State Route 163, Tahlequah Ferry Terminal to Ruston Ferry Terminal


being a ferry route, there are no mileposts or locations available. Just enjoy the photos.

For ferry information, it’s hard to beat this website, and I encourage you to use it for your ferry information needs. 


Anyway, here is the first sign for the beginning of the highway. There is no 163 sign, and it is unsigned for the entire portion of this route. | Here

I, of course, had left my car in Tacoma, and ridden the ferry here to beautiful Tahelquah, so I am in the pedestrian lane, and you can see cars leaving the last inbound ferry. | Here

Being a ped, I get the added advantage of being the first to board. This is a picture of the empty car deck. The MV Rhododendron has 2 decks, one on each side of the ferry. | Here

I enter the ferry. The first thing you see is a symmetrical passenger deck. Actually, this whole ferry is pretty much symmetrical so the experience is exactly the same both directions. | Here

As soon as I boarded the ferry, I began looking for any kind of visual documentation indicating that this is, in fact, part of Washington Highway 163. I could not (But it for sure is). The official WSDOT Plaque. | Here

Here’s some photos of the 1991 Renovation, when it became part of the state highway system. | Here

I eventually walked out on to the exterior passenger deck, where I stayed for the duration. Here’s the safety ring/lifeboat | Here

And the neat wooden sign. | Here

While the ferry was still stopped, I saw this neat dock, full of birds. | Here

The ferry docks and comes in and hits all these bigass black bumpers. Having never driven a ferry, I’m making the assumption that this makes it so even the biggest idiot could successfully pilot a ferry into a dock.| Here

Here is the Tahlequah Terminal from departure. It’s pretty cool. Note the bumpers I was talking about. | Here

The beaches are very steep on the Tahlequah side of the island. People own houses at the top of the hill, and then build little beachhouses on platforms over the sand. I actually stayed in one of these last June, and now there is a picture of it. | Here

Here are two shots of Commencement Bay | Here | Here

Here’s three shots of Gig Harbor. Note the Olympic mountains in the background of the third one. Only in Washington can you be on the west coast, feel like you are on the ocean (it is saltwater and directly connected to the pacific), and see huge snow covered peaks to the west of yourself. | Here | Here | Here

Here is the incoming ferry dock in Tacoma. Very similar to Tahlequah, just has a nicer waiting lounge (that I couldn’t take pictures in as it is still small, it’s like taking pictures inside an office building) | | Here

Here is my only shot of the whole ferry, as it leaves Tacoma. It’s a pretty little bugger. | Here

The “Welcome to Tacoma” sign. | Here


S to SR 16