to 2 lane reeeeeealy nice). Both meet west of the town of Cougar. About 10miles (E) of Cougar, the road becomes NFD 90 & into Mt. St. Helens National Forest. I suggest you begin with one and end with the other. NOTE: heading (W) into Woodland in the evening will put the sun directly IN your eyes for a chunk of that route which makes watchin' fer animals crossing the road - difficult. .
The two-lane is wooded, interspersed with farmland. Many of the turns are semi-banked & posted at 25mph. Several "crests" offer a sudden view of what is left of Mt. St. Helens. There's a one-lane, suspension bridge for vehicles over a small lake with boat access. I prefer the Vancouver/Cougar route over the Woodland/Cougar.
Great from the two lane begin (either end of the fork) to about 10miles beyond Cougar, WA. Beyond that, the road becomes paved NFD (National Forest Road) & the road gets even more twisty with uneven (road repair) patches. Road shoulders are little-to-non-existent most of the way. No off-camber turns noted.
Take a camera, but expect the photo-op to flash-by before you have time to react. The shoulders are little-to-non-existent most of the way, so you will be looking to go back to "click". Believe the "next gas" signs or you WILL-BE-STRANDED. Camping (private & public) is available IF THERE ARE VACANCIES. Little available to purchase. There are a few watering holes w/food up-to just beyond Cougar; little beyond. NOTE: Parts of the town of Cougar are currently charging an additional $5fee for use of either debit or credit card for EACH purchase; no checks..
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