The Historic Pacific Highway
In Washington

  The above photo is of the Pacific Hwy near 
15th St. SW in Auburn 1916. 

A now & then photo of the above pic
above photo courtesy of MOHAI

Another old photo of the Pacific Hwy in 1920


In 1900 the Washington State Legislature began designating State roads. State Highway 1 was the precursor to the Pacific Highway and, later, Highway 99. The individual counties were responsible for constructing the highways and while the State helped with surveying and gave some engineering advice they gave very little money. The counties did their best in trying to incorporate the existing roads that were in place at that time.

In 1909 A survey of a north–south highway from Blaine to Vancouver was approved.

In 1913, the Washington State Legislature designated the old wagon road from Vancouver to Bellingham (known as the old Military Road between Vancouver and Seattle) a Primary State Highway, and named it the Pacific Highway. Over three miles of the highway were paved with concrete as part of the first project under the new Federal Aid Program in 1916. A year later, the highway was paved from Olympia to Tacoma, and from Auburn up to Everett.

In 1926 The Pacific Highway became State Road No. 1, and was re-designated U.S. 99.  

In 1968, US 99 was completely decommissioned with the completion of I-5, but the highway's phasing out actually began July 1, 1964

The original 1913 route of the Pacific Highway in Washington From Blaine to Seattle follows the old pioneer roads of the late 1800s. From Seattle to Olympia the original route followed the military road of the mid to late 1800s. From Olympia to Toledo it follows the route of the Oregon Trail otherwise known as the Cowlitz Trail. From Toledo to Vancouver it again closely follows the route of the military, trappers and settlers.

Good roads advocate and road-building pioneer Sam Hill was perhaps the main motivating force behind building the original Pacific Highway as a "national auto trail" from Blaine where he would build the Peace Arch, all the way to San Diego. The road when completed and after it was completely paved in the mid 20s, made the 1,687 mile long Highway the longest continuous stretch of paved road in the world at the time.

This site was created to record the route of the Pacific Highway through Washington as it was in 1913 to 1956 when President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act

I have tried to make the site as accurate as possible though it is always a work in progress and I am still a student of the road. If a mistake is found I will promptly amend it.


Vancouver to Castle Rock

Castle Rock to Centralia

Centralia to Olympia

Olympia to Tacoma

Tacoma to Seattle

Seattle to Everett

Everett to Mt Vernon

Mt Vernon to Bellingham

Bellingham to Blaine


List of Resources

The Historic Sunset Highway


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