Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Clackamas River, Oregon"
Includes ... Clackamas River ... Barlow Road ... Estacada ... National Register of Historic Places ...
Image, 2013, Clackamas River, Estacada, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Clackamas River at Estacada, looking downstream with Highway 211 bridgework, Estacada, Oregon. Image taken April 11, 2013.

The Estacada Bridge is a 371-foot-long reinforced concrete deck arch bridge built in 1936.


Clackamas River ...
The Clackamas River is an 83-mile-long tributary to the Willamette River and enters the Willamette at River Mile (RM) 25, at the north edge of Oregon City, two miles downstream from Willamette Falls.

Clackamas River Watershed ...
The Clackamas River begins on the western slopes of the Cascades on the northwestern flanks of Olallie Butte between Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson. Draining an area of about 940 square miles, the 83-mile-long Clackamas starts at an elevation of nearly 5,000 feet and has a drop of over 4,900 feet. The river first heads north and northwest before turning west where it joins the Willamette River about 1.5 miles below Willamette Falls. Several major tributaries flow into the Clackamas, including Clear Creek, Deep Creek, and Eagle Creek in the lower basin, and the North Fork, South Fork, Fish Creek, Roaring River, Oak Grove Fork and Collawash River in the upper basin. The upper 47 miles of the Clackamas River are protected and are a part of the Federal Wild and Rivers System.

Lewis and Clark and the Clackamas River ...
While Lewis and Clark never saw the Clackamas River, they were aware of its existence from information provided by visiting natives who arrived at camp. It was home to the "Clark a-mus nation".

"... I provailed on an old man to draw me a Sketch of the Multnomar River ang give me the names of the nations resideing on it which he readily done, ...   and gave me the names of 4 nations who reside on this river two of them very noumerous.    The first is Clark a-mus nation reside on a Small river which takes its rise in Mount Jefferson and falls into the Moltnomar about 40 miles up.    this nation is noumerous and inhabit 11 Towns. ..." [Clark, April 3, 1806]

The "Multnomar River" is today's Willamette River and the "Small river which takes its rise in Mount Jefferson" is the Clackamas River which merges with the Willamette at Willamette River Mile 25.


The Barlow Road crossing the Clackamas River ...
The Clackamas River was the last major river obstacle facing the Barlow Road travelers as they journeyed to Oregon City by going around the south side of Mount Hood. For the most part the wagons used three different crossings of the river. Today Oregon Highway 211, located four miles south of the three Barlow Road crossings, is a major crossing of the Clackamas River and gives great views of the river.
[More]


Along the Clackamas River

  • RM 0.0 ... Junction with the Willamette River ...
  • RM 0.0 ... Clackamette, Meldrum Bar, and Dahl Parks ...
  • RM 0.25 ... Dr. John McLoughlin Memorial Bridge ...
  • RM 8.0 ... Baker Bridge (Carver Bridge) ...
  • RM 13.5 ... Barton Bridge ...
  • RM 18.5 ... Feldheimer Ferry Site ...
  • RM 25.0 ... Estacada Bridge ...


RM 0.0 ... Junction with the Willamette River ...
The Clackamas River is an 83-mile-long tributary to the Willamette River and enters the Willamette at RM 25 north of Oregon City and south of Gladstone. Clackamette Park is located on the Clackamas River's left bank and Meldrum Bar and Dahl Parks are located on its right bank. The Dr. John McLoughlin Memorial Bridge crosses the Clackamas River 1/4 mile upstream of the Willamette River.
[More]

Image, 2016, Clackamas River at mouth, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mouth of the Clackamas River as seen from Dahl Park, Oregon. Image taken February 10, 2016.
Image, 2016, Clackamas River from Clackamette Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Clackamas River, looking downstream, from Clackamette Park, Oregon. Image taken February 10, 2016.


RM 0.0 ... Clackamette, Meldrum Bar, and Dahl Parks ...
Clackamette Park is located on the Clackamas River's left bank and Meldrum Bar and Dahl Parks are located on its right bank.

Image, 2016, Willamette River and Clackamette Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Willamette River and Clackamette Park, Oregon. Clackamette Park is located on the left bank of the Clackamas River where it merges with the Willamette. Image taken February 10, 2016.
Image, 2016, Clackamette Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Clackamette Park, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken February 10, 2016.
Image, 2016, Clackamette Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fish Sculpture, Clackamette Park, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken February 10, 2016.
Image, 2016, Willamette River and Meldrum Bar Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Willamette River and Meldrum Bar Park, Oregon. Meldrum Bar Park is located on the right bank of the Willamette River just downstream of the Clackamas River junction. Image taken February 10, 2016.
Image, 2016, Willamette River, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Willamette River just downstream of the mouth of the Clackamas River, as seen from Dahl Park, Oregon. Image taken February 10, 2016.


RM 0.25 ... Dr. John McLoughlin Memorial Bridge ...
The Dr. John McLoughlin Memorial Bridge is a steel tied arch bridge built across the Clackamas River in 1933. It's total length is 730 feet and crosses the Clackamas River 1/4 mile upstream of where it merges with the Willamette.

Image, 2016, McLoughlin Bridge over Clackamas River, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Dr. John McLoughlin Bridge over the Clackamas River, heading north, Oregon City/Gladstone, Oregon. Image taken February 10, 2016.
Image, 2016, McLoughlin Bridge over Clackamas River, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Dr. John McLoughlin Bridge over the Clackamas River, heading north, Oregon City/Gladstone, Oregon. Image taken February 10, 2016.
Image, 2016, Clackamas River from Clackamette Park, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Clackamas River, looking upstream, from Clackamette Park, Oregon. View of the Dr. John McLoughlin Memorial Bridge. Image taken February 10, 2016.
Image, 2016, Clackamas River and the Dr. John McLoughlin Memorial Bridge, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Clackamas River and the Dr. John McLoughlin Memorial Bridge, as seen from Clackamette Park, Oregon. Image taken February 10, 2016.


RM 8.0 ... Baker Bridge (Carver Bridge) ...
(to come)

Image, 2013, Clackamas River at Carver, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Clackamas River, looking downstream from the temporary Carver Bridge, Carver, Oregon. Part of the new bridge structure is visible in the lower right. This area was one of the Barlow Road crossings of the Clackamas River. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Clackamas River at Carver, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Carver Bridge and Boat Ramp, Clackamas River, Carver, Oregon. From the boat ramp, looking downstream towards the temporary Carver Bridge and the partly built constructed Carver Bridge. Image taken April 17, 2013.


RM 13.5 ... Barton Bridge ...
(to come)

Image, 2013, Clackamas River, Barton Bridge, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Barton Bridge, Clackamas River, Barton, Oregon. A third Barlow Road crossing of the Clackamas River. Image taken April 17, 2013.


RM 18.5 ... Feldheimer Ferry Site ...
(to come)

Image, 2013, Clackamas River, Feldheimer Boat Ramp, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Feldheimer boat ramp, Clackamas River, Oregon. "Feldheimer Ford" was one of the major crossing points of the Clackamas River for the early Barlow Road travelers. Image taken April 17, 2013.
Image, 2013, Clackamas River, Feldheimer Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Clackamas River looking downstream, from Feldheimer boat ramp, Clackamas River, Oregon. "Feldheimer Ford" was one of the major crossing points of the Clackamas River for the early Barlow Road travelers. Image taken April 17, 2013.


RM 25.0 ... Estacada Bridge ...
(to come)

Image, 2013, Clackamas River, Estacada, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Clackamas River at Estacada, looking downstream from Highway 211 bridge, Estacada, Oregon. Image taken April 11, 2013.
Image, 2013, Clackamas River, Estacada, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Clackamas River at Estacada, looking upstream from Highway 211 bridge, Estacada, Oregon. Image taken April 11, 2013.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, April 3, 1806 ...
The water had fallen in the course of last night five inches. I Set out and proceeded up a Short distance [vicinity of the St. Johns Bridge] and attempted a Second time to fathom the river with my cord of 5 fathom but could find no bottom. the mist was So thick that I could See but a Short distance up this river. where I left it, it was binding to the East of S. E. being perfectly Satisfyed of the Size and magnitude of this great river which must Water that vast tract of Country betwen the Western range of mountains and those on the Sea coast and as far S. as the Waters of Callifornia about Latd. 37° North I deturmined to return. at 7 oClock A. M. Set out on my return. the men exirted themselves and we arived at the Ne er cho ki oo house [Portland International Airport] in which the nativs were So illy disposed yesterday at 11 A. M. I entered the house with a view to Smoke with those people ...     I detained but a fiew minits and returnd on board the canoe. ...     at 3 P M. we arived at the residence of our Pilot [near Chinook Landing and Blue Lake] ...     back of this house I observe the wreck of 5 houses remaining of a very large Village, the houses of which had been built in the form of those we first Saw at the long narrows of the E-lute Nation with whome those people are connected. ...     I provailed on an old man to draw me a Sketch of the Multnomar River [Willamette River] ang give me the names of the nations resideing on it which he readily done, ...   and gave me the names of 4 nations who reside on this river two of them very noumerous. The first is Clark a-mus nation reside on a Small river which takes its rise in Mount Jefferson and falls into the Moltnomar about 40 miles up [Clackamas River].   this nation is noumerous and inhabit 11 Towns.   the 2d is the Cush-hooks who reside on the N E. Side below the falls [Willamette Falls],   the 3rd is the Char-cowah who reside above the Falls on the S W. Side neether of those two are noumerous.   The fourth Nation is the Cal-lar-po-e-wah which is very noumerous & inhabit the Country on each Side of the Multnomar from its falls as far up as the knowledge of those people extend. they inform me also that a high mountain passes the Multnomar at the falls,   and above the Country is an open plain of great extent.    I purchased 5 dogs of those people for the use of their Oil in the Plains, and at 4 P M left the Village and proceeded on to Camp where I joind Capt. Lewis [at Cottonwood Beach]

The enterance of Multnomah river is 142 miles up the Columbia river from its enterance into the Pacific Ocean—.





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*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:   

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.
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April 2013