Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Columbia River, Washington/Oregon"
Includes ... Columbia River ... "Columbia's River" ... "River of the West" ... "River Ouragon" ... "Ensenada de Asuncion" ... "Rio de San Roque" ... "Deception Bay" ... Snake River Confluence ... Columbia Plateau ... Columbia River Gorge ... Columbian Valley ... Vancouver Plains ... Lower Columbia River ... Columbia Estuary ... Journey to the Pacific ...
Image, 2003, Columbia River from mouth of the Snake River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Lewis and Clark's first view of the great Columbia River. Columbia River as seen from the mouth of the Snake River, from the boat dock at "the point" of Sacajawea State Park. View is looking downstream on the Snake River, towards its confluence with the Columbia River. Image taken September 29, 2003.

"... we arrived at the great Columbia river, which comes in from the northwest. We found here a number of natives, of whose nations we have not yet found out the names. We encamped on the point between the two rivers. The country all round is level, rich and beautiful, but without timber ..." [Gass, October 16, 1805]

Columbia River ...
The Columbia River and its tributaries form the dominant water system in the Pacific Northwest Region. The mainstem of the Columbia rises in Columbia Lake on the west slope of the Rocky Mountain Range in Canada. After flowing a circuitous path for about 1,200 miles (415 miles of which are in Canada) the Columbia joins the Pacific Ocean near Astoria, Oregon. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website (2002), the Columbia River drains an area of approximately 219,000 square miles in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, and Utah, with an additional 39,500 square mile portion of the basin, or about 15 percent, within Canada. This basin is North America's fourth largest river basin. There are over 250 reservoirs and around 150 hydroelectric projects in the basin, including 18 mainstem dams on the Columbia and its main tributary, the Snake River.

Image, 2004, Columbia River Gorge and Crown Point, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Looking towards the Columbia River Gorge, Crown Point, and Vista House. View from The Portland Womans Forum Scenic View (formerly Chanticleer Point). Image taken October 11, 2004.
Image, 2005, Columbia River from Astoria, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Columbia River from Astoria, Oregon. The Astoria-Megler bridge is in the background. Image taken February 19, 2005.

Early Columbia River ...
From the 1858 United States Senate Report "The Superintendent of the Coast Survey showing the Progress of the Survey during the Year 1858":

"... The Columbia river was called the 'Oregon' on the strength of the accounts of Carver in 1766. Much doubt exists as to the origin of the name last mentioned. In 1775 it was called 'Assumption Inlet' by Heceta, but afterwards the Rio de San Roque, from his naming the northern cape San Roque; and also the Ensenada de Heceta. In 1788 (1789?) Meares called it 'Deception Bay'. In 1792 it was named the 'Columbia's river' by Gray. Clarke says that, in 1805, the Indians knew it as the Shocatilcum, and another name obtained from another body of the natives was Chockalilum; the two being evidently the same word differently pronounced; the accent should be on the penult. When the name given by Gray was first changed we cannot state. It was, perhaps, done by Vancouver or Broughton. ..."

Discovered by Heceta ??? ...
The Columbia River, Cape Disappointment, and Point Adams (or Tillamook Head) were thought to have been discovered by Captain Bruno Heceta on August 17, 1775, while he was off the North American coast.

From Heceta's journal, August 17, 1775 ... (Source: W.D. Lyman, 1909, The Columbia River, repeating paragraphs from Heceta's writings.):

"... On the evening of this day I discovered a large bay, to which I gave the name Assumption Bay [today's mouth of the Columbia River] ... Its latitude and longitude are determined according to the most exact means afforded by theory and practice. The latitudes of the two most prominent capes of this bay [presumably Point Adams, south, and Cape Disappointment, north] are calculated from the observations of this day. ... Having arrived opposite this bay at six in the evening, and placed the ship nearly midway between the two capes ...

The two capes which I name in my plan, Cape San Roque [Cape Disappointment] and Cape Frondoso [Point Adams or Tillamook Head], lie in the angle of 10 degrees of the third quadrant. They are both faced with red earth and are of little elevation.

On the 18th I observed Cape Frondoso [Point Adams or Tillamook Head], with another cape, to which I gave the name of Cape Falcon [Cape Falcon], situated in the latitude of 45 degrees 43 minutes, and they lay at an angle of 22 degrees of the third quadrant, and from the last mentioned cape I traced the coast running in the angle of 5 degrees of the second quadrant. This land is mountainous, but not very high ... ..."

The 1889 U.S. Coast Survey "Coast Pilot" clarifies why Heceta may have seen Tillamook Head instead of Point Adams:

"... On August 17, 1775, he [Heceta] was off the mouth of the river, which he supposed to be a great bay, but he was so far distant that he noted only the Cape, on the north, and Tillamook Head on the south. ..."

"On the opening in the coast thus discovered Heceta bestowed the name of Ensenada de Asuncion -- Assumption Inlet; calling the point on its north side Cape San Roque, and that on the south Cape Frondoso -- Leafy Cape. In the charts published at Mexico, soon after the conclusion of the voyage, the entrance is, however, called Ensenada de Heceta -- Heceta's Inlet --- and Rio de San Roque -- River of St. Roc. It was, undoubtedly, the mouth of the greatest river on the western side of America; the same which was, in 1792, first entered by the ship Columbia, from Boston, under the command of Rober Gray, and has ever since been called the Columbia. The evidence of its first discovery by Heceta, on the 15th of August, 1775, is unquestionable.

From Assumption Inlet, Heceta continued his course, along the shore of the continent, towards the south, and arrived at Monterey ... on the 30th of August. In his journal, he particularly describes many places on this part of the coast which are now well known; such as --- the remarkable promontory, in latitude of 45 1/2 degrees, with small rocky islets in front, named by him Cape Falcon, the Cape Lookout of our maps --- the flat-topped mountain, overhanging the ocean, a little farther south, noted, in his journal, as La Mesa, or The Table which, in 1805, received, from Lewis and Clarke, the name of Clarke's Point of View ..."

Source:    Robert Greenhow, 1845, The Hisotry of Oregon and California: And the Other Territories on the Northwest Coast of North America, C.C. Little and J.Brown Publishing.

"Oregon" ...
Many theories as to the meaning of "Oregon" exist. In 1765 an English Army Officer, Major Robert Rogers, used the term "Ouragon" (and later "Ourigan" in a 1772 petition) in petitioning for an exploring expedition into the country west of the Great Lakes. In 1766 and 1767 Jonathan Carver, while exploring among the Indians of Minnesota, wrote about a great river of the West and he called it "Oregon". According to Oregon Geographic Names (McArthur, 2003), Carver may have taken the name from Major Rogers. Then, an 1883 article written from Father Blanchet say's it's from the Spanish word "orejon", meaning "big ears".

Naming the Columbia River ...
The Columbia River was given the name it bears today in May 1792, by American Captain Robert Gray, after his ship, the Columbia Rediviva crossed the bar and entered the Columbia River.

On May 11, 1792, Gray crossed the bars to the entrance of the Columbia River. Excerpts from: "REMNANT OF the Official Log of the 'Columbia'", in Voyages of the "Columbia" to the Northwest Coast: 1787-1790 and 1790-1793, Frederic W. Howay, editor, and from "John Boit's Log of the second voyage of the Columbia", same publication, courtesty University of Washington website, 2007.

"... May 11th. ... At four, a.m., saw the entrance of our desired port bearing east-south-east, distance six leagues; in steering sails, and hauled our wind in shore. At eight, a.m., being a little to wind-ward of the entrance of the Harbor, bore away, and run in east-north-east between the breakers, having from five to seven fathoms of water. When we were over the bar, we found this to be a largeriver of fresh water, up which we steered. Many canoes came along-side. At one, p.m., came to with the small bower, in ten fathoms, black and white sand. The entrance between the bars bore west-south-west, distant ten miles; the north side of the river a half mile distant from the ship; the south side of the same two and a half miles’ distance; a village on the north side of the river west by north, distant three quarters of a mile. Vast numbers of natives came along-side; people employed in pumping the salt water out of our water-casks, in order to fill with fresh, while the ship floated in. So ends. ..." [Gray, May 11, 1792]

"... May 19th. Fresh wind and clear weather. Early a number of canoes came alongside; seamen and tradesmen employed in their various departments. Captain Gray gave this river the name of Columbia’s River, and the north side of the entrance Cape Hancock, the south, Adam’s Point. ..." [Gray, May 19, 1792]

"... 18 [May 1792]. Shifted the Ship’s birth to her Old Station abrest the Village Chinoak, command’d by a cheif name Polack. Vast many Canoes full of Indians from different parts of the river where constantly along side. Capt. Grays named this river Columbia’s, and the North entrance Cape Hancock, and the South Point Adams. ..." [John Boit, May 18, 1792]

Image, 2013, Columbia Rediviva model, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Columbia Rediviva" model, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon. Image taken May 8, 2013.

Regions ...

Early Columbia River ... (timeline)

17th Century:
The Columbia River first appeared on European maps in the early 17th century as "River of the West". Spanish maritime explorer Martin de Aguilar located a major river at near the 42nd parallel. Cartographers often labeled the "River of the West" as an estuary to the mythical Straits of Anian, or the Northwest Passage and located it anywhere from the 42nd to the 50th parallel.

In 1765 an English Army Officer, Major Robert Rogers, used the term "Ouragon" (and later "Ourigan" in a 1772 petition) in petitioning for an exploring expedition into the country west of the Great Lakes. Neither of his petitions were granted.

In 1765 Louis Delarochette and Jean Palairet published "A Map of North America" (published by John Bowles, London, 1765), which shows the mouth of a major river with the wording "opening Discovered by Martin d'Aguilar in 1603". The assumed path of this river is dashed, with the words "River of the West". Was this the Columbia River?

In 1766-67 Jonathan Carver, while exploring among the Indians of Minnesota, wrote about a great river of the West and he called it "Oregon", which, according the McArthur in Oregon Geographic Names (2003), was a word he may have taken from Major Rogers. Oregon Geographic Names (McArthur and McArthur, 2003) quotes from Carver's Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America (published in 1778) in which he names the four great rivers of the North American Continent.

"... The River Bourbon, which empties itself into Hudson's Bay, the Waters of Saint Lawrence, the Mississippi and the River Oregon, or the River of the West, that falls into the Pacific Ocean at the Straits of Annian". ..."

Carver's "A New Map of North America, From the Latest Discoveries, 1778" (published by Dilly, London, 1781) has the mouth of the Columbia labeled "Discovered by Aguilar" and the Columbia River labeled "River of the West".

In 1766 French cartographer Jaques Nicolas Bellin published "Carte Reduite de l'Ocean Septentrional, compris entre l'Asie et l'Americque, 1766" (Paris, 1766), which shows the mouth of the Columbia River with the wording "Entree decouverte par Martin d'Aguilar en 1603". The assumed path of the Columbia River is dashed, with the words "Route de l'ouest" (Route of the West).

Captain Cook, on his 1772-74 exploration missed the mouth of the Columbia.

The first confirmation of the location of the Columbia River came in 1775, when Spanish explorer Bruno de Heceta described a river estuary at the Columbia's correct latitude. On August 1775, Heceta noted the indications of a river. He called the entrance "Bahia de la Asuncion", the northern point "Cabo San Roque" [Cape Disappointment], and the southern point "Cabo Frondoso" [Point Adams (or Tillamook Head)]. Later Spanish charts however showed the entrance as "Ensenada de Hecata" and the surmised river as "Rio de San Roque".

"... The discoverer of this river was Bruno Heceta, commanding the Spanish ship Santiago. On the 15th of August, 1775, he was off the entrance of a great river or inlet, which he called Ensenada de Asuncion, (Assumption inlet;) but in the charts afterwards published in Mexico it was denominated Ensenada de Heceta and the Rio de San Roque. ..." [From the 1858 United States Senate's "Report of the Superintendent of the Coast Survey showing the Progress of the Survey during the Year 1858"]

A 1787 map, "Carta que contiene parte de la costa de la California" by Bernabe Munoz, shows the mouth of the Columbia River with notation relating to Bruno Heceta, and Cape Disappointment labeled "C. de San Roque" and Point Adams as "C. Fromdoso".

In July 1788 English explorer and fur trader John Meares looked for the mouth of the Columbia River, desiring a safe place to anchor. He could not find the supposed river, thereby naming Cape Disappointment and he changed the mouth of the Columbia to "Deception Bay".
"... Meares sought an anchorage under Cape San Roque, and finding the breakers barring his progress, applied the name Deception bay to the mouth of the river; and, doubtless to vent his pique upon the Spaniards for the ill treatment he had received at their hands, wrote: 'We can now safely assert that there is no such stream as that of Saint Roc existing, as laid down in the Spanish charts' ..." [From the 1858 United States Senate's "Report of the Superintendent of the Coast Survey showing the Progress of the Survey during the Year 1858"]

Juan Bodega y Cuadra's 1792 map of the North American coastline ("Carta de los descrubrimientos hechos en la costa N.O. de la America Septentrional") depicts the mouth of the Columbia River but gives it no name.

In 1792 American Captain Robert Gray and British Captain George Vancouver were both exploring the coast of the western United States laying foundations to claim of the area by their respective countries. The 1858 United States Senate's "Report of the Superintendent of the Coast Survey showing the Progress of the Survey during the Year 1858" tells the story:

"... In April, 1792, Vancouver sought for this river, but finding a great line of breakers before him, very wisely did not attempt to pass through them. On the 29th of that month he spoke the Columbia of Boston, commanded by Captain Gray, who informed him that he had laid off the mouth of a river in latitude 46o10', where the outset or reflux was so strong that for nine days he was prevented from entering; whereas Vancouver, having passed this position on the 27th, wrote on that day 'that if any inlet or river should be found, it must be a very intricate one, and inaccessible to vessels of our burden, owing to the reefs and broken water'.

On the 11th of May, 1792, about noon, Captain Gray's log states, that 'being a little to the windward of the entrance into the harbor, bore away and run in E.NE. between the breakers, having from 5 to 7 fathoms water. When we came over the bar we found this to be a large river of fresh water, up which we steered.' Without knowing of any reliable chart by him we are of opinion that then there was but one channel, and that to the north of what is now Sandy island. He evidently came upon the entrance after very favorable weather, because he not only passed over the bar between the breakers with all sail set, but had only made 6 leagues between daylight and noon. He remained 8 or 9 days in the river, made a rough sketch as far as Tongue Point or Gray's bay, and named the river after his ship, calling it the 'Columbia's river'.

In October 1792 Captain George Vancouver tried to enter the river with the Discovery, but failing, on account of the bad state of the bar, he ordered Lieut. Broughton, in the armed tender Chatham, to enter, which he did three days afterwards, and then commenced a survey of the river, carrying it forward in boats to Point Vancouver, in latitude 45o27', and returning to his vessel in ten days. He considered the widest part of the river for 25 miles as an inlet. This is the first reliable survey we have of the river. Gray's eye sketch, which extended to about Gray's bay, showed 36 miles from Cape Disappointment, whereas it is only 16, following the course of the northern channel by the most recent surveys. ..."

William Henry Gray in his writings about the history of Oregon (published in 1870) tells this story:

"... On the 7th of May, 1792, he [Captain Gray] discovered and ran in abreast of Cape Hancock, and anchored, and on the 11th ran ten miles up this river on the north side, which is now known as a little above Chinook Point, and at 1 p.m. they came to anchor. On the 14th they weighed anchor and ran, according to the ship's log, fifteen miles, which would bring them up abreast of Tongue Point, where their ship grounded upon a sand bar for a short time, but they backed her off into three fathoms of water and anchored. By sounding they discovered that there was not sufficient water to pass up the river in their present channel. Having filled all their water-casks, repaired, painted, and calked the ship, and allowed the vast numbers of Indians that thronged around them in the most peaceable and friendlly manner, to visit and traffic with them, on the 20th of May 1792, they went to sea again.

On the 20th of October of this year, the Chatham, commanded by Captain Broughton, of the British navy, entered the river. He grounded his ship on what is now called the Sulphur Spit, and found in the bay the brig Jennet, Captain Baker, from Bristol, Rhode Island. Captain Broughton explored the river in his small boat as high up as the present site of Vancouver, and left the river with his ship on the 10th of November. ..." [W.H. Gray, 1870]

In 1793 British explorer and fur trader Alexander Mackenzie explored the west coast of North America and came upon a large river which the Indians called "Tacootch-Tesse". This was actually Canada's Fraser River, but for a time it was to be confused with the Columbia River, with some Historians suggesting that the original "River of the West" was in fact the Fraser River.

1795 to 1805, Maps:

Arrowsmith's 1795 map "A map exhibiting all the new discoveries in the interior parts of North America" (published 1802) has the Columbia River labeled "River Oregon".

An 1804 map "North America", by Robert Wilkinson and E. Bourne, shows the river as both "Columbia R. or "R. Oregon".

Nicholas King's 1805 map (a map which Lewis and Clark used) called the river "Columbia River".

In 1805 Lewis and Clark became the first explorers to reach the mouth of the Columbia from the east.

1796 to 1812, Ships:
Numerous ships visited the mouth of the Columbia River before the arrival of Lewis and Clark in 1805. From the writings of William Henry Gray:

"... In 1797 ... the snow Sea Otter, Captain Hill, from Boston, visited the river.

In 1798, the ship Hazard, Swift, master, owned by Perkins, Lamb & Co., Boston, visited the river. This same ship visited the river again in 1801.

In 1802, this same Boston company sent the ship Globe, Magee, master, to the river.

During the year 1802, a brisk, and something like a permanent American trade appears to have been in contemplation by this Boston company. They sent the ship Caroline, Derby, master, from Boston, and the ship Manchester, Brice, master, from Philadelphia.

In 1803, Lamb & Company sent the ship Alert, Ebbets, master; also the ship Vancouver, Brown, Master. This year, the ship Juno, Kendricks, master, from Bristol, Rhode Island, owned by DeWolf, entered the Columbia River for trade.

In the year 1804, Theodore Lyman sent the hsip Guatimozin, Bumsted, master, from Boston. The Perkins Company sent the ship Hazard, Swift, master, to the river the same year.

In 1805, Lyman & Company sent the ship Atahualpa, O.Potter, master, from Boston. Lamb & Company sent the ship Caroline, Sturges, master, from the same place.

In 1806, soon after Lewis and Clarke left their encampment on their return to the United States, the ship Vancouver, Brown, master, entered the river, having been sent out by Thomas Lyman, of Boston, in expectation of meeting Lewis and Clarke's party at the mouth of the river. The Lamb Company sent the ship Pearl the same year, under the command of Captain Ebbets. Lyman, in addition to the Vancouver, sent the brig Lydia, Hill, master, to the river, making three American ships from Boston in the year 1806.

In 1807, the ship Hamilton arrived in the river, sent by Thomas Lyman, of Boston, L.Peters, master. The Perkins Company sen the Hazard, Smith, master.

In 1808, the ship Derby, Swift, master, sent by the Perkins Company. Lyman sent the ship Guatimozin, Glanvill, master; both made successful trips in and out of the river.

In 1809, the Perkins Company sent the ships Pearl and Vancouver into the river, the former commanded by Smith, the latter by Whittimore.

In 1810, the ship Albatross, from Boston, T.Winship, master, entered the river and sailed as high up as Oak Point, where the captain erected a house, cleared a pice of land for cultivation, and planted a garden.

This year, John Jacob Astor, of New York, organized the Pacific Fur Company, in connection with Wilson Price Hunt, of New Jersey. These two gentlemen admitted as partners in the fur trade, Messrs. McKay, McDougal, and David and Robert Stewart. These four last-mentioned partners, with eleven clerks and thirteen Candian voyageurs, and a complete outfit for a fort, with cannon and small-arms, stores, shops, and houses, with five mechanics, were all embarked on the ship Tonquin, Captain Jonathan Thorn, master, in September, 1810, and sailed for the Columbia River, where they arrived, March 24, 1811. The present site of the town of Astoria was selected as the principal depot for this American Fur Company, and called by them, in honor of the originator of the company, Astoria. ..." [W.H. Gray, 1870]

Founding of Astoria, Oregon.

In 1822 Northwest Company fur trader David Thompson made the first map of the full river.

Illman and Pilbrow's 1833 map "Oregon Territory, 1833", has the Columbia River labeled as "Oregon River" at its mouth and "Columbia or Oregon R." further inland. The Columbian Valley is labeled as "Wappatoo Valley".

In 1839, the entrance of the Columbia River was surveyed by Sir Edward Belcher, in the Sulphur, as part of a British Admiralty Survey.

In 1841 the United States Exploring Expedition, commanded by Charles Wilkes, arrived and surveyed the Columbia up to the Cascades near Bonneville.

In 1843 Captain J.C. Fremont's Second Expedition, arrived overland to the Walla Walla River and surveyed the Columbia from the Walla Walla to the Cascades near Bonneville.

The first U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey of the Columbia River was in 1850, headed by Lieutenant Commanding William P. McArthur, of the U.S. Navy.

From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 16, 1805, first draft ...
S. 28 W. 6 ˝ miles to the Junction of Columbia R. in the Point Stard Passed the rapid opposit the upper Point of the Said Island and Passed a Small Isd. on Lard Side opposit, passed the lower point of the Island on Stard Side at 2 ˝ miles a gravelley bare in the river at 3 miles, river wide Countrey on each side low, a rainge of hills on the west imedeately in front of the opposit side of Columbia

We halted a Short time above the Point [at the confluence of the Snake River with the Columbia River, today the location of Sacajawea State Park] and Smoked with the Indians, & examined the Point and best place for our Camp, we Camped on the Columbia River a little above the point I Saw about 200 men Comeing down from their villages & were turned back by the Chief, after we built our fires of what wood we Could Collect, & get from the Indians, the Chief brought down all his men Singing and dancing as they Came, formed a ring and danced for Some time around us we gave them a Smoke, and they returned the village a little above, the Chief & Several delay untill I went to bead. bought 7 dogs & they gave us Several fresh Salmon & Som horse dried

Clark, October 16, 1805 ...
and having taken Diner Set out and proceeded on [on the Snake River] Seven miles to the junction of this river and the Columbia which joins from the N. W. [junction of the Snake with the Columbia, location of today's Sacajawea State Park]     passd. a rapid two Islands and a graveley bare, and imediately in the mouth a rapid above an Island. In every direction from the junction of those rivers the Countrey is one Continued plain low and rises from the water gradually, except a range of high Countrey [Horse Heaven Hills] which runs from S. W & N E and is on the opposit Side about 2 miles distant from the Collumbia and keeping its derection S W untill it joins a S W. range of mountains [Blue Mountains]. We halted above the point on the river Kimooenim [Snake River] to smoke with the Indians who had collected there in great numbers to view us, ...     we formed a camp at the point near which place I Saw a fiew pieces of Drift wood after we had our camp fixed and fires made, a Chief came from their Camp which was about 1/4 of a mile up the Columbia river ... Great quantities of a kind of prickley pares, much worst than any I have before Seen of a tapering form and attach themselves by bunches

Gass, October 16, 1805 ...
Having gone 21 miles [on the Snake River] we arrived at the great Columbia river, which comes in from the northwest. We found here a number of natives, of whose nations we have not yet found out the names. We encamped on the point between the two rivers [today the location of Sacajawea State Park]. The country all round is level, rich and beautiful, but without timber ..."

Whitehouse, October 16, 1805 ...
Towards evening we arrived at a large fork that came into this River [Snake River] from a Northerly direction & was much large than the fork which we descended which we supposed to be the Columbia River -- The country round where the forks of these two River lay was level & smooth barren plains, with not a Tree to be seen as far as our Eyes could extend. Along the Shores grew a few Willows. We found upwards of 200 Indians, that were encamped on a point of land, that lay between these two Rivers, in a very pleasant situated place. We Encamped near those Indians on the same point of land [Sacajawea State Park].

Clark, undated, winter of 1805-6 ...
"Estimated Distances in Miles Ascending the Missouri, Crossing the Rockey Mountains & decending the Kooskooskee [Clearwater River], Louises River [Snake River] and the Columbia River of the remarkable places and Latitud partially anexed. ...

[reformatted here from original entry, for information only, entry from Beacon Rock to the Cowlitz River]
  • Tide water

  • 5 miles to a village of 9 Houses of the Sha ha lah Nation on the Stard Side near the beaten rock 800 feet hi [Beacon Rock, Washington] Beacon Rock;

  • 11 miles to the Pho ca rock in midl. Rivr. 100 foot high [Phoca Rock] Phoca Rock, Saw Seal's;

  • 6 miles to the Commencement of the Columbian vally wide & butifull ["Vancouver Plains"] Vancouver Plains, rich & estincive;

  • 3 miles to the Quick Sand River on the Lard Side of 120 yds [Sandy River, Oregon] Sandy River, shallow & Spread over a wide base;

  • 3 miles to the Enterance of Seal River 80 yds [Washougal River] Washougal River opsd. upper pt. of white brant Isld. [Lady Island] Lady Island, emince No. of brant;

  • 4 miles to Ne-cha-co-kee village opposit the Dimond island [Government Island] Government Island on the S. Side, hunted a Pond at N.;

  • 6 miles to White goose Isld. opsd. Lowr. pt. [Government Island vicinity] Government Island, I tho: white gees;

  • 6 miles to a Village of 25 houses of the Shah-ha-la Nationa on the Lard Side [Portland International Airport area] Portland International Airport, grass houses &c.;

  • 4 miles to the head of image Canoe Isld. [Hayden Island] Hayden Island, met 2 Canoes on which was images;

  • 10 miles to the enterance of Moltnomah river from the S.E. 500 yards wide [Willamette River, Oregon] Willamette River, Inds. Stold Tomhk.;

  • 6 miles to the Mult-no-mah Nation and Village of [paper torn] at narrow part of the Columbia [at Sauvie Island, Oregon] Sauvie Island, Campd. opst. a No. of noisey fowls;

  • 8 miles to the Quath-lah-poh-the Grand Village on the North side [Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge] Ridgefield NWR, Inds. vist. us in 7 Canos;

  • 1 miles to Cah-wah-na-ki-ooks river of 200 yds wide from the N. East [Lewis River, Washington] Lewis River;

  • 1 mile to lower point of Wap pa to Island near the Lard. Side [Sauvie Island, Oregon] Sauvie Island, a Chanl. 1/4 me. wide;

  • 9 miles to the Mouth of Cath-la-haws V Creek Std [Kalama River, Washington] Kalama River, I thought was a Id.;

  • 6 miles to the lower point of E-lar-lar or Deer Island near the Lard. [Deer Island, Oregon] Deer Island, Indian names, I saw 16 snakes;

  • 13 miles to the Enterance of Cow-e-lis-kee River on the Stard Side [Cowlitz River, Washington] Cowlitz River, 150 yards wide about the mouth and up this river the Skil-lut Nation reside rong Inds. Acct., Campd. I killd. Phest.

Snake River Confluence
Snake River Confluence
Columbia Plateau
Columbia Plateau
Columbia River Gorge
Columbia River Gorge
Vancouver Plains
Vancouver Plains
Journey to the Pacific
Journey to the Pacific

*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

  • Barry Lawrence Rudeman Antique Maps Inc., 2014;
  • Center for Columbia River History website, 2004;
  • Clatsop Historical Society website, 2004;
  • Early Canadiana Online website, 2006, "William Henry Gray's A history of Oregon, 1792-1849, drawn from personal observation and authentic information, published in 1870";
  • McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland;
  • NOAA Office of Coast Survey website, 2004;
  • University of Virginia Library Special Collections website, 2004;
  • University of Washington website, 2007, "History and Literature of the Pacific Northwest";
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2002, North Pacific Region Water Management Division;
  • U.S. Forest Service, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area website, 2004;
  • U.S. Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory website, 2005, "The Volcanoes of Lewis and Clark";
  • U.S. Library of Congress website, 2014, "Rivers, Edens, Empires: Lewis & Clark and the Revealing of America";
  • U.S. National Park Service website, 2004, Fort Clatsop National Memorial;
  • Washington State University "Early Washington Maps" website, 2014;

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.
August 2016