Columbia River Gorge
The Columbia River Gorge is a canyon of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Up to 4,000 feet deep, the canyon stretches for over 80 miles as the river winds westward through the Cascade Range forming the boundary between the State of Washington to the north and Oregon to the south. Extending from the confluence of the Columbia with the Deschutes River in the east down to the eastern reaches of the Portland metropolitan area, the water gap furnishes the only navigable route through the Cascades and the only water connection between the Columbia River Plateau and the Pacific Ocean, it is thus the route of Washington State Route 14, Interstate 84, U. S. Route 30, railroad tracks on both sides; the gorge holds federally protected status as a National Scenic Area called the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area and is managed by the Columbia River Gorge Commission and the US Forest Service. The gorge is a popular recreational destination; the Columbia River, Klamath River in Northern California, Pit River in Northern California, Fraser River in Southern British Columbia are the only four rivers connecting the east-side watersheds of the Cascade Mountain Range to the Pacific Ocean.
Each river has created a gorge through the Cascade Mountain Range. The Columbia River Gorge marks the state line between Washington; the wide range of elevation and precipitation makes the Columbia River Gorge an diverse and dynamic place. Ranging from 4,000 feet to sea level, transitioning from 100 inches of precipitation to only 10 inches in 80 miles, the Gorge creates a diverse collection of ecosystems from the temperate rain forest on the western end—with an average annual precipitation of 75 to 100 inches —to the eastern grasslands with average annual precipitation between 10 and 15 inches, to a transitional dry woodland between Hood River and The Dalles. Isolated micro-habitats have allowed for many species of endemic plants and animals to prosper, including at least 13 endemic wildflowers; the Gorge transitions between temperate rainforest to dry grasslands in only 80 miles, hosting a dramatic change in scenery while driving down Interstate 84. In the western, temperate rainforest areas, forests are marked by bigleaf maples, Douglas fir, Western hemlock, all covered in epiphytes.
In the transition zone, vegetation turns to Oregon white oak, Ponderosa pine, cottonwood. At the eastern end, the forests make way for expansive grasslands, with occasional pockets of lodgepole and Ponderosa pine. Atmospheric pressure differentials east and west of the Cascades create a wind tunnel effect in the deep cut of the gorge, generating 35 mph winds that make it a popular windsurfing and kitesurfing location, it creates the right conditions for snow and ice storms during the winter months which draws cold east winds at the mouth of the gorge on the west end. The Gorge is a popular destination for hiking, sight-seeing and watersports; the area is known for its high concentration of waterfalls, with over 90 on the Oregon side of the Gorge alone. Many are along the Historic Columbia River Highway, including the notable 620-foot -high Multnomah Falls. Trails and day use sites are maintained by the Forest Service and many Oregon and Washington state parks; the Columbia River Gorge began forming as far back as the Miocene, continued to take shape through the Pleistocene.
During this period the Cascades Range was forming, which moved the Columbia River's delta about 100 miles north to its current location. Although the river eroded the land over this period of time, the most drastic changes took place at the end of the last Ice Age when the Missoula Floods cut the steep, dramatic walls that exist today, flooding the river as high up as Crown Point; this quick erosion left many layers of volcanic rock exposed. The gorge has supported human habitation for over 13,000 years. Evidence of the Folsom and Marmes people, who crossed the Bering land bridge from Asia, were found in archaeological digs. Excavations near Celilo Falls, a few miles east of The Dalles, show humans have occupied this salmon-fishing site for more than 10,000 years; the gorge has provided a transportation corridor for thousands of years. Native Americans would travel through the Gorge to trade at Celilo Falls, both along the river and over Lolo Pass on the north side of Mount Hood. In 1805, the route was used by the Clark Expedition to reach the Pacific.
Early European and American settlers subsequently established steamboat lines and railroads through the gorge. Today, the BNSF Railway runs freights along the Washington side of the river, while its rival, the Union Pacific Railroad, runs freights along the Oregon shore; until 1997, Amtrak's Pioneer used the Union Pacific tracks. The Portland segment of the Empire Builder uses the BNSF tracks; the Columbia River Highway, built in the early 20th century, was the first major paved highway in the Pacific Northwest. Shipping was simplified after Bonneville Dam and The Dalles Dam submerged the gorge's major rapids such as Celilo Falls, a major salmon fishing site for local Native Americans until the site's submergence in 1957. In November 1986, Congress made it the second U. S. National Scenic Area and established the Columbia River Gorge Commission as part of an interstate compact; the experimental designation came in lieu of being recognized as a national park, which would require the existing industries in towns along the river to relocate.
The Pacific Northwest, sometimes referred to as Cascadia, is a geographic region in western North America bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and by the Cascade Mountain Range on the east. Though no official boundary exists, the most common conception includes the Canadian province of British Columbia and the U. S. states of Idaho and Washington. Broader conceptions reach north into Southeast Alaska and Yukon, south into northern California, east to the Continental Divide to include Western Montana and parts of Wyoming. Narrower conceptions may be limited to the coastal areas west of the Coast mountains; the variety of definitions can be attributed to overlapping commonalities of the region's history, geography and other factors. The Northwest Coast is the coastal region of the Pacific Northwest, the Northwest Plateau is the inland region; the term "Pacific Northwest" should not be confused with the Northwest Territory or the Northwest Territories of Canada. The region's largest metropolitan areas are Greater Seattle, with 3.8 million people.
A key aspect of the Pacific Northwest is the US–Canada international border, which the United States and the United Kingdom established at a time when the region's inhabitants were composed of indigenous peoples. The border—in two sections, along the 49th parallel south of British Columbia and the Alaska Panhandle west of northern British Columbia—has had a powerful effect on the region. According to Canadian historian Ken Coates, the border has not influenced the Pacific Northwest—rather, "the region's history and character have been determined by the boundary". Definitions of the Pacific Northwest region vary, Pacific Northwesterners do not agree on the exact boundary; the most common conception includes the U. S. states of Idaho and Washington and the Canadian province of British Columbia. Broader definitions of the region have included the U. S. states of Alaska and parts of the states of California and Wyoming, the Canadian territory of the Yukon. Definitions based on the historic Oregon Country reach east to the Continental Divide, thus including all of Idaho and parts of western Montana and western Wyoming.
Sometimes, the Pacific Northwest is defined as being the Northwestern United States excluding Canada. Note that these types of definitions are made by government agencies whose scope is limited to the United States; the Pacific Northwest has been occupied by a diverse array of indigenous peoples for millennia. The Pacific Coast is seen by some scholars as a major coastal migration route in the settlement of the Americas by late Pleistocene peoples moving from northeast Asia into the Americas; the coastal migration hypothesis has been bolstered by findings such as the report that the sediments in the Port Eliza Cave on Vancouver Island indicate the possibility of survivable climate as far back as 16 kya in the area, while the continental ice sheets were nearing their maximum extent. Other evidence for human occupation dating back as much as 14.5 kya is emerging from Paisley Caves in south-central Oregon. However, despite such research, the coastal migration hypothesis is still subject to considerable debate.
Due in part to the richness of Pacific Northwest Coast and river fisheries, some of the indigenous peoples developed complex sedentary societies, while remaining hunter-gatherers. The Pacific Northwest Coast is one of the few places where politically complex hunter-gatherers evolved and survived to historic contacts, therefore has been vital for anthropologists and archaeologists seeking to understand how complex hunter and gatherer societies function; when Europeans first arrived on the Northwest Coast, they found one of the world's most complex hunting and fishing societies, with large sedentary villages, large houses, systems of social rank and prestige, extensive trade networks, many other factors more associated with societies based on domesticated agriculture. In the interior of the Pacific Northwest, the indigenous peoples, at the time of European contact, had a diversity of cultures and societies; some areas were home to egalitarian societies. Others along major rivers such as the Columbia and Fraser, had complex, sedentary societies rivaling those of the coast.
In British Columbia and Southeast Alaska, the Tlingit and Haida erected large and elaborately carved totem poles that have become iconic of Pacific Northwest artistic traditions. Throughout the Pacific Northwest, thousands of indigenous people live, some continue to practice their rich cultural traditions, "organizing their societies around cedar and salmon". In 1579 the British captain and erstwhile privateer Francis Drake sailed up the west coast of North America as far as Oregon before returning south to land and make ship repairs. At this landing site near present-day San Francisco, Drake made a symbolic claim of the region for England, naming it New Albion. Juan de Fuca, a Greek captain sailing for the Crown of Spain found the Strait of Juan de Fuca around 1592; the strait was whether he discovered it or not has long been questioned. During the early 1740s, Imperial Russia sent the Dane Vitus Bering to the region. By the late 18th century and into the mid-19th century, Russian settlers had established several posts and communities on the northeast Pacific coast reaching a
A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship, built and intended for naval warfare. They belong to the armed forces of a state; as well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are faster and more manoeuvrable than merchant ships. Unlike a merchant ship, which carries cargo, a warship carries only weapons and supplies for its crew. Warships belong to a navy, though they have been operated by individuals and corporations. In wartime, the distinction between warships and merchant ships is blurred. In war, merchant ships are armed and used as auxiliary warships, such as the Q-ships of the First World War and the armed merchant cruisers of the Second World War; until the 17th century it was common for merchant ships to be pressed into naval service and not unusual for more than half a fleet to be composed of merchant ships. Until the threat of piracy subsided in the 19th century, it was normal practice to arm larger merchant ships such as galleons. Warships have often been used as troop carriers or supply ships, such as by the French Navy in the 18th century or the Japanese Navy during the Second World War.
In the time of Mesopotamia, Ancient Persia, Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, warships were always galleys: long, narrow vessels powered by banks of oarsmen and designed to ram and sink enemy vessels, or to engage them bow-first and follow up with boarding parties. The development of catapults in the 4th century BC and the subsequent refinement of this technology enabled the first fleets of artillery-equipped warships by the Hellenistic age. During late antiquity, ramming fell out of use and the galley tactics against other ships used during the Middle Ages until the late 16th century focused on boarding. Naval artillery was redeveloped in the 14th century, but cannon did not become common at sea until the guns were capable of being reloaded enough to be reused in the same battle; the size of a ship required to carry a large number of cannons made oar-based propulsion impossible, warships came to rely on sails. The sailing man-of-war emerged during the 16th century. By the middle of the 17th century, warships were carrying increasing numbers of cannon on their broadsides and tactics evolved to bring each ship's firepower to bear in a line of battle.
The man-of-war now evolved into the ship of the line. In the 18th century, the frigate and sloop-of-war – too small to stand in the line of battle – evolved to convoy trade, scout for enemy ships and blockade enemy coasts. During the 19th century a revolution took place in the means of marine propulsion, naval armament and construction of warships. Marine steam engines were introduced, at first as an auxiliary force, in the second quarter of the 19th century; the Crimean War gave a great stimulus to the development of guns. The introduction of explosive shells soon led to the introduction of iron, steel, armour for the sides and decks of larger warships; the first ironclad warships, the French Gloire and British Warrior, made wooden vessels obsolete. Metal soon replaced wood as the main material for warship construction. From the 1850s, the sailing ships of the line were replaced by steam-powered battleships, while the sailing frigates were replaced by steam-powered cruisers; the armament of warships changed with the invention of the rotating barbettes and turrets, which allowed the guns to be aimed independently of the direction of the ship and allowed a smaller number of larger guns to be carried.
The final innovation during the 19th century was the development of the torpedo and development of the torpedo boat. Small, fast torpedo boats seemed to offer an alternative to building expensive fleets of battleships. Another revolution in warship design began shortly after the start of the 20th century, when Britain launched the Royal Navy's all-big-gun battleship Dreadnought in 1906. Powered by steam turbines, it was bigger and more gunned than any existing battleships, which it rendered obsolete, it was followed by similar ships in other countries. The Royal Navy developed the first battlecruisers. Mounting the same heavy guns as the Dreadnoughts on an larger hull, battlecruisers sacrificed armour protection for speed. Battlecruisers were faster and more powerful than all existing cruisers, which they made obsolete, but battlecruisers proved to be much more vulnerable than contemporary battleships; the torpedo-boat destroyer was developed at the same time as the dreadnoughts. Bigger and more gunned than the torpedo boat, the destroyer evolved to protect the capital ships from the menace of the torpedo boat.
At this time, Britain developed the use of fuel oil to produce steam to power warships, instead of coal. While reliance on coal required navies to adopt a "coal strategy" to remain viable, fuel oil produced twice the power and was easier to handle. Tests were conducted by the Royal Navy in 1904 involving the torpedo-boat destroyer Spiteful, the first warship powered by fuel oil; these proved its superiority, all warships procured for the Royal Navy from 1912 were designed to burn fuel oil. During the lead-up to the Second World War and Great Britain once again emerged as the two dominant Atlantic sea powers. Germany, under the Treaty of Versailles, had its navy limited to only a few minor surface ships, but the clever use of deceptive terminology, such as "Panzerschiffe" deceived the British and French commands. They were surprised when ships such as Admiral Graf Spee and Gneisenau raided the Allied supply lines; the greatest threat though, was the introduction of the Kriegsmarine's largest vessels and Tirpitz
Kamloops is a city in south-central British Columbia, Canada, at the confluence of the two branches of the Thompson River near Kamloops Lake. With a population of 90,280, it is the largest community in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and the location of the regional district's offices; the surrounding region is more referred to as the Thompson Country. Kamloops is ranked 36th on the list of the largest metropolitan areas in Canada and represents the 36th largest census agglomeration nationwide, with 103,811 residents in 2016; the population of the regional district is 132,663. Kamloops is known as the Tournament Capital of Canada and hosts over 100 tournaments each year at world class sports facilities such as the Tournament Capital Centre, Kamloops Bike Ranch, Tournament Capital Ranch. Health care and education are major contributing industries to the regional economy and have grown in recent years. Kamloops was British Columbia's first city to become a Bee City in 2016 as numerous organisations in the community are protecting and creating bumble bee habitats in the city.
The first European explorers arrived in 1811, in the person of David Stuart, sent out from Fort Astoria still a Pacific Fur Company post, who spent a winter there with the Secwepemc people, with Alexander Ross establishing a post there in May 1812 - "Fort Cumcloups". The rival North West Company established another post - Fort Shuswap - nearby in the same year; the two operations were merged in 1813 when the North West Company officials in the region bought the operations of the Pacific Fur Company. After the North West Company's forced merger with the Hudson's Bay Company in 1821, the post became known as Thompson's River Post, or Fort Thompson, which over time became known as Fort Kamloops; the post's journals, kept by its Chief Traders, document a series of inter-Indian wars and personalities for the period and give much insight to the goings-on of the fur companies and their personnel throughout the entire Pacific Slope. Soon after the forts were founded, the main local village of the Secwepemc headed by a chief named Kwa'lila, was moved closer to the trading post in order to control access to its trade, for prestige and security.
With Kwalila's death, the local chieftaincy was passed to his nephew and foster-son Chief Nicola, who led an alliance of Syilx and Nlaka'pamux people in the plateau country to the south around Stump and Douglas Lakes. Relations between Nicola and the fur traders were tense, but in the end Nicola was recognised as a great help to the influx of whites during the gold rush, though admonishing those, in parties waging violence and looting on the Okanagan Trail, which led from American territory to the Fraser goldfields. Throughout, Kamloops was an important way station on the route of the Hudson's Bay Brigade Trail, which connected Fort Astoria with Fort Alexandria and the other forts in New Caledonia to the north, which continued in heavy use through the onset of the Cariboo Gold Rush as the main route to the new goldfields around what was to become Barkerville; the gold rush of the 1860s and the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which reached Kamloops from the West in 1883, brought further growth, resulting in the City of Kamloops being incorporated in 1893 with a population of about 500.
The logging industry of the 1970s brought many Indo-Canadians into the Kamloops area from the Punjab region of India. In 1973, Kamloops annexed other nearby communities. "Kamloops" is the anglicised version of the Shuswap word "Tk'əmlúps", meaning "meeting of the waters". Shuswap is still spoken in the area by members of the Tk'emlúps Indian Band. An alternate origin sometimes given for the name may have come from the native name's accidental similarity to the French "Camp des loups", meaning "Camp of Wolves". One story connected with this version of the name concerns an attack by a pack of wolves, much built up in story to one huge white wolf, or a pack of wolves and other animals, travelling overland from the Nicola Country being repelled by a single shot by John Tod Chief Trader, thus preventing the fort from attack and granting Tod a great degree of respect locally. Kamloops is in the Montane Cordillera Ecozone; the city's centre is in the valley near the confluence of the Thompson River's north and south branches.
Suburbs stretch for more than a dozen kilometres along the north and south branches, as well as to the steep hillsides along the south portion of the city and lower northeast hillsides. Robert W. Service in 1904 described Kamloops as his delightful life and wrote "Life was pleasant, the work was light. At four o'clock we were on our horses, riding over the rolling ridges, or into spectral gulches that rose to ghostlier mountains, it was like the scenery of Mexico, aridly morose. A discouraging land, forbidding in its weariness and resigned to ruin." Kamloops Indian Band areas begin just to the northeast of the downtown core but are not within the city limits. As a result of this placement, it is necessary to leave Kamloops' city limits and pass through the band lands before re-entering the city limits to access the communities of Rayleigh and Heffley Creek. Kamloops is surrounded by the smaller communities of Cherry Creek, Savona, Scotch Creek, Adams Lake, Paul Lake and various others; the climate of Kamloops is semi-arid due to its rain shadow location.
Because of milder winters and aridity, the area west of Kamloops in the lower Thompson River valley falls within Köppen climate classification BWk climate. Kamloops gets short cold s
Cape Horn is the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile, is located on the small Hornos Island. Although not the most southerly point of South America, Cape Horn marks the northern boundary of the Drake Passage and marks where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet. Cape Horn was discovered and first rounded in 1616 by the Dutchman Willem Schouten, who named it Kaap Hoorn after the city of Hoorn in the Netherlands. For decades, Cape Horn was a major milestone on the clipper route, by which sailing ships carried trade around the world; the waters around Cape Horn are hazardous, owing to strong winds, large waves, strong currents and icebergs. The need for boats and ships to round Cape Horn was reduced by the opening of the Panama Canal in August 1914. However, sailing around the Cape Horn is still regarded as one of the major challenges in yachting, thus a few recreational sailors continue to sail this route, sometimes as part of a circumnavigation of the globe.
All of these choose routes through the channels to the north of the Cape. Several prominent ocean yacht races, notably the Volvo Ocean Race, the VELUX 5 Oceans, the Vendée Globe, sail around the world via the Horn. Speed records for round-the-world sailing are recognized for following this route. Cape Horn is located on Isla Hornos in the Hermite Islands group, at the southern end of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, it marks the north edge of the strait between South America and Antarctica. It is located in Cabo de Hornos National Park; the cape lies within Chilean territorial waters, the Chilean Navy maintains a station on Hoorn Island, consisting of a residence, utility building and lighthouse. A short distance from the main station is a memorial, including a large sculpture made by Chilean sculptor José Balcells featuring the silhouette of an albatross, in remembrance of the sailors who died while attempting to "round the Horn", it was erected in 1992 through the initiative of the Chilean Section of the Cape Horn Captains Brotherhood.
The terrain is treeless, although quite lush owing to frequent precipitation. Cape Horn is the southern limit of the range of the Magellanic penguin; the climate in the region is cool, owing to the southern latitude. There are no weather stations in the group of islands including Cape Horn. Winds were reported to average 30 kilometres per hour, with squalls of over 100 kilometres per hour, occurring in all seasons. There are 278 days of rainfall and 2,000 millimetres of annual rainfallCloud coverage is extensive, with averages from 5.2 eighths in May and July to 6.4 eighths in December and January. Precipitation is high throughout the year: the weather station on the nearby Diego Ramirez Islands, 109 kilometres south-west in the Drake Passage, shows the greatest rainfall in March, averaging 137.4 millimetres. Wind conditions are severe in winter. In summer, the wind at Cape Horn is gale force up to 5% of the time, with good visibility. Many stories are told of hazardous journeys "around the Horn," most describing fierce storms.
Charles Darwin wrote: "One sight of such a coast is enough to make a landsman dream for a week about shipwrecks and death."Being the most southernmost point of land outside of Antarctica, the region experiences 7 hours of daylight during the June solstice, with Cape Horn itself having 6 hours and 57 minutes. The region during the December solstice experiences around 17 and a half hours of daylight during the December solstice, experiences nautical twilight from civil dusk to civil dawn. White nights can be observed the week around the December solstice. Cape Horn is part of the Commune of Cabo de Hornos; the area is part of the Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region of Chile. Puerto Toro, a few miles south of Puerto Williams, is the closest town to the cape. Many modern tankers are too wide to fit through the Panama Canal, as are a few passenger ships and several aircraft carriers, but there are no regular commercial routes around the Horn, modern ships carrying cargo are seen. However, a number of cruise ships round the Horn when traveling from one ocean to the other.
These stop in Ushuaia or Punta Arenas as well as Port Stanley. Some of the small passenger vessels shuttling between Ushuaia and the Antarctic Peninsula will pass the Horn too and weather permitting. A number of potential sailing routes may be followed around the tip of South America; the Strait of Magellan, between the mainland and Tierra del Fuego, is a major—although narrow—passage, in use for trade well before the Horn was discovered. The Beagle Channel, between Tierra del Fuego and Isla Navarino, offers a potential, though difficult route. Other passages may be taken around the Hermite Islands to the north of Cape Horn. All of these, however, a
The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of Canada, it flows northwest and south into the US state of Washington turns west to form most of the border between Washington and the state of Oregon before emptying into the Pacific Ocean. The river is 1,243 miles long, its largest tributary is the Snake River, its drainage basin is the size of France and extends into seven US states and a Canadian province. The fourth-largest river in the United States by volume, the Columbia has the greatest flow of any North American river entering the Pacific; the Columbia and its tributaries have been central to the region's culture and economy for thousands of years. They have been used for transportation since ancient times, linking the region's many cultural groups; the river system hosts many species of anadromous fish, which migrate between freshwater habitats and the saline waters of the Pacific Ocean. These fish—especially the salmon species—provided the core subsistence for native peoples.
In the late 18th century, a private American ship became the first non-indigenous vessel to enter the river. In the following decades, fur trading companies used the Columbia as a key transportation route. Overland explorers entered the Willamette Valley through the scenic but treacherous Columbia River Gorge, pioneers began to settle the valley in increasing numbers. Steamships along the river linked facilitated trade. Since the late 19th century and private sectors have developed the river. To aid ship and barge navigation, locks have been built along the lower Columbia and its tributaries, dredging has opened and enlarged shipping channels. Since the early 20th century, dams have been built across the river for power generation, navigation and flood control; the 14 hydroelectric dams on the Columbia's main stem and many more on its tributaries produce more than 44 percent of total US hydroelectric generation. Production of nuclear power has taken place at two sites along the river. Plutonium for nuclear weapons was produced for decades at the Hanford Site, now the most contaminated nuclear site in the US.
These developments have altered river environments in the watershed through industrial pollution and barriers to fish migration. The Columbia begins its 1,243-mile journey in the southern Rocky Mountain Trench in British Columbia. Columbia Lake – 2,690 feet above sea level – and the adjoining Columbia Wetlands form the river's headwaters; the trench is a broad and long glacial valley between the Canadian Rockies and the Columbia Mountains in BC. For its first 200 miles, the Columbia flows northwest along the trench through Windermere Lake and the town of Invermere, a region known in British Columbia as the Columbia Valley northwest to Golden and into Kinbasket Lake. Rounding the northern end of the Selkirk Mountains, the river turns south through a region known as the Big Bend Country, passing through Revelstoke Lake and the Arrow Lakes. Revelstoke, the Big Bend, the Columbia Valley combined are referred to in BC parlance as the Columbia Country. Below the Arrow Lakes, the Columbia passes the cities of Castlegar, located at the Columbia's confluence with the Kootenay River, Trail, two major population centers of the West Kootenay region.
The Pend Oreille River joins the Columbia about 2 miles north of the US–Canada border. The Columbia enters eastern Washington flowing south and turning to the west at the Spokane River confluence, it marks the southern and eastern borders of the Colville Indian Reservation and the western border of the Spokane Indian Reservation. The river turns south after the Okanogan River confluence southeasterly near the confluence with the Wenatchee River in central Washington; this C‑shaped segment of the river is known as the "Big Bend". During the Missoula Floods 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, much of the floodwater took a more direct route south, forming the ancient river bed known as the Grand Coulee. After the floods, the river found its present course, the Grand Coulee was left dry; the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam in the mid-20th century impounded the river, forming Lake Roosevelt, from which water was pumped into the dry coulee, forming the reservoir of Banks Lake. The river flows past The Gorge Amphitheatre, a prominent concert venue in the Northwest through Priest Rapids Dam, through the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Within the reservation is Hanford Reach, the only US stretch of the river, free-flowing, unimpeded by dams and not a tidal estuary. The Snake River and Yakima River join the Columbia in the Tri‑Cities population center; the Columbia makes a sharp bend to the west at the Washington–Oregon border. The river defines that border for the final 309 miles of its journey; the Deschutes River joins the Columbia near The Dalles. Between The Dalles and Portland, the river cuts through the Cascade Range, forming the dramatic Columbia River Gorge. No other rivers except for the Klamath and Pit River breaches the Cascades—the other rivers that flow through the range originate in or near the mountains; the headwaters and upper course of the Pit River are on the Modoc Plateau. In contrast, the Columbia cuts through the range nearly a thousand miles from its source in the Rocky Mountains; the gorge is known
The Cowlitz River is a river in the state of Washington in the United States, a tributary of the Columbia River. Its tributaries drain a large region including the slopes of Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens; the Cowlitz has a 2,586-square-mile drainage basin, located between the Cascade Range in eastern Lewis County and the cities of Kelso and Longview. The river is 105 miles long, not counting tributaries. Major tributaries of the Cowlitz River include the Cispus River and the Toutle River, overtaken by volcanic mudflows during the May 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens; when the smelt spawn in the Cowlitz River, the gulls go into a feeding frenzy. Kelso, Washington is known as the "Smelt Capital of the World"; the Cowlitz River has three major hydroelectric dams, with several small-scale hydropower and sediment retention structures within the Cowlitz Basin. The Cowlitz Falls Project is a 70 megawatt hydroelectric dam built in the early 1990s and completed in 1994; the dam is 700 feet wide.
The Cowlitz Falls Project produces on average 260 GWh annually for Lewis County PUD. Its reservoir, Lake Scanewa, is located at the confluence of the Cowlitz and Cispus Rivers downstream of Randle. Mossyrock Dam began generating power for Tacoma City Light in 1968, it created the 23-mile long Riffe Lake. It is the highest dam in the Pacific Northwest; the dam is named for the nearby city of Mossyrock, the lake for the town of Riffe, along with Kosmos, was destroyed by the flooding of the Cowlitz River valley above the dam. The Mayfield Dam is 185 feet high. An 860-foot tunnel connects the reservoir to the powerhouse; the dam began producing electricity in 1963. Mayfield Lake offers many recreational opportunities: there are several county and state parks and the lake is below the Mossyrock Dam; the modulated inflow from the Mossyrock Dam allows Mayfield Lake to maintain a water level that fluctuates more than a few feet. It is located several miles downstream of Mossyrock. Packwood Lake was dammed in 1964 by the Washington Public Power Supply System.
The dam holds back the lake, redirecting streamflow to a 27 megawatt hydroelectric generator in the Cowlitz River valley floor 2,000 feet below just outside the town of Packwood. When designing and building the dam, care was taken so as not to affect the abundant wildlife of the lake and surrounding area: the dam raised the water level by only a few feet. A serious side effect of the Mount St. Helens 1980 eruption has been the downstream movement of enormous amounts of sediment through the North Fork Toutle River. After the eruption, river-borne sediment increased over five thousand-fold, making the Toutle River one of the most sediment-laden rivers in the world; the Toutle River Sediment Retention Structure was constructed to trap this sediment before it was carried farther downstream, where it could clog the river channel, exacerbate floods along the lower Toutle and Cowlitz Rivers, fill the Columbia River shipping channel, which still requires periodic dredging. An overflow channel has been added to divert lahars around the dam.
Numerous road and rail bridges span the Cowlitz. Just upstream from its mouth at the Columbia river, a railroad bridge connecting the Port of Longview to the BNSF rail line crosses the Cowlitz, with a road bridge for SR 432 beside. Further upstream are the Allen St. and Cowlitz Way bridges, connecting West Kelso with the rest of Kelso. Just north of Kelso, a railroad bridge provides crossing for the Cowlitz Railroad. Connecting SR 411 to Interstate-5 is the Lexington bridge, a two lane bridge between the large unincorporated community of Lexington to Exit 42 on the east side of the bank. At Castle Rock, the A St. bridge provides access from downtown to the school and residential areas across the river. A few miles north, after the Toutle River split, the BNSF line crosses the river. Across the Lewis/Cowlitz County line, between the towns of Vader and Toledo, Washington, I-5 crosses the river. At Toledo, SR-505 crosses. Where Highway 12 crosses Mayfield Lake, just west of Mossyrock, causeways were built out to the middle of the lake, where a short bridge section connects the two sides.
A small bridge provides a crossing for SR 122 at the head of Mayfield Lake. Just east of Mossyrock, the Cowlitz River Bridge on Highway 12 was the largest concrete arch bridge in North America until 1971 at 550 feet. At the head of Riffe Lake, the 27 Road provides access to the forestland south of the Cowlitz from Morton and Glenoma to the north. At Randle, SR 131 crosses the Cowlitz to provide access to the Cispus basin and the northern areas of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Between Randle and Packwood, Highway 12 crosses the Cowlitz at the Cora bridge. At Packwood, Skate Creek Road spans the river, providing access to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Tatoosh Wilderness, as well as connecting the downtown and residential areas of Packwood. Upstream from Packwood, the Cowlitz splits into the Muddy and Clear Forks, with several Forest Service and Park Service roads crossing each; when the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery began operation in 1968, it was the largest of its kind in the world.
It produces nearly 13 million fish each year. Adjacent is the barrier dam, which diverts spawning and upriver migrating fish to a separating station where fish are sorted by species; some of the fish are used by the hatchery while others are transported upstream to continue migration. The Bonneville Power Administration, in