Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region on the West Coast of the United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary with Idaho; the parallel 42 ° north delineates the southern boundary with Nevada. Oregon is one of only four states of the continental United States to have a coastline on the Pacific Ocean. Oregon was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before Western traders and settlers arrived. An autonomous government was formed in the Oregon Country in 1843 before the Oregon Territory was created in 1848. Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859. Today, at 98,000 square miles, Oregon is the ninth largest and, with a population of 4 million, 27th most populous U. S. state. The capital, Salem, is the second most populous city in Oregon, with 169,798 residents. Portland, with 647,805, ranks as the 26th among U. S. cities. The Portland metropolitan area, which includes the city of Vancouver, Washington, to the north, ranks the 25th largest metro area in the nation, with a population of 2,453,168.
Oregon is one of the most geographically diverse states in the U. S. marked by volcanoes, abundant bodies of water, dense evergreen and mixed forests, as well as high deserts and semi-arid shrublands. At 11,249 feet, Mount Hood, a stratovolcano, is the state's highest point. Oregon's only national park, Crater Lake National Park, comprises the caldera surrounding Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States; the state is home to the single largest organism in the world, Armillaria ostoyae, a fungus that runs beneath 2,200 acres of the Malheur National Forest. Because of its diverse landscapes and waterways, Oregon's economy is powered by various forms of agriculture and hydroelectric power. Oregon is the top timber producer of the contiguous United States, the timber industry dominated the state's economy in the 20th century. Technology is another one of Oregon's major economic forces, beginning in the 1970s with the establishment of the Silicon Forest and the expansion of Tektronix and Intel.
Sportswear company Nike, Inc. headquartered in Beaverton, is the state's largest public corporation with an annual revenue of $30.6 billion. The earliest evidence of the name Oregon has Spanish origins; the term "orejón" comes from the historical chronicle Relación de la Alta y Baja California written by the new Spaniard Rodrigo Montezuma and made reference to the Columbia River when the Spanish explorers penetrated into the actual North American territory that became part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. This chronicle is the first topographical and linguistic source with respect to the place name Oregon. There are two other sources with Spanish origins, such as the name Oregano, which grows in the southern part of the region, it is most probable that the American territory was named by the Spaniards, as there are some populations in Spain such as "Arroyo del Oregón" considering that the individualization in Spanish language "El Orejón" with the mutation of the letter "g" instead of "j". Another early use of the name, spelled Ouragon, was in a 1765 petition by Major Robert Rogers to the Kingdom of Great Britain.
The term referred to the then-mythical River of the West. By 1778, the spelling had shifted to Oregon. In his 1765 petition, Rogers wrote: The rout...is from the Great Lakes towards the Head of the Mississippi, from thence to the River called by the Indians Ouragon... One theory is that the name comes from the French word ouragan, applied to the River of the West based on Native American tales of powerful Chinook winds on the lower Columbia River, or from firsthand French experience with the Chinook winds of the Great Plains. At the time, the River of the West was thought to rise in western Minnesota and flow west through the Great Plains. Joaquin Miller explained in Sunset magazine, in 1904, how Oregon's name was derived: The name, Oregon, is rounded down phonetically, from Ouve água—Oragua, Or-a-gon, Oregon—given by the same Portuguese navigator that named the Farallones after his first officer, it in a large way, means cascades:'Hear the waters.' You should steam up the Columbia and hear and feel the waters falling out of the clouds of Mount Hood to understand the full meaning of the name Ouve a água, Oregon.
Another account, endorsed as the "most plausible explanation" in the book Oregon Geographic Names, was advanced by George R. Stewart in a 1944 article in American Speech. According to Stewart, the name came from an engraver's error in a French map published in the early 18th century, on which the Ouisiconsink River was spelled "Ouaricon-sint", broken on two lines with the -sint below, so there appeared to be a river flowing to the west named "Ouaricon". According to the Oregon Tourism Commission, present-day Oregonians pronounce the state's name as "or-uh-gun, never or-ee-gone". After being drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2002, former Oregon Ducks quarterback Joey Harrington distributed "Orygun" stickers to members of the media as a reminder of how to pronounce the name of his home state; the stickers are sold by the University of Oregon Bookstore. Oregon is 295 miles north to south at longest distance, 395 miles east to west. With an area of 98,381 square miles, Oregon is larger than the United Kingdom.
It is the ninth largest state in the United States. Oregon's highest point is the summit of Mount Hood, at 11,249 feet, its lowest point is the sea level of the Pacific Ocean along the Oregon Coas
Oregon Route 216
Oregon Route 216 is an Oregon state highway running from U. S. Route 26 at Warm Springs Junction to U. S. Route 97 in Grass Valley. OR 216 runs east -- west. OR 216 begins at an intersection with US 26 at Warm Springs Junction on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, it heads east along the border between the reservation and Mt. Hood National Forest continues through Pine Grove, past Wapinitia to an intersection with U. S. Route 197 about two miles west of Maupin. At this intersection, OR 216 overlaps U. S. continues north to Tygh Valley. The concurrency ends at Tygh Valley, OR 216 continues east to Grass Valley, ending at an intersection with US 97. OR 216 comprises the following named highways: The Wapinitia Highway No. 44. The Wapinitia Highway was designated part of OR 50. In 1950, it was redesignated OR 52, as the OR 50 designation was moved to the Warm Springs Highway No. 53, is now part of US 26. In 1952, when the former OR 90 was renumbered OR 52 to conform to its intersection with ID 52, the Wapinitia Highway was renumbered as part of OR 216.
The Sherars Bridge Highway can be traced to a bridge over the Deschutes River, built in 1860 and rebuilt in 1862. Joseph Sherar and his wife, bought the log bridge in 1871, replaced it with a wooden toll bridge, improved 60 miles of an existing wagon road that crossed the bridge; the bridge was purchased by Deschutes County in 1912, the modern highway built some time thereafter. U. S. Route 26 U. S. Route 197 U. S. Route 97 U. S. Route 395 Former OR 50 OR 52 Oregon Department of Transportation, Descriptions of US and Oregon Routes, https://web.archive.org/web/20051102084300/http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/TRAFFIC/TEOS_Publications/PDF/Descriptions_of_US_and_Oregon_Routes.pdf, pages 2, 20. Oregon Department of Transportation, Wapinitia Highway No. 44, ftp://ftp.odot.state.or.us/tdb/trandata/maps/slchart_pdfs_1980_to_2002/Hwy044_1997.pdf Oregon Department of Transportation, The Dalles-California Highway No. 4, ftp://ftp.odot.state.or.us/tdb/trandata/maps/slchart_pdfs_1980_to_2002/Hwy004_1999.pdf Oregon Department of Transportation, Sherars Bridge Highway No.
290, ftp://ftp.odot.state.or.us/tdb/trandata/maps/slchart_pdfs_1980_to_2002/Hwy290_1997.pdf Oregon History Project, Sherar's Hotel & Toll Bridge, http://www.ohs.org/education/oregonhistory/historical_records/dspDocument.cfm?doc_ID=8A131DA8-92FB-C912-7A9F8C3B09FBF50D ORoads: Oregon Route 52, http://www.angelfire.com/or3/oroads/roads/or52/
Oregon Department of Transportation
The Oregon Department of Transportation is a department of the state government of the U. S. state of Oregon responsible for systems of transportation. It was first established in 1969, it had been preceded by the Oregon State Highway Department which, along with the Oregon State Highway Commission, was created by an act of the Oregon Legislative Assembly in 1913. It works with the five-member Oregon Transportation Commission in managing the state's transportation systems; the Oregon Transportation Commission the Oregon State Highway Commission, is a five-member governor-appointed government agency that manages the state highways and other transportation in the U. S. state of Oregon, in conjunction with the Oregon Department of Transportation. The first State Highway Commission was created on August 12, 1913, was composed of Governor Oswald West, Secretary of State Ben W. Olcott and Treasurer Thomas B. Kay. On January 12, 1915, James Withycombe replaced Oswald West on the commission; the 1917 Oregon Legislative Assembly redesigned the State Highway Commission, with citizens appointed to replace the elected officials.
The new commissioners held their first meeting on March 6, the commission was known as the Oregon Highway Division. As Oregon's transportation needs started to grow, the division expanded and, in 1919, it employed their first State Bridge Engineer, Conde McCullough. By 1920, Oregon had 620 miles of paved roads and 297.2 miles of plank roads for a population of 783,389 and, by 1932, the work, started on the Oregon Coast Highway in 1914 was completed, except for five bridges, which meant greater responsibility for the division. This work was complete when the construction of the bridges over the Yaquina, Alsea and Umpqua rivers and Coos Bay were completed, closing the last gaps in the highway. By 1940, the highway division was managing more than 7,000 miles of state and country roads in Oregon, with nearly 5,000 miles being hard-surfaced. In 2007, the department entered into an agreement with Aurigo Software, who used its capital project management application to automate the $2.5 billion OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program.
Several unusual events occurred in the department's history. In 1958, the division changed its slogan to the unintentionally funny "Oregon Freeways... Symbol of 2nd Century Progress" and in 1967 ODOT celebrated its 50th anniversary though it was by fifty-four years old. On November 12, 1970, the department gained notoriety after they attempted to dispose of a rotting beached sperm whale by using half a ton of dynamite to blast it off the beach, as one might remove a boulder, they were given responsibility for this task because Oregon beaches were designated as highways when the division was formed. This became known as the "exploding whale incident". 1913 - "Get Oregon Out of the Mud" 1957 - "Building Oregon Thru Better Highways" 1958 - "Oregon Freeways... Symbol of 2nd Century Progress" 1961 - "Freeways are Easier" 1967 - "Fifty Years of Building Better Highways in Oregon" 1978 - "Keep Oregon Green and in the Black" 1986 - "ODOT on the Move" 2006 - "The way to go!" Glenn Jackson, an influential twenty-year member of the commission Oregon Department of Aviation Media related to Oregon Department of Transportation at Wikimedia Commons Oregon Department of Transportation Museum online Oregon Transportation Commission
Idaho is a state in the northwestern region of the United States. It borders the state of Montana to the east and northeast, Wyoming to the east and Utah to the south, Washington and Oregon to the west. To the north, it shares a small portion of the Canadian border with the province of British Columbia. With a population of 1.7 million and an area of 83,569 square miles, Idaho is the 14th largest, the 12th least populous and the 7th least densely populated of the 50 U. S. states. The state's capital and largest city is Boise. Idaho prior to European settlement was inhabited by Native American peoples, some of whom still live in the area. In the early 19th century, Idaho was considered part of the Oregon Country, an area disputed between the U. S. and the United Kingdom. It became U. S. territory with the signing of the Oregon Treaty of 1846, but a separate Idaho Territory was not organized until 1863, instead being included for periods in Oregon Territory and Washington Territory. Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, becoming the 43rd state.
Forming part of the Pacific Northwest, Idaho is divided into several distinct geographic and climatic regions. In the state's north, the isolated Idaho Panhandle is linked with Eastern Washington, with which it shares the Pacific Time Zone – the rest of the state uses the Mountain Time Zone; the state's south includes the Snake River Plain, while the south-east incorporates part of the Great Basin. Idaho is quite mountainous, contains several stretches of the Rocky Mountains; the United States Forest Service holds about 38 % of the most of any state. Industries significant for the state economy include manufacturing, mining and tourism. A number of science and technology firms are either headquartered in Idaho or have factories there, the state contains the Idaho National Laboratory, the country's largest Department of Energy facility. Idaho's agricultural sector supplies many products, but the state is best known for its potato crop, which comprises around one-third of the nationwide yield; the official state nickname is the "Gem State".
The name's origin remains a mystery. In the early 1860s, when the United States Congress was considering organizing a new territory in the Rocky Mountains, eccentric lobbyist George M. Willing suggested the name "Idaho", which he claimed was derived from a Shoshone language term meaning "the sun comes from the mountains" or "gem of the mountains". Willing claimed he had invented the name. Congress decided to name the area Colorado Territory when it was created in February 1861. Thinking they would get a jump on the name, locals named a community in Colorado "Idaho Springs". However, the name "Idaho" did not fall into obscurity; the same year Congress created Colorado Territory, a county called Idaho County was created in eastern Washington Territory. The county was named after a steamship named Idaho, launched on the Columbia River in 1860, it is unclear after Willing's claim was revealed. Regardless, part of Washington Territory, including Idaho County, was used to create Idaho Territory in 1863.
Despite this lack of evidence for the origin of the name, many textbooks well into the 20th century repeated as fact Willing's account the name "Idaho" derived from the Shoshone term "ee-da-how". A 1956 Idaho history textbook says:"Idaho" is a Shoshoni Indian exclamation; the word consists of three parts. The first is "Ee", which in English conveys the idea of "coming down"; the second is "dah", the Shoshoni stem or root for both "sun" and "mountain". The third syllable, "how", denotes the exclamation and stands for the same thing in Shoshoni that the exclamation mark does in the English language; the Shoshoni word is "Ee-dah-how", the Indian thought thus conveyed when translated into English means, "Behold! the sun coming down the mountain. An alternative etymology attributes the name to the Plains Apache word "ídaahę́", used in reference to The Comanche. Idaho borders six U. S. states and one Canadian province. The states of Washington and Oregon are to the west and Utah are to the south, Montana and Wyoming are to the east.
Idaho shares a short border with the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north. The landscape is rugged with some of the largest unspoiled natural areas in the United States. For example, at 2.3 million acres, the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area is the largest contiguous area of protected wilderness in the continental United States. Idaho is a Rocky Mountain state with scenic areas; the state has snow-capped mountain ranges, vast lakes and steep canyons. The waters of the Snake River rush through the deepest gorge in the United States. Shoshone Falls plunges down rugged cliffs from a height greater than Niagara Falls; the major rivers in Idaho are the Snake River, the Clark Fork/Pend Oreille River, the Clearwater River, the Salmon River. Other significant rivers include the Coeur d'Alene River, the Spokane River, the Boise River, the Payette River; the Salmon River empties into the Snake in Hells Canyon and forms the southern boundary of Nez Perce County on its north shore, of which Lewiston is the county seat.
The Port of Lewiston, at the confluence of the Clearwater and the Snake Rivers is the farthest inland seaport on the West Coast at 465 river miles from the Pacific at Astoria, Oregon. Idaho's highest point is 12,662 ft, in the Lost River Range north of Mackay. Idaho's lowest poi
Payette is a city in and the county seat of Payette County, United States. The population was 7,433 at the 2010 census, it is part of OR − ID Micropolitan Statistical Area. The settlement was named "Boomerang," a construction camp for the Oregon Short Line from 1882-84 at the mouth of the Payette River. Logs were floated down the river to the sawmills at the camp to produce railroad ties. After completion of the railroad, the settlement moved upstream to its present site and incorporated in 1891 as "Payette," to honor François Payette, a French-Canadian fur trapper and one of the first white men to explore the area, he arrived in present-day Idaho from Astoria and was the head of the Fort Boise trading post for the British Hudson's Bay Company from 1835-44. A large merry man, Payette was regarded for his helpful assistance to the many travelers who came through the fort. After his retirement in 1844, he returned to Montreal. Payette County was created in 1917, partitioned from Canyon County, the city of Payette became the county seat.
Payette is located at 44°4′31″N 116°55′48″W, at an elevation of 2,149 feet above sea level. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.86 square miles, of which 3.85 square miles is land and 0.01 square miles is water. - US 95 - SH-52 As of the census of 2010, there were 7,433 people, 2,816 households, 1,910 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,930.6 inhabitants per square mile. There were 3,095 housing units at an average density of 803.9 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 86.6% White, 0.2% African American, 1.5% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 7.3% from other races, 3.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.3% of the population. There were 2,816 households of which 36.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.2% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.0% had a male householder with no wife present, 32.2% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.12. The median age in the city was 35 years. 28% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the city was 48.9% male and 51.1% female. As of the census of 2000, there were 7,054 people, 2,619 households, 1,841 families residing in the city; the population density was 2,087.2 people per square mile. There were 2,834 housing units at an average density of 838.6 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 87.43% White, 0.09% African American, 1.15% Native American, 0.86% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 7.67% from other races, 2.78% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.78% of the population. There were 2,619 households out of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.4% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.7% were non-families. 25.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.20. In the city, the population was spread out with 30.7% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.4 males. The median income for a household in the city was $29,375, the median income for a family was $36,944. Males had a median income of $28,762 versus $19,781 for females; the per capita income for the city was $13,826. About 11.4% of families and 15.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.0% of those under age 18 and 12.3% of those age 65 or over. Payette experiences a semi-arid climate with hot, dry summers. Diane Anderson-Minshall, journalist A. L. Freehafer, politician William Norman Grigg, author Michael Hoffman, film director Donna M. Jones, former Idaho state controller Harmon Killebrew, member of the Baseball Hall of Fame raised and buried in Payette, Idaho James A. McClure, U.
S. Senator from Idaho, 1973-1991. Rick Rydell, radio host and author Herman Welker, U. S. Senator from Idaho, 1951–1957 Official website - City of Payette Payette County USGenWeb
Malheur County, Oregon
Malheur County is a county in the southeast corner of the U. S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 census, the population was 31,313, its county seat is Vale, its largest city is Ontario. The county was named after the Malheur River. "Malheur" is French for tragedy. Malheur County is included in the Micropolitan Statistical Area, included in the Boise Combined Statistical Area, it is included in the eight-county definition of Eastern Oregon. Malheur County was created February 1887, from the southern portion of Baker County, it was first settled by miners and stockmen in the early 1860s. The discovery of gold in 1863 attracted further development, including ranches. Basques settled in the region in the 1890s and were engaged in sheep raising. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 9,930 square miles, of which 9,888 square miles is land and 42 square miles is water, it is the second-largest county in Oregon by area and the only county in Oregon in the Mountain Time Zone. Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge Malheur National Forest Whitman National Forest I-84 US 20 US 26 US 30 US 30 Bus.
US 95 OR 52 OR 78 OR 201 Malheur County is one of the few counties in the United States with two time zones. Most of the county is in the Mountain Time Zone, but a small portion in the south is in the Pacific Time Zone; as of the census of 2000, there were 31,615 people, 10,221 households, 7,348 families residing in the county. The population density was 3 people per square mile. There were 11,233 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was: 75.78% White 1.22% Black or African American 1.02% Native American 1.96% Asian 0.08% Pacific Islander 17.38% from other races 2.56% from two or more races25.62% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 14.2% were of German, 10.5% English, 8.4% American and 6.9% Irish ancestry. 79.4% spoke English and 19.4% Spanish as their first language. There were 10,221 households out of which 36.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.30% were married couples living together, 10.40% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.10% were non-families.
23.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.00% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.28. In the county, the population was spread out with 27.60% under the age of 18, 10.60% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 21.00% from 45 to 64, 13.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 116.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 121.20 males. The median income for a household in the county was $30,241, the median income for a family was $35,672. Males had a median income of $25,489 versus $21,764 for females; the per capita income for the county was $13,895. About 14.60% of families and 18.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.80% of those under age 18 and 11.60% of those age 65 or over. Malheur County is the poorest county in Oregon; as of 2008, 21% of its residents live in poverty. As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 31,313 people, 10,411 households, 7,149 families residing in the county.
The population density was 3.2 inhabitants per square mile. There were 11,692 housing units at an average density of 1.2 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 77.5% white, 1.7% Asian, 1.2% American Indian, 1.2% black or African American, 0.1% Pacific islander, 15.5% from other races, 2.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 31.5% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 16.2% were German, 11.9% were English, 10.3% were Irish, 9.9% were American. Of the 10,411 households, 34.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.3% were non-families, 26.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.24. The median age was 36.2 years. The median income for a household in the county was $39,144 and the median income for a family was $46,136. Males had a median income of $33,234 versus $27,883 for females.
The per capita income for the county was $16,335. About 15.2% of families and 22.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.1% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over. Like all counties in eastern Oregon, the majority of registered voters who are part of a political party in Malheur County are members of the Republican Party. In the 2008 presidential election, 69.10% of Malheur County voters voted for Republican John McCain, while 28.47% voted for Democrat Barack Obama and 2.42% of voters voted for a third-party candidate. These statistics do not include write-in votes; these numbers show a small shift towards the Democratic candidate when compared to the 2004 presidential election, in which 74.9% of Malheur Country voters voted for George W. Bush, while 23.8% voted for John Kerry, 1.3% of voters either voted for a third-party candidate or wrote in a candidate. Malheur County is one of the most Republican counties in Oregon when it comes to Presidential elections.
It was one of only two counties in Oregon to give the majority of its vote to Barry Goldwater and has favored the Republican candidate for decades. The last Democratic candidate to carry the county was Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940. Further every Republican candidate since 1996 has received more than 60% of the county's vote. Malheur County is one of the most reliably Rep
The Snake River is a major river of the greater Pacific Northwest region in the United States. At 1,078 miles long, it is the largest tributary of the Columbia River, in turn the largest North American river that empties into the Pacific Ocean; the Snake River rises in western Wyoming flows through the Snake River Plain of southern Idaho, the rugged Hells Canyon on the Oregon–Idaho border and the rolling Palouse Hills of Washington, emptying into the Columbia River at the Tri-Cities, Washington. The Snake River drainage basin encompasses parts of six U. S. is known for its varied geologic history. The Snake River Plain was created by a volcanic hotspot which now lies underneath the Snake River headwaters in Yellowstone National Park. Gigantic glacial-retreat flooding episodes that occurred during the previous Ice Age carved out canyons and waterfalls along the middle and lower Snake River. Two of these catastrophic flooding events, the Missoula Floods and Bonneville Flood affected the river and its surroundings.
Prehistoric Native Americans lived along the Snake starting more than 11,000 years ago. Salmon from the Pacific Ocean spawned by the millions in the river, were a vital resource for people living on the Snake downstream of Shoshone Falls. By the time Lewis and Clark explored the area, the Nez Perce and Shoshone were the dominant Native American groups in the region. Explorers and fur trappers further changed and used the resources of the Snake River basin. At one point, sign language used by the Shoshones representing weaving baskets was misinterpreted to represent a snake, giving the Snake River its name. By the middle 19th century, the Oregon Trail had become well established, bringing numerous settlers to the Snake River region. Steamboats and railroads moved agricultural products and minerals along the river throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. Starting in the 1890s, fifteen major dams have been built on the Snake River to generate hydroelectricity, enhance navigation, provide irrigation water.
However, these dams blocked salmon migration above Hells Canyon and have led to water quality and environmental issues in certain parts of the river. The removal of several dams on the lower Snake River has been proposed, in order to restore some of the river's once-tremendous salmon runs. Formed by the confluence of three tiny streams on the southwest flank of Two Oceans Plateau in Yellowstone National Park, western Wyoming, the Snake starts out flowing west and south into Jackson Lake, its first 50 miles run through Jackson Hole, a wide valley between the Teton Range and the Gros Ventre Range. Below the tourist town of Jackson, the river turns west and flows through Snake River Canyon, cutting through the Snake River Range and into eastern Idaho, it receives the Hoback and Greys Rivers before entering Palisades Reservoir, where the Salt River joins at the mouth of Star Valley. Below Palisades Dam, the Snake River flows through the Snake River Plain, a vast arid physiographic province extending through southern Idaho south-west of the Rocky Mountains and underlain by the Snake River Aquifer, one of the most productive aquifers in the United States.
Southwest of Rexburg, the Snake is joined from the north by Henrys Fork. The Henrys Fork is sometimes called the North Fork of the Snake River, with the main Snake above their confluence known as the "South Fork". From there it turns south, flowing through downtown Idaho Falls past the Fort Hall Indian Reservation and into American Falls Reservoir, where it is joined by the Portneuf River; the Portneuf River Valley is an overflow channel that in the last glacial period carried floodwaters from pluvial Lake Bonneville into the Snake River altering the landscape of the Snake River Plain through massive erosion. From there the Snake resumes its journey west, it is interrupted by several major cataracts, the largest being 212-foot Shoshone Falls, which marked the upriver limit of migrating salmon. A short distance downstream. Near Twin Falls, the Snake approaches the southernmost point in its entire course, after which it starts to flow west-northwest; the Snake continues through its canyon, receiving the Malad River from the east near Bliss and the Bruneau River from the south in C.
J. Strike Reservoir, it passes through an agricultural valley about 30 miles southwest of Boise and flows west into Oregon, before turning north to define the Idaho–Oregon border. Here the Snake River doubles in size as it receives several major tributaries – the Owyhee from the southwest the Boise and Payette rivers from the east, further downstream the Malheur River from the west and Weiser River from the east. North of Boise, the Snake enters Hells Canyon, a steep, rapid-strewn gorge that cuts through the Salmon River Mountains and Blue Mountains of Idaho and Oregon. Hells Canyon is one of the most rugged and treacherous portions of the course of the Snake River, posing a major obstacle for 19th-century American explorers. Here the Snake is impounded by Hells Canyon and Brownlee Dams, which together make up the Hells Canyon Hydroelectric Project. At the halfway point in Hells Canyon, in one of the most remote and inaccessible sections of its course, the Snake River is joined from the east by its largest tributary, the Salmon River.
From there, the Snake begins to form the Washington–Idaho border, receiving the Grande Ronde River from the west before receiving the Clearwater River from the east at Lewiston, which marks the head of navigation on the Snake. The river leaves Hells Canyon and turns west, winding through the Palouse Hills of eastern Washington; the Lower Snake River Project's four dams and