Heading north from the Pokémon League Front Gate, which houses the first Badge checkpoint, Route 23 heads northeast, passing through the first of many archways on the route as well as the second checkpoint. Northwest of this point is the second archway and the third checkpoint. The main path of the road then heads north, taking a slight northeast alignment as it approaches the third archway and the fourth checkpoint on the bank of a waterway that effectively separates the route into two halves.
Directly north of the fourth checkpoint is checkpoint five, in the shadow of archway four. Northeast of this location, past an island in the water that splits the channel into two, is the next archway/checkpoint. The route continues north, making landfall northeast of the sixth checkpoint.
In this area, Route 23 is dotted with grassy patches and boulders, creating a unique look not seen anywhere else in Kanto outside the Safari Zone. North of the scenery, the route encounters the seventh checkpoint underneath the final archway on the route.
Route 23 turns to the northwest, passing the final patch of grass on the road before returning to a north-south alignment several paces south of the final checkpoint. Just north of the checkpoint is the south entrance to Victory Road.
The route heads north from Victory Road's northern portal, arriving at a series of stone statues intended to create a maze. On the other side of the maze, Route 23 ascends a series of stairs before arriving at the front door to Indigo Plateau.
The background music, titled The Final Road, is rearranged from the prelude to the game's opening and title screen theme.
Because the tilesets were not changed between versions of the Generation I games, the signpost outside the southern entrance to Victory Road kept its design from Red and Green in Blue and Yellow, as well as in every localized release of the Generation I games.
In the Japanese versions of HeartGold and SoulSilver, the unused data for Route 23 includes a scrapped map blurb consisting of generic development text, "Dummy Guide Message" (Japanese: ダミーのガイドメッセージ), which is also shared with the Rocket Hideout, Goldenrod Tunnel, Dragon's Den, Cliff Cave, and a KGR Map (Japanese: ＫＧＲマップ).