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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Lower Klickitat Trail, Washington"
Includes ... Klickitat Trail ... Lower Klickitat Trail ... Hudson's Bay Company ... Back Plains ...
Image, 2018, Fifth Plain Creek, Clark County, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Field, Fifth Plain Creek at NE88th Street, looking northeast, Clark County, Washington. Image taken September 2, 2018.


Klickitat Trail ...
The "Klickitat Trail" ("Klikitat Trail") was a loosely defined "trail" of prairies and plains between the Yakima River and the Klickitat River drainages to The Dalles and Fort Vancouver. This "trail" allowed the indigenous tribes to move between central Washington to the Columbia River.

"The great Klickitat trail from the Yakima and Klickitat valleys into the lower Columbia by way of Lewis River followed that course [via Mount St. Helens] and it is said that the trail is centuries old. There are places over the southern flanks of Adams [Mount Adams] where that trail is worn several feet in depth through the soft volcanic soil. If the aboriginal generations that have trodden that deep-worn trail could only rise and speak, what a resurrection it would be." [Prof. W.D. Lyman, 1908, "Mount Adams", IN: The Mountaineer]

These plains and prairies were first mapped between 1853 and 1855 by Pacific Railroad surveyors George McClellan (1853) and James G. Cooper (1854, 1855).


Resources ...
  1. Norton, Boyd, and Hunn (1999) list five "vegetation zones" (described by Jerry Franklin and C.T. Dyrness, "Natural Vegetation of Oregon and Washington", originally published 1973, republished 1899 by Oregon State University Press) and related campsites as described in the journals of James G. Cooper (1853 and 1855) and George McClellan (1853).

    Descriptions from Cooper and McClellan. Dates, distances (in miles from Vancouver) and site spellings are by Minter. Elevations (in meters) are approximated from USGS maps.

  2. From "General Report of Captain George B. McClellan, Corps of Engineers, U.S.A., in Command of the Western Division", February 25, 1854, IN: U.S. War Department, 1855, "Reports of explorations and surveys: to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, Volume 1", Joseph Henry and Spencer Fullerton Baird, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, A.O.P. Nicholson, Printer.

    "Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the expedition under my command. ... I will endeavor to make this report as brief and general as possible, referring to the accompnaying documents for details. The topography of the country will be found in Liet. Duncan's map and memoir. Mr. Minter's itinerary will show the obstacles met with on the march, daily distances, ec. For the meteorology and barometric profiles, I refer to Lieut. Mowry's reports and drawings. Mr. Gibb's reports give the geology of the country and everything rlating to the Indians. The natural history and hygiene of the country are discussed in Dr. Cooper's reports."

  3. "Topographical Report of Lieutenant J.K. Duncan, U.S.A., Topographer of the Western Division", February 21, 1854, IN: U.S. War Department, 1855, "Reports of explorations and surveys: to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, Volume 1", Joseph Henry and Spencer Fullerton Baird, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, A.O.P. Nicholson, Printer.

    "Sir: I have the honor to submit, together with an accompnaying map, the following report on the topography and general character of the country along the route pursued by the party under your command in an explorarion of the Cascade mountains, during th emonths of July, August, September, October, and November, 1853, viz:"

  4. From "Itinerary of Captain Mc'Clellan's Route; Prepared by J.F. Minter, Olympia, Washington Territory", February 25, 1854, IN: U.S. War Department, 1855, "Reports of explorations and surveys: to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, Volume 1", Joseph Henry and Spencer Fullerton Baird, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, A.O.P. Nicholson, Printer.

    "Sir: I have the honor to submit the following ininerary of the route pursued by the party under your command, in an exploration of the Cascade mountains, during the months of July, August, September, October, and November, 1853.


Lower Klickitat Trail

"The Klikitat Trail passes through a highly variable terrain. Elevations range from near sea level at Vancouver to over 900 m on the high plateau south of Mount Adams; average annual precipitation varies from more than 2,500 mm on the upper Lewis River to 400 mm at Conboy Lake. The trail traverses five major vegetational zones listed by Franklin and Dyrness." ... [Norton, et.al., 1999]

"A route northeasterly from Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia, to the Cathlapoot'l river [Lewis River]; thence, eastward along the banks of the Cathlapoot'l [Lewis River] and across the ranges of the Cascade mountains, south of Mount St. Helens and Adams, to the open country beyond; thence, turning Mount Adams on the east, northerly to ..." ... (Duncan, 1854)


  • Low Prairies (Zone 1) ...
    • First Plain (Wahwaikee, "acorn").
    • Second and Third Plains (Pahpoopahpoo and Heowheow).
    • Fourth Plain (Kolsas).
    • Fifth Plain (Sim-sik Prairie).
  • Low Forests (Zone 2) ...
    • Mesache Camp ("bad", Chinook Jargon).
    • Mankas Prairie.
    • Yahkohtl Prairie (Yacolt).
    • Chalacha ("bracken fern") Plain.
    • Spilyeh ("myth coyote") Prairie.
  • Lewis River Camps (Zone 3) ...
    • Lakas (or Lacash) ("kinnikinnick place") Camp.
    • Noomptnahmie Camp.
    • Weinnepat Camp.
  • Subalpine Prairies (Zone 4) ...
    • Wahamis (Susuk) Camp (Two-by-Four Prairie?).
    • Yawakamis (McClellan Meadow).
    • Chequos (Chickwass) ("rough place").
  • Prairies East of the Crest (Zone 5) ...
    • Hoolho-ose (Wilwilchelis) (at or near Trout Lake, "kingfisher's").
    • Tahk ("vernal meadow") Prairie (near modern Glenwood).
    • Crossing the Klickitat River.


 


Low Prairies (Zone 1) ...
"On the first part of the Klikitat Trail there was a series of prairies, numbered by the settlers "First" through "Fifth Plains." The corresponding Indian names, as recorded by J.F. Minter, were Wahwaikee, Pahpoopahpoo, Heowhewo, Kolsas, and Simsik. These qualify as typical "dry forest prairies" ... (though parts of Kolsas seem to have been wet)." ... (Norton, et.al, 1999)

"The lower Klickitat Trail prairies mapped by McClellan and Cooper were called Alack-ae ("turtle place"), Wahwaikee ("acorn"), Pahpoopahpoo ("burrowing owls"), Heowheow, Kolsas, and Simsik by the Indians according to J.F. Minter's records. Hudson's Bay Company settlers re-named these prairies "Fort Plain", "First Plain", "Second Plain", "Third Plain", "Fourth Plain", and "Fifth Plain", respectively. Cooper noted that First Plain through Fifth Plain were covered with good grass for horses, and eight edible berry species; ..." ... (Vancouver National Historic Reserve Cultural Landscape Report, U.S> National Park Service, 2003)

"The country gradually rises back of Vancouver into a light range of hills running parallel to Columbia river, and generally about a mile and a half from it. Two miles from Vancouver the trail crosses a brook twenty feet wide [Burnt Bridge Creek], which empties into a lake [Vancouver Lake] three miles below that place; the lake communicating with the Columbia ten miles below. From this stream the country along the trail breaks into small openings or plains having no timber on them. They vary from a half to several miles in extent, are very level, as well as the adjacent country, and are separated from each other by narrow strips of woods. Kolsas [Fourth Plain], the largest of these plains, about seven miles from Vancouver, is six or seven miles long, and three or four in breadth ..." ... (Duncan, 1854)

More:
Vancouver Plains and Prairies



First Plain (Wahwaikee, "acorn").

  • July 18, 1853. 61 meters, 2.25 miles from Vancouver.
    Cooper: "nearly circular in form"; McClellan: "The 1st plain is a small prairie nearly circular and almost 1/4m in diameter -- the grass is good." ... (Norton, et.al, 1999)

  • July 18, 1853. -- From Fort Vancouver [Fort Plain]   to camp Wahwaikee [First Plain];   wagon road through fir, with dense underbrush; road good; crossed a running creek [at 1 3/4 mile] [Burnt Bridge Creek]   Camp on a small plain, grass and wood good; water half a mile distant. ... (McClellan via Minter, 1854)

Second and Third Plains (Pahpoopahpoo and Heowheow).

  • 64 meters elevation.
    McClellan: "small opening(s) dignified by the name of prairie; these are partially cultivated & have pretty good grass upon them." ... (Norton, et.al, 1999)

Fourth Plain (Kolsas).

  • July 21, 1853. 70 meters, 7.25 miles from Vancouver.
    Cooper: "about 12 miles in circumference and nearly oval in form." McClellan: "The only water is a small stream about 1/4m from the Kolsas -- it heads in a marsh at the SE border of the Prairie." ... (Norton, et.al, 1999)

  • Kolsas, the largest of these plains, about seven miles from Vancouver, is six or seven miles long, and three or four in breadth, and connects on the south with a swampy arm of Camas plain, which stretches off the eastward, in which direction there is a large tract of the same character of country lying along Mill creek, and running down towards the Columbia. From Kolsas the trail bears to the northeast for six miles to a plain called Simsik, about a mile and a half long. ... (Duncan, 1854)

  • July 21. -- To camp Kolsas [Fourth Plain],   road same as on the 18th; crossed two small prairies with good grass [Second Plain and Third Plain];   crossed small stream [at 4 1/4 miles] [???, possibly Fifth Plain Creek which cuts through the lower portion of Fourth Plain].   Camped on a large prairie [Fourth Plain];   grass indifferent; water for animals quarter of a mile from camp [at 5 miles]. ... (McClellan via Minter, 1854)

Fifth Plain (Sim-sik Prairie).

  • July 22, 1853. 79 meters, 13.25 miles from Vancouver.
    Cooper: "about 6 miles circumference." McClellan: "Sim-sik prairie is about 1/2m long & 1/4m wide -- running nearly N & S. ... It is surrounded by a dense fir forest, a circular clump of which forms one camp, & there is another detached clump in the center." ... (Norton, et.al, 1999)

  • From Kolsas the trail bears to the northeast for six miles to a plain called Simsik, about a mile and a half long. The country between Vancouver and Simsik is similar in character -- heavily timbered with fir, spruce, and a dense undergrowth of maple and hazel bushes. The soil is sandy and gravelly, especially the open plains; the soil in the woods between Kolsas and Simsik is the best. The country up to Simsik is quite level. ... (Duncan, 1854)

  • July 22. -- To camp Sim-Sik [Fifth Plain];   Indian trail passing for one mile through Kolsas prairie, thence through a dense fir forest, with much underbrush and fallen timber; country flat; much labor to clear the trail from here to Chequoss [???, they arrive there August 8];   no water during the march; camped in a small prairie near a little brook [most likely the upper reaches of the 8-mile-long Fifth Plain Creek];   soil poor, grass good; seven hours and a half from camp to camp [at 6 miles]. ... (McClellan via Minter, 1854)

Image, 1855, Steven's map, RR surveys, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Map detail, 1855, McClellan's 1854 route along the Lower Klickitat Trail. Original map from Isaac Steven's "Reports of Explorations and Surveys ...", 1855, Map No.3, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, courtesy Washington State University Digital Colletions, 2018.

"Kolsas Plain", "Simsik", "Mankas", and "Yahkotl".
Image, 1846, Covington Map, Fort Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
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"Covington Map", 1846, Fort Vancouver, Washington. Richard Covington, 1846, Fort Vancouver and "Fort Plain", "Mill Plain", "First Plain", "Second Plain", and "Third Plain". Original with the Washington State History Museum, printed in "The Columbian", June 10, 2017, "Plains Explained" by Tom Vogt.
Image, 2017, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
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First Plain ... Eleanor Roosevelt Elementary School, Vancouver, Washington. Once the location of "First Plain" and the Bagley Downs Racetrack. Image taken August 24, 2017.
Image, 2006, Mural, Fourth Plain, Orchards, click to enlarge
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Fourth Plain ... Mural, Fourth Plain, Orchards, Washington. Image taken November 25, 2006.
Image, 2017, Fifth Plain Creek, Clark County, Washington, click to enlarge
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Fifth Plain ... Fifth Plain Creek looking upstream, Clark County, Washington. Where Fourth Plain Road crosses Fifth Plain Creek, view from moving car looking north. Image taken May 3, 2017.


 


Low Forests (Zone 2) ...
"This region is covered by the typical coniferous forest [of Douglas Fir, Western Hemlock, and Western Red-cedar] of Western Washington and Oregon." ... [Norton, et.al., 1999]

"The country up to Simsik is quite level; leaving Simsik [Fifth Plain] east of north the country becomes hilly and broken along the trail, the hills becoming higher and more rocky as we approach the Cathlapoot'l river [Lewis River]." --- [Duncan, 1854]

More:
Lewis River



Mesache Camp ("bad", Chinook Jargon).

  • July 23, 1853. 183 meters, 19.75 miles from Vancouver.
    McClellan: "Our camp was a poor one ... for it was nothing but a succession of little openings among the huge dead firs -- all blackened by the fires ... a fine clear stream." ... [Norton, et.al., 1999]

  • July 23. -- To camp Mesache.   Country rougher than heretofore. Crossed two boggy creeks, and two with fine crossings; much fallen timber and brush; timber as before; camped on a small stream fifteen feet wide; grass in small openings of the forest; twelve hours from camp to camp [at 6 1/2 miles]. ... [McClellan via Minter, 1854]


Mankas Prairie.

  • July 24, 1853. 198 meters, 25.75 miles from Vancouver.
    Cooper: "Mankas prairie 4 miles in circumference." McClellan: "Mankas Prairie is about 1/8m wide & 1m long -- good grass ... It is, as usual, surrounded by the eternal fir ..." ... [Norton, et.al., 1999]

  • July 24. -- To camp Mankas. Country becoming still rougher; obstructions on the trail very great, but rather less than yesterday; crossed a fine stream; bottom thickly overgrown; soil good [at 3 miles].   Crossed a rivulet [at 5 1/2 miles].   Encamped on a small prairie; good grass; water inconvenient; camp to camp eight and a half hours [at 6 miles]. ... [McClellan via Minter, 1854]


Yahkohtl Prairie (Yacolt).
  • July 25, 1853. 198 meters elevation. 35.25 miles from Vancouver.
    Cooper: "The route from this River [Yahkohtl, today's East Fork Lewis River] to the plains was through a young forest chiefly of trees from 1/2 to 1ft. in diameter ... This prairie is four miles long extending toward the south and two miles wide." McClellan: "The trail [from Mankas] follows the length of the prairie & then plunges into the thicket -- first passing thro' a dense growth of wild roses ... The prairie being in all some 2m long ... They catch the Salmon trout here -- the Salmon does not come up this far." ... [Norton, et.al., 1999]

  • Ascertaining that the trail was obstructed by brush and fallen timber, I started in advance on July 22, with a small working party, leaving Lieut. Duncan in charge of the main party, with instructions to overtake me as soon as possible. I awaited the command at Yahkohtl; they arrived there on the 28th July. We were delayed at this place until the 31st in making new pack-saddles to replace those broken in this short distance. ... On the Yahkohtl river [East Fork Lewis River] there are some three or four cascades, which may hereafter be of some value as water-powers. ... [McClellan, 1854]

  • Six miles beyond the Yahkohtl river [East Fork Lewis River] is the Yahkohtl Plain, a high, sandy, undulating plain, about three miles long. Five and a half miles beyond this plain occurs the Chalacha Plain. ... (Duncan, 1854)

  • July 25. -- To camp Yahkohtl [Yacolt Prairie]. Country becoming rougher; obstructions on the trail, principally from dead timber; descended a very steep hill, with a small stream at the foot, a branch of the Yahkohtl [at 3 1/2 miles].   Crossed a rough divide, and descended a long and steep hill to Yahkohtl river [at 4 3/4 miles] [East Fork Lewis River].   Passed over a rolling country, with open woods on the higher portion; thick brush in the bottoms; camped on the edge of Yahkohtl prairie; soil and grass good; good water in running stream [Yacolt Creek] close to camp [at 9 3/4 miles]. ... [McClellan via Minter, 1854]


Chalacha ("bracken fern") Plain.
  • July 31, 1853. 180 meters elevation. 41 miles from Vancouver.
    Cooper: "This is of an oval form and about 5 miles long by 2 wide, surrounded by huge precipitous hills above which towers the snow-capped peak of St. Helens in a direction nearly northerly from the prairie." McClellan: "A creek clear & good ... [the prairie] runs about ENE is some 1 1/2m long by 1/3m wide ... The n side of the prairie is confined by higher, but somewhat less bold hills -- on the top of the highest is a bare cliff used by the Indians as a "watch-post" ... The prairie of Chelacha takes its name from a long grass which grows there." ... [Norton, et.al., 1999]

  • Five and a half miles beyond this [Yahkohtl] plain occurs the Chalacha Plain [Chelatchie Prairie], lying between the Chalacha river [???] and the parallel rivulet before spoken of [???]. ... Between the Yahkohtl [East Fork Lewis River] and Chalacha rivers [???] the country is high and hilly, and, in places, much broken. There is a high spur running along the left bank of the Chalacha river [???], and the plain of this name is entirely surrounded by high ridges and rocky peaks. An almost perfectly symmetrical peak is seen towards the northeast and at the end of the plain in that direction [Tumtum Mountain]. ... (Duncan, 1854)

  • July 31. -- To Camp Chalacha [Chelatchie Prairie]. Country rolling; some short, steep hills; dense underbrush and timber; many fallen trees; crossed five stream [at 2 3/4 miles].   Crossed another, but smaller stream [at 4 3/4 miles).   Travelled up the prairie and encamped. Good water and grass [at 5 1/2 miles]. ... [McClellan via Minter, 1854]


Spilyeh ("myth coyote") Prairie.
  • August 1, 1853. 137 meters elevation. 51 miles from Vancouver.
    McClellan: "Spil-yai is the Indian name of the bad ford (illegible) of the Cathlepootle ... this prairie runs about NE & SW, it is 3/4m long by 1/4m wide; has water on either side, & is covered with fine grass and an abundance of service & Huckleberries." ... [Norton, et.al., 1999]

  • On the 1st of August we reached the Cathlapoot'l [Lewis River], followed its valley until the 5th, on which day we left it and crossed the dividing ridge. From Vancouver to the Cathlapoot'l [Lewis River] there is but little to invite settlement. With the exception of a few small tracts, the country is generally covered with dense forests and thick undergrowth; the trees often attaining immense size. ... The valley of the Cathlapoot'l [Lewis River] above, and at our crossing, is utterly worthless for any purpose. --- [McClellan, 1854]

  • August 1. -- To camp Spilyeh. Country rolling and heavily timbered with fir, oak, white maple, and cedar; crossed small rivulet in a deep ravine [at 1 mile].   Crossed four small plains covered with fern to the height of the head of a mounted man; commenced descent into the valley of Cathlapoot'l [at 4 miles] [Lewis River].   This descent is long, steep and dangerous; the trail winding down the narrow crest of a ridge, with a precipitous descent on each side. Here we lost a mule, killed by falling over the steep side-slope. At the foot of the descent a small spring branch, sandy bottom, of half a mile, and cross Cathlapoot'l [at 5 1/4 miles] [Lewis River].   Pass over rough and thickly timbered country; cross Spilyeh creek [at 7 1/2 miles]. Travel over a similar country, and camp in a plain one mile long; grass and water good [at 10 miles]. ... [McClellan via Minter, 1854]

Image, 1855, Steven's map, RR surveys, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Map detail, 1855, McClellan's 1854 route along the Lower Klickitat Trail. Original map from Isaac Steven's "Reports of Explorations and Surveys ...", 1855, Map No.3, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, courtesy Washington State University Digital Colletions, 2018.

"Kolsas Plain", "Simsik", "Mankas", and "Yahkotl".
Image, 1855, Steven's map, RR surveys, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Map detail, 1855, McClellan's 1854 route along the Lower Klickitat Trail. Original map from Isaac Steven's "Reports of Explorations and Surveys ...", 1855, Map No.3, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, courtesy Washington State University Digital Colletions, 2018.

"Yahkotl", "Chalacha", "Spilyeh", "Lakas", "Noomptnamie", "Wininepat", "Wahamis".
Map detail, 1858, Cadastral survey map showing possible Mankas Prairie, click to enlarge
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Mankas Prairie ... Cadastral survey (tax survey) map detail, 1858, for T4N R3E, showing the early trail (ticked path) and what is possibly the Mankas Prairie. Map also shows the "South Fork of Catapoodle or Lewis River" (today's East Fork Lewis River) and Battle Ground Lake (lower left). Original map courtesy U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records database, 2018.

"Mankas Prairie".
Map detail, 1858, Cadastral survey map showing Yacolt Prairie, Washington, click to enlarge
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Yahkohtl Prairie ... Cadastral survey (tax survey) map detail, 1858, for T4N R3E (lower) and T5N R3E (upper), showing early trails (ticked path, left) and Yacolt Prairie. Original map courtesy U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records database, 2018.

"Yahkohtl Prairie".
Image, 2018, Yacolt, Washington, click to enlarge
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Railroad tracks at the south end of Yacolt Prairie, heading north to Yacolt, Washington. Image taken August 29, 2018.
Image, 2018, Yacolt, Washington, click to enlarge
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Railroad tracks, heading north out of Yacolt, heading to Chelatchie Prairie, Washington. Image taken August 8, 2018.
Map detail, 1858, Cadastral Survey showing Chelatchie Prairie, Washington, click to enlarge
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Cadastral survey (tax survey) map detail, 1858, for T5N R3E, showing early trail (cutting through Section 22) leading to "Chelatseh Prairie". Original map courtesy U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records database, 2018.

"Chalacha Plain".
Image, 2018, Chelatchie Prairie, Washington, click to enlarge
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Scenic, Chelatchie Prairie, Washington. Image taken August 8, 2018.
Image, 2014, Tumtum Mountain, Washington click to enlarge
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Tumtum Mountain, Washington. Image taken September 4, 2014.
Image, 2018, Speelyai, Washington, click to enlarge
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Speelyai Bay, Washington. Image taken August 29, 2018.


 


Lewis River Camps (Zone 3) ...
"The 28 miles of trail between Spilyeh and Wahamis Prairies passed through heavy forest along the Lewis River. There were no prairies or visable open area ... In the early 1950s, an archaeological survey of this portion of the Klikitat Trail revealed "A total of 6 sites ... Four were very small campsites probably used by travelers and hunting parties ... one site was apparently used primarily as a chipping station. The most important site was an isolated semi-subterranean pit-house, located on the river near a spot which was excellent for fishing."" ... [Norton, et.al., 1999]


Lakas (or Lacash) ("kinnikinnick place") Camp.
  • August 2, 1853. 152 meters elevation. 57.5 miles from Vancouver.
    Cooper: "camped on the east side ... of the Cathlapootle [River] [Lewis River] ... in a grove of young spruce trees the ground being covered with Uva ursi ... and small poplars." McClellan: "The la-cahs (Uva-ursi) abounds here, it is used by the Indians for kinnakanick ... there is little or no grass." ... [Norton, et.al., 1999]

  • August 2. -- To camp Lakas [near Cougar, Washington]. Country level and open, but much heavy fallen timber; cross small stream [at 2 3/4 mile].   Pass through small plain, covered with fern; descend steep hill and touch Cathlapoot'l [at 5 miles] [Lewis River].   Follow valley of the stream, over stony beach; current rapid; bottom of large stones [at 6 1/4 miles].   Follow left bank of the stream, and encamp in the woods; no grass [at 6 1/2 miles]. ... [McClellan via Minter, 1854]

Noomptnahmie Camp.
  • August 3, 1853. 305 meters elevation. 65.5 miles from Vancouver.
    Cooper: "through a region mostly burnt over recently and with a young growth of trees covering it." McClellan: ... [Norton, et.al., 1999]

  • From Lakas the trail follows the banks of the Cathlapoot'l [Lewis River], crossing from side to side to avoid the bluffs running up to the river from both ranges for seventeen miles, to Wininepat. At this point the river bneds from its general east and west course more to the north. ... (Duncan, 1854)

  • August 3. -- To camp Noompt-nah-mie [at Marble Creek]. Crossed the river a few hundred yards above camp. During the march crossed one fine stream, coming in on the right bank, three miles from camp; afterwards three spring branches; trail keeps near the river; heavy brush; in one spot a fine grove; country barren; passed over a tract of lava three quaters of a mile in length; crossed the Noompt-nah-mie near its mouth [Marble Creek], and encamped at the crossing; no grass; crossing difficult in low water; impossible in high water [at 8 miles]. ... [McClellan via Minter, 1854]

Weinnepat Camp.

  • August 4, 1853. 305 meters elevation. 72 miles from Vancouver. ... [Norton, et.al., 1999]

  • The trail crosses the river Cathlapoot'l [Lewis River] at Wininepat for the last time, and then leaves this river. ... Leaving the Cathlapoot'l [Lewis River], the trail bears to the southeast across the river chain, which has been running on the left bank of the river, but lying back from it at this point. This chain is not sharp or very rocky, but earthy and soft, and rounded in outline, and very high. ... (Duncan, 1854)

  • August 4. -- To camp Wininepat [below today's Eagle Cliffs]. Crossed a high, narrow ridge, with steep ascent and descent; small brook at its foot on north side; pass through open woods of fir, cedar, maple, and alder; crossed another rivulet, and then crossed the Cathlapoot'l [Lewis River]; followed the stony beach half a mile, and recrossed [at 2 1/2 miles].   The trail passes through a small opening, ad then a new trail was cut through the thick brush and fallen timber for about two miles, to avoid a very deep crossing; crossed two bad sloughs; encamped on the bank of the river; no grass at camp; crossed the animals to a small island where there was a scanty supply [at 6 1/2 miles]. ... [McClellan via Minter, 1854]

Image, 1855, Steven's map, RR surveys, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Map detail, 1855, McClellan's 1854 route along the Lower Klickitat Trail. Original map from Isaac Steven's "Reports of Explorations and Surveys ...", 1855, Map No.3, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, courtesy Washington State University Digital Colletions, 2018.

"Yahkotl", "Chalacha", "Spilyeh", "Lakas", "Noomptnamie", "Wininepat", "Wahamis".
Image, 2018, Marble Creek drainage, Swift Reservoir, Washington, click to enlarge
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Marble Creek drainage, looking south towards Swift Reservoir, Washington. Image taken October 17, 2018.
Image, 2018, Lewis River at Eagle Cliffs, Washington, click to enlarge
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Lewis River at Eagle Cliffs, looking upstream, Washington. Image taken October 17, 2018.


 


Subalpine Prairies (Zone 4) ...
"The railroad survey left the dense forest of the Lewis River Valley and climbed to the thinly wooded mountain plateau southwest of Mount Adams. The three prairies visited in this subalpine area, Wahamis, Yawakamis, and Chequos, supported extensive tracts of huckleberry." ... [Norton, et.al., 1999]


Wahamis (Susuk) Camp (Two-by-Four Prairie?).
  • August 5, 1853. 976 meters elevation. 78.75 miles from Vancouver. ... [Norton, et.al., 1999]

  • August 5. -- To camp Wahamis; passed through open pine woods, and crossed the Cathlapoot'l [at 1/2 mile] [Lewis River].   Leave the river and ascend five terraces, and reach the base of a high ridge [at 3 3/4 miles].   Ascend the ridge by a winding trail, so steep as to be barely practicable [at 4 3/4 miles].   Descend on a gradual slope and over rolling country through open pine woods; passing one opening with good grass and water [at 6 miles].   Thence through similar country to camp in a marshy valley, with good grass and water [at 6 3/4 miles]. ... [McClellan via Minter, 1854]

Yawakamis (McClellan Meadow).
  • August 6, 1853. 1037 meters elevation. 88 miles from Vancouver.
    Cooper: "a small meadow full of excellent grass where we encamped. Most of the way led through a burnt forest with but little living vegetation." McClellan: "a small pretty prairie where were a number of old Indian huts." ... [Norton, et.al., 1999]

  • At the second camp after leaving Cathlapoot'l river [Lewis River], (Taunkamis,) we halted one day, our animals having suffered much from the almost entire absence of grass for four days. --- [McClellan, 1854]

  • From Wahamis the trail bears south of east for twenty miles, to Chequoss, a point on the high mountain table-land of the chain running from the mouth of the White Salmon to Mount Adams. The immediate country is high rolling, and sometimes broken, and high ranges run off to the right and left of trail, with bald, isolated peaks occurring here and there in them. The descent from the high table-land to the Chequoss is gradual, and there are several very high peaks in the vicinity of this place. ... (Duncan, 1854)

  • August 6. -- To camp Yawakamis; over a high, rolling country, through a small growth of fir and pitch-pine, to a small prairie with good grass and a small creek; considerable fallen timber thus far [at 5 1/4 miles].   Over a high ridge to a spring branch, with no grass [at 5 3/4 miles].   Cross a high spur, and pass thruogh burned and fallen timber, to a bold creek [at 7 3/4 miles].   Through open woods to another creek [at 8 miles].   Over a ridge with level top, timber burned, to a ravine with a small spring branch; on this branch, a short distance above the trail, is a prairie with good grass [at 8 1/2 miles].   Thence through burned woods, much obstructed by fallen timber, to camp in a prairie with good grass and water; this prairie is boggy in the wet season [at 9 1/4 miles]. ... [McClellan via Minter, 1854]

Chequos (Chickwass) ("rough place").

  • August 8, 1853. 1189 meters elevation. 93.75 miles from Vancouver.
    Cooper: "Chiquass prairie is a high plain mostly covered with young spruce. The hills around are almost all burnt over." McClellan: "There are two ponds of water for the animals & a well for drinking purposes ... The prairie in which we now ate, and those to E. seem to make up an old & immense crater." ... [Norton, et.al., 1999]

  • At the second camp after leaving Cathlapoot'l river [Lewis River], (Taunkamis,) we halted one day, our animals having suffered much from the almost entire absence of grass for four days. On the 8th we reached Chequos [near Red Mountain]. On account of the animals I remained here two days, and occupied the time by taking observations, examining the vicinity, &c. ... From the mountains, near camp, there was a fine view of the country for a long distance in evry direction; five large snow mountains were in sight -- Rainier, St. Helens, Adams, Hood, and Jefferson. ... From the Cathlapoot'l [Lewis River] to Chequois, the country is mountainous and sterile. --- [McClellan, 1854]

  • From Wahamis the trail bears south of east for twenty miles, to Chequoss, a point on the high mountain table-land of the chain running from the mouth of the White Salmon to Mount Adams. The immediate country is high rolling, and sometimes broken, and high ranges run off to the right and left of trail, with bald, isolated peaks occurring here and there in them. The descent from the high table-land to the Chequoss is gradual, and there are several very high peaks in the vicinity of this place. ... Chequoss is on the second chain from the White Salmon river north to Mount Adams. ... (Duncan, 1854)

  • August 8. -- To camp Chequoss, through level country to a creek [at 1/2 mile].   Over a rolling country, lava district, to a small creek in a ravine; a little grass near by [at 2 1/4 miles].   Ascend a high ridge, by a long and gradual ascent, to a small pond with good grass [at 4 1/2 miles].   Through a succession of small and connected valleys, with good grass, spruce timber and no underbrush, to camp in a valley; grass good; drinking-water in an Indian well; water for animals in ponds [at 5 3/4 miles]. ... [McClellan via Minter, 1854]

  • Total distance from Vancouver to Chequoss -- 93 3/4 miles. ... [McClellan via Minter, 1854]

Image, 1855, Steven's map, RR surveys, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Map detail, 1855, McClellan's 1854 route along the Lower Klickitat Trail. Original map from Isaac Steven's "Reports of Explorations and Surveys ...", 1855, Map No.3, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, courtesy Washington State University Digital Colletions, 2018.

"Wahamis", "Yawakamis", "Chequoss", "Hoothoolse", "Tahk Plain".


 


Prairies East of the Crest (Zone 5) ...
"Descending eastward from the subalpine plateau ... The easternmost prairies were seasonally inundated ... Hoolho-olse (Trout Lake) ... Tahk (Conboy Lake) ... ... [Norton, et.al., 1999]


Hoolho-ose (Wilwilchelis) (at or near Trout Lake, "kingfisher's").
  • August 11, 1853. 579 meters elevation. 105.75 miles from Vancouver.
    Cooper: "After passing the first two miles the wood became very open & of large pine trees ... the ground below being covered with grass and small shrubs. The scene resembled ornamental forest grounds more than wild uncultivated woods." McClellan: "The circular valley of the lake is green & pretty." ... [Norton, et.al., 1999]

  • From Chequoss the trail bears north of east for fourteen miles to the Hoolhoolse river, descending the whole distance; abrupt descent in first two and a quarter miles, the rest of the distance being gradual. There is a small lake, a quarter of a mile long, in a lava district at the foot of the abrupt descent, and on the left of the trail. It is surrounded by a large growth of cotton-wood and poplar. ... (Duncan, 1854)

  • August 11. -- To camp Hool-hool-se; over broken country covered with lava and a thin growth of pine and fir, with thick underbrush, to a small lake surrounded by good grass and horse-mint [at 3/4 mile].   Over similar country somewhat obstructed by fallen timber, to a bold creek [4 3/4 miles].   To a small prairie with good grass, but no water in the dry season [at 7 1/4 miles].   Through a beautiful open wood of excellent yellow pine, coarse, long grass, and light soil, underlaid by lava, to camp on a fine creek; grass good [at 12 miles]. ... [McClellan via Minter, 1854]

Tahk ("vernal meadow") Prairie (near modern Glenwood).

  • August 12, 1853. 549 meters elevation. 114.25 miles from Vancouver.
    Cooper: "Noticed the oak again at this place ... The prairie is about 10 miles in length and three wide containing a marshy lake and appears to be subject to overflowing." McClellan: "An open country." ... [Norton, et.al., 1999]

  • From Hoolhoolse the trail bears south of east for nine miles to Tahk plains [Camas Prairie]. The Nikepun [White Salmon River], a rapid mountain stream, is crossed three miles from the Hoolhoolse. The latter is a branch of it. The Nikepun is thirty-five feet wide, and three deep -- bottom rocky. One mile beyond this river is the range running southeast from Mount Adams. Thus far the trail is over very level country. ... the trail crosses two small branches of the Nikepun [White Salmon River] heading in this range. ... This plain [Tahk] is low and wet in many places, and give evidence of being partially, if not entirely under water during the wet season. From Tahk the trail bears northeast for thirty-seven miles, to the Sahpenis, a branch of the Yakima. ... [McClellan, 1854]

  • From Hoolhoolse the trail bears south of east for nine miles to Tahk plains [Camas Prairie]. ... (Duncan, 1854)

  • August 12. -- To camp on Tahk prairie [Camas Prairie]; over a country like the last of yesterday's march, to a large stream -- the Nikepum [at 3 miles] [White Salmon River].   Ascend a high plateau -- travel over its broken surface, rocky in places, and covered with large timber, to a small creek [at 5 1/4 miles].   To another creek, no grass near it [at 5 3/4 miles].   To another, no grass upon it [at 7 1/4 miles].   Thence to camp on a large prairie [Camas Prairie], with good grass, water, and soil [at 8 1/2 miles]. ... [McClellan via Minter, 1854]

  • August 13. -- To second camp on Tahk prairie; trail skirts the eastern edge of the prairie, wichi is perfectly level, covered with good grass, and has good soil; the timber skirting it is of yellow pine, free from underbrush; lake near north end of prairie; camped on a stream rising from this lake [at 5 1/2 miles]. ... [McClellan via Minter, 1854]

Crossing the Klickitat River.

  • August 14. -- Through open woods to crossing of last creek [at 3/4 miles].   Over a rolling country, covered with open pine woods, to the Wa-wak-che river [Klickitat River], which runs in a very deep and narrow valley; descent precipitous; no grass in the valley; lava is occasionally met with in the distance [at 5 miles].   Make a long and gradual ascent from the valley; pass over a broken country, which is covered with open woods of yellow pine and oak, to a point where there are water and grass, a short distance to left of trail [at 9 3/4 miles].   To camp in a narrow valley, with a small creek and good grass [at 12 3/4 miles]. ... [McClellan via Minter, 1854]

Image, 1855, Steven's map, RR surveys, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Map detail, 1855, McClellan's 1854 route along the Lower Klickitat Trail. Original map from Isaac Steven's "Reports of Explorations and Surveys ...", 1855, Map No.3, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, courtesy Washington State University Digital Colletions, 2018.

"Wahamis", "Yawakamis", "Chequoss", "Hoothoolse", "Tahk Plain".
Image, 1855, Steven's map, RR surveys, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Map detail, 1855, McClellan's 1854 route along the Lower Klickitat Trail. Original map from Isaac Steven's "Reports of Explorations and Surveys ...", 1855, Map No.3, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, courtesy Washington State University Digital Colletions, 2018.

Mount Adams, the "Nik-e-pun" (White Salmon River), and the "Wawukchie R." (Klickitat River).
Image, 2011, Mount Adams from Trout Lake, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mount Adams as seen from Trout Lake, Trout Lake, Washington. Image taken August 22, 2011.
Image, 2011, Trout Lake, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Trout Lake looking west, Washington. Image taken August 22, 2011.
Image, 2010, Conboy Lake NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sandhill Crane in field, Conboy Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken June 5, 2010.
Image, 2010, Conboy Lake NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Conboy Lake and Mount Adams, Conboy Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken June 5, 2010.
Image, 2010, Glenwood, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Glenwood, Washington. Image taken August 11, 2010.


Information, Reports, etc.

  • Vancouver National Historic Reserve Cultural Landscape Report, 2005 ...


Vancouver National Historic Reserve Cultural Landscape Report, 2005 ...
"Like the Chinook tribes, the Klikitat Indians and other interior peoples accessed the Columbia River, but in contrast to the lower Columbia River tribes' shoreline orientation, the Klikitat traveled north and south along the tribuatires between the south-central Cascades and the Columbia River. The Klikitats' subsistence strategy was "prairie-oriented," moving with the seasons to take advantage of plant resources ripening at different elevations. The Klickitat Trail, an overland route from Fort Vancouver to The Dalles and Yakima, was a network of trails and prairies that connected the Klikitats' subsistence areas, and enabled the tribes to take advantage of trans-Cascade trade. ...   The Klickitat Trail ended approximately in the vicinity of the current Vancouver National Historic Reserve, although the exact terminus is unknown.

Pacific Railroad surveyors George McClellan (1853) and James G. Cooper (1854, 1855) examined the Klickitat Trail, and documented the prairies dotted along the route. Cooper classified the prairies as "wet" or "dry" and observed the Indians' practice of setting fires to maintain the dry prairies. ...

The lower Klickitat Trail prairies mapped by McClellan and Cooper were called Alack-ae ("turtle place"), Wahwaikee ("acorn"), Pahpoopahpoo ("burrowing owls"), Heowheow, Kolsas, and Simsik by the Indians according to J.F. Minter's records. Hudson's Bay Company settlers re-named these prairies "Fort Plain", "First Plain", "Second Plain", "Third Plain", "Fourth Plain", and "Fifth Plain", respectively. Cooper noted that First Plain through Fifth Plain were covered with good grass for horses, and eight edible berry species; ..."


Source:    Vancouver National Historic Reserve Cultural Landscape Report, October 2005, Produced by Jones & Jones Architects and Landscape Architects, Ltd., Seattle, Washington, for the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.



From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, ...
 




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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:
  • Norton, H.H., Boyd, R., and Hunn, E., 1999, "The Klikitat Trail of South-central Washington, A Reconstruction of Seasonally Used Resource Sites", IN: "Indians, Fire and the Land of the Pacific Northwest, Robert Boyd, editor, Oregon State University Press, Corvallis;
  • U.S. War Department, 1855, "Reports of explorations and surveys: to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, Volume 1", Joseph Henry and Spencer Fullerton Baird, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, A.O.P. Nicholson, Printer;
  • Vancouver National Historic Reserve Cultural Landscape Report, October 2005, Produced by Jones & Jones Architects and Landscape Architects, Ltd., Seattle, Washington, for the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior;


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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August 2016