Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Columbia River Rapids"
Includes ... Columbia River Rapids ... The Golden Age of Postcards ...
Image, 2004, McNary Dam and Umatilla Rapids, from overlook, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
McNary Dam and the location of the Umatilla Rapids. View from Dam overlook, Oregon, Highway 730, approximate location of the downstream end of the Umatilla Rapids, Lewis and Clark's "Muscle Shell Rapid". Image taken September 24, 2004.


Columbia River Rapids ...
(to come)

Improving the Rapids - Celilo Falls to the Snake River ...

W.H. Heuer, Lieutenant of Engineers, "Report of operations on the Columbia River, commencing at John Day Rapids", February 17, 1868:

"Homily Rapids only contain about eight bad rocks (chiefly bowlders,) whose total measurement will not exceed 150 cubic yards of rocks. ... To remove these obstructions, blasting will have to be resorted to."

"Umatilla Rapids are seven miles above Devil's Bend, and are upwards of two miles in length. From the head to the foot of these rapids the river has a fall of 18 feet. This rapid requires more work than all the other rapids combined ... Upwards of two thousand soundings were made here, and as many more might have been made to advantage had time permitted. Still, the positions of all the bad rocks were determined. ...".

"Devil's Bend Rapid is about one hundred miles above the Dalles. This hardly deserves to be called a rapid. The river-bed here is a large shoal-flat. During low water it is rather difficult to navigate, owing to the presence of numerous large bowlders. ... Blasting will only be resorted to on two or three rocks which are out-croppings of bed-rock. The bowlders vary in size from 4 to 10 cubic yards. They will have to be grappled and towed to one side. The river at this place was originally much worse than at presetn, but recently the steamboat company have removed many bowlders."

"Rock Creek Rapids, I think, will not require the removal of more than 500 cubic yards of rocks. To remove these obstructions, blasting will have to be resorted to."

"Squally Hook Rapid. This rapid is about 50 miles above the Dalles, and has several bad rocks. ... The winds have a great deal to do with rendering the navigation of this rapid dangerous. They blow almost directly across the channel toward the north shore. ... the rocks recommended for removal contain, respectively, 66,209 and 175 cubic yards of material."

"Indian Rapids: There is always sufficient water here for the boats, and no improvements of this rapid are recommended."

"John Day Rapids are in Columbia River, near the mouth of John Day River, and are 33 miles above the Dalles. The first bad rock encountered in ascending this rapid is the one known as John Day Rock. At this place during low water the river runs at a rate of nearly 10 miles an hour. ... Fall in the river, from head to foot of these rapids, is 5.3 feet. The next rapid surveyed is called Indian Rapid."

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1891:

"The first step with a view to improvments was taken in 1867 when examinations were made of John Day, Indian, Squally Hook, Rock Creek, and Homely rapids, and a project for obtaining a depth of 7 feet at these points was submitted. ... In the fall of 1868 additional surveys of Rock Creek and Homely Rapids were made, and Lieutenant Heuer tried some experiments in blasting for the purpose of ascertaining the probable average cost of the work which was to be done. The matter then rested until 1871 ... [when] an examination of the rapids [was done], and recommended an appropriation for the improvement of John Day, Devil Bend, and Umatilla Rapids. ... [1872] A contract was made with J.B. Montgomery for removing rocks from John Day, Devil Bend, and Umatilla rapids."

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1909:

"Columbia River and tributaries above Celilo Falls to the mouth of the Snake River, Oregon and Washington.

This stretch of river is 124 miles long and can be navigated at favorable stages. It abounds in rapids and shoals which are obstructed by projecting ledges, isolated bowlders, etc. Before the days of railroads the Columbia River formed the main highway for commerce between the inland empire and tide water, but navigation was always more or less dangerous, and was practically suspended in 1882 on account of the construction of a line of railroad by the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company, which practically paralleled the south bank and reached as far as Riparia on the Snake River, about 72 miles below Lewiston.

The first project was adopted by act of June 10, 1872, and in 1877 was modified to include the improvement of the Snake River. This project provided for the improvement of the most troublesome rapids by the removal of obstructing reefs and bowlders, and in this work approximately $120,000 was expended up to the time of the suspension of navigation in 1882.

The existing project is based on the survey authorized by act of March 3, 1905, and was adpoted by act of March 2, 1907. It proposes to facilitate navigation by the removal of obstructing bowlders and ledges, and raking the gravel shoals in order to make safe and available the channel that now exists. ...

The work accomplished has resulted in improving the channel through some of the most troublesome shoals, mainly Umatilla and Homly rapids, and has lessened, to some extent, the dangers that previously existed. During the summer months the river is in freshet, and the extreme variation of the water surfaces at that time is about 34 feet above low water. The head of low-water navigation for boats using this portion of the stream is at Asotin, on the Snake River, 269 miles above Celilo, and approximately 473 miles from the sea. ...

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1915:

"The first allotment, $25,000, for improving Columbia River from Celilo Falls to Snake River was made in 1867 and was used in making an examination and survey in September, 1867, and in experimental blasting in 1868 to determine the cost and advisability of undertaking improvement by this method. A 7-foot channel through John Day, Indian, Squally Hook, Umatilla, Rock Creek, and Homly Rapids was recommended, at an estimated cost of $132,328, with no provision for maintenance. This plan was adopted by the river and harbor act of June 10, 1872, which appropriated $50,000 for the improvement. ..." The contract price of this work varied from $50 to $24.75 per cubic yard. A total of $105,000 was appropriated and expended on this project in addition to the allotment of $25,000 made in 1867."

Improving the Rapids - The Dalles ...
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1909:

"Columbia River between the foot of The Dalles Rapids and the head of Celilo Falls, Oregon and Washington.

The object of this improvement is to overcome the obstructions in the 12 miles between the foot of Threemile Rapids and the head of Celilo Falls. There are four principal obstructions: Threemile Rapids, a crooked channel 1,500 feet in length, narrow and obstructed by rocks and currents; Fivemile Rapids (The Dalles) where for 1 1/2 miles the river rushes with great velocity between precipitous walls of basalt 150 to 300 feet apart; Tenmile Rapids, a similar gorge, but only one-half mile in length; Celilo Falls, with a sheer fall of 20 feet. The total fall is about 81 feet at low water and 60 feet at high stages. It can not be navigated at any stage.

The first project was adopted by act of August 18, 1894, and contemplated the construction of a boat railway capable of transporting boats of 600 tons. One hundred thousand dollars was appropriated for purchasing the right of way and beginning construction. The act of June 3, 1896, made an additional appropriation of $150,000. A preliminary examination and survey was authorized by act of June 6, 1900, with a view to the construction of a canal and locks. The report submitted under this act ... proposes the construction of a short canal and locks around The Dalles, or Fivemile Rapids, and another around the falls at Celilo, with intermediate river improvement ...

The existing project, as adopted by Congress in the act approved March 3, 1905, provides for a continuous canal on the Oregon shore, between the pool above Celilo and the pool below Fivemile Rapids, with open river improvement at Threemile Rapids. ... The canal will have a depth of 8 feet, width of 65 feet at the bottom, and a length of 8 1/2 miles, with 5 locks 300 feet by 45 feet by 7 feet over miter sills, two of which will be located at the lower end of the canal, one at Fivemile Rapids, one at Tenmile Rapids, and one at Celilo Falls. ...

The open river work at Threemile Rapids, which was included in the project, has been previously considered completed, but investigations in 1908, based on the complaints of steamboat men, make it apparent that further work will be required in order to furnish a safe channel at least 200 feet in width. ..."

Improving the Rapids - Cascades ...
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1909:

"Canal at the Cascades, Columbia River, Oregon.

This improvement embraces about 4 1/2 miles of the Columbia River where it passes through the Cascade Mountain Range, and is contracted into a narrow gorge with steep slopes and swift current. A fall of 24 feet at low water in the upper 2,500 feet of the gorge creates a turbulent rapid which effectually bars upstream navigation and renders downstream navigation unsafe. The lower 4 miles of the gorge is swift, and before improvement was unsafe by reason of the obstructing ledges and bowlders.

The original project was for a canal and locks around the falls. It was adopted in 1877 and modified in 1886 and 1888, and included the improvement of the rapids below the falls to secure a low-water channel of 8 feet. The locks were to be about 462 feet long and 92 feet wide, with a low-water depth of 8 feet over the miter sills.

The existing project is a modification of the original project ... It provided for utilizing the upper 426 feet of the uncompleted canal above the lock gates as a second lock, and also in raising the protection work of the canal walls as a safeguard against flood water. ...

The canal and locks were completed and opened to navigation in 1895. There yet remains the building of the land wall of the upper lock, construction of three sets of steps, and completing the paving and grading on the land side of the canal. Provision should also be made for blasting out some obstructive ledges below the locks. About 8 feet can be carried at low water through the locks. ... The head of navigation for boats passing the locks is Big Eddy, about 4 miles above The Dalles. ..."



Columbia River Rapids ... (East to West)

  • Homily Rapids ...
  • Bull Run Rapids ...
  • Umatilla Rapids ...
  • Devils Bend Rapids ...
  • Canoe Encampment Rapids ...
  • Owyhee Rapids ...
  • Blalock Rapids ...
  • Four O'Clock Rapids ...
  • Rock Creek Rapids ...
  • Squally Hook Rapids ...
  • Indian Rapids ...
  • John Day Rapids ...
  • Schofield Rapids ...
  • Celilo Falls and The Dalles ...
  • Cascade Rapids ...


Homily Rapids ...
"Homily", "Homly", "Homley", "Homely", "Homli" ... Chief of the Walla Wallas.

Robert Ruby and John Brown, 2002, "Dreamer-Prophets of the Columbia Plateau":

"Smohalla's emerging leadership brought him into conflict with the influential Wallawalla chief Homily (Homli), who was jealous of his ascending rival. Unlike Smohalla, who saw their damaging effects on native culture, Homily tended to be receptive to whites, ambivalently holding onto their "medicine" with one hand and onto the native "medicine" with the other. He may have considered that his dual policy helped his people benefit from the two cultures, or he may have been motivated by self-interest. Native leaders often made no distinction between the two. It was shortly after 1850, following a three-day argument between the two leaders, that Smohalla and his followers moved north to Priest Rapids. Besides his quarrel with Homily, we do not know if other motives prompted him and his people to move from the Wallula area. Possibly his antagonism toward Homily was matched by a desire to remove to a more isolated place to be free of the whites. Whatever his motives were for moving, natives freely passed along the Columbia in that area."

"Oregon City enterprise", August 27, 1875:

"Homly Rapids" ... between four and five miles above Wallula

Landes, 1917, "A Geographic Dictionary of Washington":

"Homly Rapids. Rapids in Columbia River, 6 1/2 miles below the mouth of Snake River, in Benton and Walla Walla Counties."

"Daily East Oregonian", Friday, January 8, 1909:

"Kennewick, Jan.8 -- 'When we finish our work on this upper river you will be able to take a boat through Homily rapids with your eyes shut," said Captain Winslow of the Dredge Umatilla. "We cleaned out a small channel in the rapids last winter, but we are here now to complete the job and knock out that obstruction. It will probably take three months to do the work, but we are going to stay until it is done, and then any large river boat can go through at any stage of the water."

Freeman, 1921, "Down The Columbia":

"Homley Rapids, seven miles below Pasco ferry, are formed by a rough reef of bedrock running half way across the river from the right bank. Approached from the right side of the long gravel island that divides the river just above them, one might get badly tangled up before he got through; by the left-hand channel the going is easy if one keeps an eye on the shallowing water at the bars. A skyline of brown mountains, with a double-turreted butte as their most conspicuous feature [Twin Sisters], marks the point where the Columbia finally turns west for its assault on the Cascades and plunged to the Pacific. That bend is the boundary of the fertile plains extending from the Yakima to the Walla Walla, and the beginning of a new series of gorges, in some respects the grandest of all. The matchless panorama of the Cascade gorges is a fitting finale to the stupendous scenic pageant that has been staged all the way from the glacial sources of the Columbia. ..."

"There were a number of big black rocks where the river began its bend to the west, but the channel to the right was not hard to follow. Neither did Bull Run Rapids, a few miles farther down, offer any difficulties."



Bull Run Rapids ...
Landes, 1917, "A Geographic Dictionary of Washington":

"Bull Run Rapids. Rapids in Columbia River, 15 miles below the mouth of Snake River.

Freeman, 1921, "Down The Columbia":

"Homley Rapids, seven miles below Pasco ferry, are formed by a rough reef of bedrock running half way across the river from the right bank. Approached from the right side of the long gravel island that divides the river just above them, one might get badly tangled up before he got through."

"There were a number of big black rocks where the river began its bend to the west, but the channel to the right was not hard to follow. Neither did Bull Run Rapids, a few miles farther down, offer any difficulties."



Umatilla Rapids ...

U.S. Geological Survey, Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database, 2019:

"Umatilla Rapids (historical) ... 455617N 1191809W, rapids were modified by construction of the McNary Dam"

"Oregon City enterprise", October 30, 1874, August 27, 1875:

"Umatilla Upper Rapids" ... 107 miles above the Dalles
"Umatilla Upper Rapid" ... between five and six miles above Umatilla

Landes, 1917, "A Geographic Dictionary of Washington":

"Umatilla Rapids. Rapids, 2 miles long, in Columbia River, near Umatilla, Oregon.

Robert Hitchman, 1985, "Place Names of Washington":

"Umatilla Rapids, T5N R28E, Sec.9-11. Columbia River rapids now modified by the basin created back of McNary Dam. Their locaiton before flooding was between Oregon and southeast Benton County, for a distance of 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 miles east of Plymouth. In 1805, the Lewis & Clark Expedition named tehse rapids Musselshell Rapids, a name intended to describe the numerous mussels at this point in the river."

Freeman, 1921, "Down The Columbia":

"It was toward the end of a grey afternoon that I headed into the first pitch of Umatilla Rapids ... From the head of the first riffle of Umatilla Rapids to the head of the third or main one is a mile and a half."

Historic Map, 1907, Plymouth and Umatilla, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
1907 Topographic map detail, Plymouth, Washington, and Umatilla, Oregon. Includes Umatilla and the Umatilla River, Oregon, and Plymouth and Sillusi Butte, Washington, along with the Columbia River and the "Devils Bend Rapids" and "Umatilla Rapids". Original map 1:125,000 "Umatilla Quadrangle", Washington-Oregon, U.S. Geological Survey, 1908 edition.


Devils Bend Rapids ...
"Devils Bend Rapids", "Devil Bend Rapid"

Landes, 1917, "A Geographic Dictionary of Washington":

"Devils Bend Rapids. Rapids 1 mile long, in Columbia River, near Plymouth, in south central Benton County.

Freeman, 1921, "Down The Columbia":

"Devil's Run Rapids, which I would go into just below the mouth of the river the first thing in the morning."

Historic Map, 1907, Irrigon and Plymouth, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
1907 Topographic map detail, showing Irrigon, Oregon, and Coolidge and Plymouth, Washington. Also showing the Columbia River, the "Devils Bend Rapids", and the mouth of the Umatilla River, Oregon. Original map 1:125,000 "Umatilla Quadrangle", Washington-Oregon, U.S. Geological Survey, 1908 edition.
Historic Map, 1907, Plymouth and Umatilla, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
1907 Topographic map detail, Plymouth, Washington, and Umatilla, Oregon. Includes Umatilla and the Umatilla River, Oregon, and Plymouth and Sillusi Butte, Washington, along with the Columbia River and the "Devils Bend Rapids" and "Umatilla Rapids". Original map 1:125,000 "Umatilla Quadrangle", Washington-Oregon, U.S. Geological Survey, 1908 edition.


Canoe Encampment Rapids ...

U.S. Geological Survey, Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database, 2019:

"Canoe Encampment Rapids (historical) ... 455047N 1194634W"

Landes, 1917, "A Geographic Dictionary of Washington":

"Canoe Encampment Rapids. Rapids 1 1/2 miles long, in Columbia River, in the southwestern corner of Benton County."

McArthur and McArthur, 2003, "Oregon Geographic Names":

"Canoe Encampment Rapids. Morrow. These rapids were flooded out when John Day Dam was built. They were in the Columbia River between Castle Rock and Blalock Island. The encampment at the foot of the rapids was a popular one with the fur traders and trappers. The name appears in early journals, but when first so used cannot be determined. It has been suggested that possibly the name was originally applied by traders because of an encampment of Indians with canoes at that point, as it seems strange that the traders themselves would single out those rapids as being particularly associated with their canoes, which they had with them at all rapids."

Freeman, 1921, "Down The Columbia":

"I had an easy day of it for rapids, but, as a consequence of the comparatively slow water, rather a hard one for pulling. Canoe Encampment Rapids, twenty miles below Devil's Run, gave me a good lift for a mile or more, but not enough to make much of a respite from the oars if I was going to make the fifty miles I had set for my day's run."

Historic Map, 1906, Crow Butte and Castle Rock, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
1906 Topographic map detail, showing Crow Butte and Canoe Ridge, Washington, and Castle Rock, Oregon. Also showing the Columbia River and the "Canoe Encampment Rapids". Original map 1:125,000 "Blalock Island Quadrangle", Washington-Oregon, U.S. Geological Survey, 1906 edition.


Owyhee Rapids ...

U.S. Geological Survey, Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database, 2019:

"Owyhee Rapids (historical) ... 454324N 1201359W"

"Oregon City enterprise", August 27, 1875:

"Owyhee Rapid" ... thirty-five miles above Celilo

Topographic Map "Arlington Quadrangle", 1913:

RM 240 ... Owyhee Rapids ... located at the mouth of Jones Canyon

Landes, 1917, "A Geographic Dictionary of Washington":

"Owyhee Rapids. Rapids in Columbia River, 1 1/2 miles below Arlington, Oregon.

McArthur and McArthur, 2003, "Oregon Geographic Names":

"Owyhee Rapids. Gilliam. Judge Fred W. Wilson of The Dalles informed the compiler that these rapids in the Columbia River just west of Arlington were named for some event in the history of the steamer Owyhee. It is said that the boat grounded in the rapids. The Owyhee was built at Celilo about 1864 and operated for about 12 years. These rapids were inundated in 1968 when John Day Dam was completed."

Freeman, 1921, "Down The Columbia":

"Owyhee, Blalock and Four O'clock rapids were easy running, but the sustained roar which the slight up-river breeze brought to my ears as the black, right-angling gorge of Rock Creek came in sight was fair warning that there was really rough water ahead."

Historic Map, 1913, Blalock and Sundale, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
1913 Topographic map detail, showing Blalock, Oregon, and Sundale, Washington. Also showing the Columbia River, the "Four O'Clock Rapids", "Blalock Rapids", and "Owyhee Rapids", and Blalock Canyon, Lang Canyon, and Jones Canyon. Original map 1:125,000 "Arlington Quadrangle", Washington-Oregon, U.S. Geological Survey, 1916 edition.


Blalock Rapids ...
Topographic Map "Arlington Quadrangle", 1913:

RM 235 ... Blalock Rapids ... located upstream of the mouth of Blalock Canyon and downstream of the mouth of Lang Canyon

Landes, 1917, "A Geographic Dictionary of Washington":

"Blalock Rapids. Rapids in Columbia River, 4 1/2 miles above Fountain, in south central Klickitat County.

Freeman, 1921, "Down The Columbia":

"Owyhee, Blalock and Four O'clock rapids were easy running, but the sustained roar which the slight up-river breeze brought to my ears as the black, right-angling gorge of Rock Creek came in sight was fair warning that there was really rough water ahead."

"Taking advantage of the quiet stretch of water below Four O'clock Rapids, I went all over the skiff as she drifted in the easy current, tuning her up for the slap-banging she could not fail to receive in the long succession of sharp riffles which began at Rock Creek."

Historic Map, 1913, Blalock and Sundale, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
1913 Topographic map detail, showing Blalock, Oregon, and Sundale, Washington. Also showing the Columbia River, the "Four O'Clock Rapids", "Blalock Rapids", and "Owyhee Rapids", and Blalock Canyon, Lang Canyon, and Jones Canyon. Original map 1:125,000 "Arlington Quadrangle", Washington-Oregon, U.S. Geological Survey, 1916 edition.


Four O'Clock Rapids ...
Topographic Map "Arlington Quadrangle", 1913:

RM 233 ... Four O'clock Rapids ... located at the mouth of Blalock Canyon

Freeman, 1921, "Down The Columbia":

"Owyhee, Blalock and Four O'clock rapids were easy running, but the sustained roar which the slight up-river breeze brought to my ears as the black, right-angling gorge of Rock Creek came in sight was fair warning that there was really rough water ahead."

"Taking advantage of the quiet stretch of water below Four O'clock Rapids, I went all over the skiff as she drifted in the easy current, tuning her up for the slap-banging she could not fail to receive in the long succession of sharp riffles which began at Rock Creek."

Historic Map, 1913, Blalock and Sundale, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
1913 Topographic map detail, showing Blalock, Oregon, and Sundale, Washington. Also showing the Columbia River, the "Four O'Clock Rapids", "Blalock Rapids", and "Owyhee Rapids", and Blalock Canyon, Lang Canyon, and Jones Canyon. Original map 1:125,000 "Arlington Quadrangle", Washington-Oregon, U.S. Geological Survey, 1916 edition.


Rock Creek Rapids ...
"Rock Creek Rapids", "Rock Creek Rapid", "Rock Rapids"

"The Oregon Argus", August 4, 1860:

"Capt. James Tevis, of the sutler's schooner "James Buchanan," was lost overboard, July 22, while crossing Rock Creek Rapids, some 30 miles above Des Chutes, and sank before assistance could reach him. ..."

"Oregon City enterprise", August 27, 1875:

"Rock Creek Rapid" ... twenty-five miles above Celilo

Landes, 1917, "A Geographic Dictionary of Washington":

"Rock Creek Rapids. Rapids in Columbia River, at the mouth of Rock Creek, in south central Klickitat County."

Freeman, 1921, "Down The Columbia":

"The river narrowed sharply above Rock Creek ... I saw that the rapid dropped away in a solid stretch of white foam tumbling between black basaltic walls. There was a good, stiff fall, but it was reassuring that I could see right away to the end of the white water, which did not appear to continue around the ninety-degree bend at the foot. ... That was rough-and-rowdy water ..."

Historic Map, 1858, John Day's River and Rock Creek, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
1858 Military Reconnaissance map detail, showing the Columbia River from John Day's River, Oregon, to Rock Creek, Washington. Also showing John Day's Rapids, Indian Rapids, Squally Rapids, and Rock Rapids. Original map 1:300,000.


Squally Hook Rapids ...
"Squally Hook Rapids", "Squally Hook Rapid", "Squally Rapids"

U.S. Geological Survey, Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database, 2019:

"Squally Hook Rapids ... 454354N 1203319W"

"Oregon City enterprise", October 30, 1874:

"Squally Hook Rapid" ... 36 miles above the Dalles

Landes, 1917, "A Geographic Dictionary of Washington":

"Squally Hook Rapids. Rapids in Columbia River, 5 miles below Rock Creek, in south central Klickitat County."

Freeman, 1921, "Down The Columbia":

"From the foot of Rock Creek Rapids to the head of Squally Hook Rapids is something less than four miles of not very swift water. ... Squally Hook, I could see, was much the same sort of a short, sharp, savage rapid as Rock Creek. There was the same restricted "intake," and the same abrupt bend just beyond the foot; only below Squally Hook the river turned to the left, where at Rock Creek it had turned to the right.

The sheer two-thousand-foot cliff on the inside of the bend that gives its name to the rapid is well called Squally Hook. What had been a gentle ten-miles-an-hour breeze on the river above began resolving itself into a succession of fitful gusts of twenty or thirty as I approached the rock-walled bend. Even a steady head-wind makes steering awkward in going into a rapid; a gusty one is a distinct nuisance. ..."

Historic Map, 1858, John Day's River and Rock Creek, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
1858 Military Reconnaissance map detail, showing the Columbia River from John Day's River, Oregon, to Rock Creek, Washington. Also showing John Day's Rapids, Indian Rapids, Squally Rapids, and Rock Rapids. Original map 1:300,000.
Historic Map, 1957, Wasco Quadrangle map detail, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
1957 "Wasco Quadrangle" topographic map detail, showing the Columbia River and the Squally Hook Rapids. Original U.S. Geological Survey 1:62500, "Wasco Quadrangle, Oregon-Washington".


Indian Rapids ...

U.S. Geological Survey, Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database, 2019:

"Indian Rapids (historical) ... 454434N 1203704W, since 1956 submerged beneath the waters of Lake Celilo, the reservoir behind The Dalles Dam"

"The Oregon daily journal", December 31, 1905:

"Indian rapids was named in the early days of river navigation from the fact that there Captain Baughman lost two Indians by the wrecking of a sailing scow."

Landes, 1917, "A Geographic Dictionary of Washington":

"Indian Rapids. Rapids in Columbia River, 2 miles above the mouth of John Day River, in south central Klickitat County."

Freeman, 1921, "Down The Columbia":

"From the foot of Squally Hook Rapids to the head of Indian Rapids is about three miles. The water became ominously slack as I neared what appeared to be a number of great rock islands almost completely barring the river. It was not until I was almost even with the first of them that a channel, very narrow and very straight, opened up along the left banks. ... That flume-like chute down the left bank was plainly the way the steamers went, and certainly the quickest and most direct course on down the river. ..."

Historic Map, 1858, John Day's River and Rock Creek, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
1858 Military Reconnaissance map detail, showing the Columbia River from John Day's River, Oregon, to Rock Creek, Washington. Also showing John Day's Rapids, Indian Rapids, Squally Rapids, and Rock Rapids. Original map 1:300,000.
Historic Map, 1957, Wasco Quadrangle map detail, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
1957 "Wasco Quadrangle" topographic map detail, showing the Columbia River and the Upper John Day Rapids and the Indian Rapids. Original U.S. Geological Survey 1:62500, "Wasco Quadrangle, Oregon-Washington".


John Day Rapids ...
"John Day Rapids", "John Day's Rapids"

U.S. Geological Survey, Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database, 2019:

"Upper John Day Rapids (historical) ... 454409N 1203924W"
"Lower John Day Rapids (historical) ... 454259N 1204109W"

Landes, 1917, "A Geographic Dictionary of Washington":

"John Day Rapids. Rapids in Columbia River, 2 miles below the mouth of John Day River, in south central Klickitat County."

"John Day Rapids (Middle). Rapids in Columbia River, 1 mile below the mouth of John Day River, in south central Klickitat County.

"John Day Rapids (Upper). Rapids in Columbia River, at the mouth of John Day River, in south central Klickitat County."

Historic Map, 1858, John Day's River and Rock Creek, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
1858 Military Reconnaissance map detail, showing the Columbia River from John Day's River, Oregon, to Rock Creek, Washington. Also showing John Day's Rapids, Indian Rapids, Squally Rapids, and Rock Rapids. Original map 1:300,000.
Historic Map, 1957, Wasco Quadrangle map detail, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
1957 "Wasco Quadrangle" topographic map detail, showing the Columbia River and the Schofield Rapids and the Lower, Middle, and Upper John Day Rapids. Original U.S. Geological Survey 1:62500, "Wasco Quadrangle, Oregon-Washington".


Schofield Rapids ...
Topographic maps, 1957 and 1971:

The historic Shofield Rapids was located at Columbia River (RM) Mile 215, approximately one-half mile downstream of the John Day Dam.

U.S. Geological Survey, Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database, 2019:

"Schofield Rapids (historical) ... 454239N 1204204W

Landes, 1917, "A Geographic Dictionary of Washington":

"Schofield Rapids. Rapids in Columbia River, 3 miles below the mouth of John Day River, in south central Klickitat County."

Historic Map, 1957, Wasco Quadrangle map detail, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
1957 "Wasco Quadrangle" topographic map detail, showing the Columbia River and the Schofield Rapids and the Lower, Middle, and Upper John Day Rapids. Original U.S. Geological Survey 1:62500, "Wasco Quadrangle, Oregon-Washington".


Celilo Falls and The Dalles ...
Landes, 1917, "A Geographic Dictionary of Washington":

"Celilo Falls. Falls in Columbia River, near Celilo, Oregon, 12 miles above The Dalles."

"Ten Mile Rapids. Rapids in Columbia River, 10 miles above The Dalles, Oregon."

"Five Mile Rapids. Rapids in Columbia River, 5 miles above The Dalles, Oregon."

"Three Mile Rapids. Rapids in Columbia River, 2 miles above The Dalles."

[More Celilo]
[More Rapids]


Historic Map, 1930, The Dalles Quadrangle map detail, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
1930 "The Dalles Quadrangle" topographic map detail, showing the The Dalles, Oregon, and the Columbia River, Threemile Rapids, and Fivemile Rapids. Original U.S. Geological Survey 1:62500, "The Dalles Quadrangle, Oregon".


Cascade Rapids ...
[More]


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, ...
 




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THE BARLOW ROAD
THE COLUMBIA RIVER HIGHWAY
WILDFLOWERS and WEED BLOSSOMS



*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:
  • Freeman, L.R., 1921, "Down The Columbia", Dodd, Mead and Company, New York (trip taken in September 1920);
  • Heuer, W.H., 1868, Lieutenant of Engineers, "Report of operations on the Columbia River, commencing at John Day Rapids", February 17, 1868, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1872:
  • Hitchman, R., 1985, "Place Names of Washington", Washington State Historical Society;
  • "Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives", University of Oregon Libraries, 2019;
  • Landes, H., 1917, "A Geographic Dictionay of Washington", Washington Geological Survey, Bulletin No.17;
  • McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, "Oregon Geographic Names", Oregon Historical Society Press;
  • Ruby, R., and Brown, J., 2002, "Dreamer-Prophets of the Columbia Plateau: Smohalla and Skolaskin" University of Oklahoma Press;
  • U.S. Corps of Engineers, 1915, Report of the Chief of Engineers U.S. Army, U.S. Government Printing Office;
  • U.S. Geological Survye, Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database, 2019;


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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May 2019