Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Cape Horn, Wahkiakum County, Washington"
Includes ... Cape Horn (of Wahkiakum Island) ... "Bell's Bluff" ... Campsite of November 6, 1805 ...
Image, 2004, Cape Horn of Wahkiakum County, Washington, as seen from Jones Beach, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Cape Horn of Wahkiakum, Washington, as seen from Jones Beach, Oregon. The lesser-known of the Cape Horns along the Columbia River. Looking upstream from Jones Beach, Oregon. Image taken November 20, 2004.


Cape Horn ... of Wahkiakum County ...
Cape Horn of Wahkiakum County is located on the Washington Side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 48, at the head of the Cathlamet Channel, across from the upstream end of Puget Island and the downstream end of Wallace Island. Upstream is located Eagle Cliff and County Line Park. Downstream is the small community of Flandersville and the town of Cathlamet, Washington. A good place to view Cape Horn in Wahkiakum is from Jones Beach, across the Columbia on the Oregon side.

Lewis and Clark and Cape Horn (Wahkiakum) ...
Lewis and Clark's camp of November 6, 1805 was on the Washington side of the Columbia River, just downstream of Cape Horn (of Wahkiakum County), and across from Puget Island.

Campsite of November 6, 1805 ...
Lewis and Clark's camp of November 6, 1805 was on the Washington side of the Columbia River, just downstream of Cape Horn (of Wahkiakum County), and across from Puget Island.

"... West 1 mile under a high Steep hill bold rockey Shore, Encampd under the hill on Stones Scercely land Sufficent between the hills and river Clear of the tide for us to lie. ..." [Clark, November 6, 1805, first draft]

"... Having gone 29 miles we encamped on the south side." [Gass, November 6, 1805]

"... Came 29 miles this day and Camped on the Stard. Side close under a clift of rocks" [Ordway, November 6, 1805]

"... We came 27 Miles this day & encamped on the North side of the River, under a Clift of Rocks ..." [Whitehouse, November 6, 1805]

In March 1806 on their return, Lewis and Clark camp on the Oregon side of the Columbia River across from their campsite of November 6, 1805.

"... it was with some difficulty that we could find a spot proper for an encampment, the shore being a swamp for several miles back; at length late in the evening opposite to the place we had encamped on the 6th of November last; we found the entrance of a small creek which afforded us a safe harbour from the wind and encamped.     the ground was low and moist tho' we obtained a tolerable encampment. ... " [Lewis, March 25, 1806]

"... the winds in the evening was verry hard, it was with Some dificuelty that we Could find a Spot proper for an encampment, the Shore being a Swamp for Several miles back; at length late in the evening opposit to the place we had encamped on the 6th of Novr. last; we found the enterance of a Small Creek which offered us a Safe harbour from the Winds and Encamped.     the Ground was low and moist tho' we obtained a tolerable encampment. ..." [Clark, March 25, 1806]

Lewis and Clark's previous campsite was at Prescott Beach, Oregon, and their campsite of November 7, 1805, was across from Pillar Rock, Washington.


Image, 2005, West side of Cape Horn, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
West side of Cape Horn, Wahkiakum County, Washington. View from Washington State Highway 4. Image taken July 28, 2005.


Early Cape Horn ...
According to Hitchman (1985), Wahkiakum's Cape Horn was named by early river navigators because of rough water frequently encountered off the cape.

In 1841 Charles Wilkes of the U.S. Exploring Expedition called this Cape Horn "Bell's Bluff".

The 1878 U.S. Coast and Survey map "Columbia River Sheet No.3", shows not only "Cape Horn" but also a dock and building labeled "Cape Horn Fishery", located just downstream of Cape Horn. Upstream of the Cape Horn Fishery is the "Waterford Fishery", of which today all that remains is the small community of Waterford. Further upstream are plotted the "Eureka Fishery", the "Eagle Cliff Fishery", and the "W. Hume's Fishery", all located in the area of today's Eagle Cliff. Interestingly, this 1878 map has the area of the basalt cliffs near today's Oak Point labeled "Eagle Cliff".


Cape Horns of the Columbia River ...
Throughout history there have been FIVE different features named "Cape Horn" located along the Columbia River, one of them being this location along the Lower Columbia River.
[More]

Views ...

Image, 2003, Cape Horn of Wahkiakum County, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Cape Horn of Wahkiakum, Washington. View from downstream on Puget Island. Image taken November 9, 2003.
Image, 2005, Cape Horn and Eagle Cliff, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Cape Horn and Eagle Cliff, Washington. View looking downstream from County Line Park. Image taken July 28, 2005.


Columbia River from Cape Horn ...

Image, 2005, Columbia River as seen from Cape Horn of Wahkiakum County, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Columbia River as seen from Cape Horn of Wahkiakum, Washington. Image taken July 28, 2005.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 6, 1805, first draft ...
a cold wet morning. rain Contd. untill [blank] oClock     we Set out early [from Prescott Beach, Oregon, area] & proceeded on the Corse of last night &c.

N. 50 W. 1 mile on the Lard. Side under Some high land.    bold rockey Shore

N. 60 W. 1 mile under a bold rockey Shore on the Lard Side, opsd. the upper point of a Island [Cottonwood Island] close under the Stard Side the high lands closeing the river on that Side [Carrolls Bluff]    above river wide


N. 75 W. 12 miles to a point of high land on the Lard Side, passed two Lodges on the Lard Side at 2 miles in a bottom, The high land [Carrolls Bluff] leave The river on the Stard. Side.    passd. a remarkable Knob of high land on the Stard. Side at 3 miles Close on the Waters edge [Mount Coffin, Lewis and Clark missed the Cowlitz River mouth] ...    passed a Island nearest the Lard. Side at 10 mile [Walker Island] the head of a Isd. on Std. [Fisher Island] opposit High Cliffs [Green Point, location of today's Mayger, Oregon], with Several Speces of Pine Cedars &c. arber vita & different Species of under groth.

N. 80 W. 2 miles under a high clift on the Lard Side [Green Point, location of today's Mayger Island]     the lower point of the Island on Stard. [Fisher Island] opposit those hills are Covered thickly ...

N. 88 W. 5 miles to a high Clift a little below an old village in the Stard. bend [possibly Bunker Hill, the location of today's Stella, Washington] and opposit an old village on a Lard. point of a handsom & extensive bottom [Beaver Slough/Clatskanie River bottom].     passed a Island in the middle of the river 3 miles long and one wide [Crims Island], passed a Small Island Close on the Stard. Side [Gull Island] & a lower point of a former Isld. below which the lands high & with Clifts to the river Stard. Side

S. 45 W. 5 miles under a Clift of verry high land on the Stard. side [possibly the Oak Point and Eagle Cliff area] wind high a head. ...

S. 50 W. 1 mile under a high rockey Hill of pine. The Indians leave us, Steep assent, Som Clifts

S. 75 W. 1 mile under a high hill with a bold rocky Shore, high assent     river about 1 mile wide

West 1 mile under a high Steep hill bold rockey Shore, Encampd under the hill on Stones [near Cape Horn of Wahkiakum County] Scercely land Sufficent between the hills and river Clear of the tide for us to lie. Cloudy & rain all wet and disagreeable. this evening made large fires on the Stones and dried our bedding. ...



Clark, November 6, 1805 ...




Journey to the PacificReturn to
Menu
 






*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources:
  • Hitchman, R., 1985, Place Names of Washington, Washington Historical Society;
  • U.S. Coast and Survey Map, Columbia River, Sheet No.3, 1878;


All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
/Regions/Places/cape_horn_wahkiakum_county.html
September 2011