Friday, September 13, 2013

Washington State Route 263

On Sunday, September 1, 2013, we drove that little dangling red line on the map, known as Washington State Route 263.

RCW 47.17.482
State route No. 263

A state highway to be known as state route number 263 is established as follows:

Beginning at the port of Windust, thence easterly and northerly to a junction with state route number 260 in Kahlotus.

SR 263 @ Windust
Down by a granary on Lake Sacajawea, also known as the Snake River, the county road turns into a state highway. Route 263 begins. Quiet brown canyon with cows on the cliffs.

SR 263 in Devils Canyon
After dinner at Windust Park, we head up the river to Lower Monumental Dam, named after Monumental Rock a few miles east. "Lower", I presume, because it was part of the Lower Snake River dam project. Just after the dam, we turn north up Devils Canyon. The old Northern Pacific line (now the Columbia Plateau Trail) is above to our left. Halfway from start to finish, here is a photograph as we enter the canyon.

SR 263 @ SR 260
The walls close in as we climb the canyon. The railroad, once high above us, is soon below us. And then it disappears underground. Out of the canyon, we come to a stop sign at Pasco-Kahlotus Road. Right turn to stay on Highway 263. And down we drop into the hole known as Kahlotus, the rail-to-trail reappears to our right. A little farm, a little town, a little junction with SR 260.

Devils Canyon is a surprisingly straight cut through the earth, a lovely route for a state highway down to a seldom-used port. Any excuse to go to Kahlotus, am I right?

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