Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"East Fork Lewis River, Washington"
Includes ... Lewis River ... East Fork Lewis River ... Paradise Point State Park ... Daybreak Park ... Lewisville Park ... Lucia Falls ...
Image, 2006, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Fork Lewis River, from Paradise Point State Park. Image taken May 30, 2006.


East Fork Lewis River ...
The East Fork Lewis River is located in Clark County, Washington, and has its headwaters near Green Lookout Mountain. It enters the mainstem Lewis River at River Mile (RM) 3.5. The East Fork Lewis River was often referred to as the "South Fork Lewis River" until 1929 when "East Fork" became official.

Lewis River Watershed ...
The Lewis River is located on the Washington side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 87.5. The watershed includes two large drainages, the North Fork Lewis and the East Fork Lewis, which converge approximately 3.5 miles upstream of the confluence with the Columbia. A half mile upstream is the Washington city of Woodland.

According to the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority website (2004), the Lewis River watershed is approximately 93 miles long, has a total fall of approximately 12,000 feet, and drains an area of about 1,050 square miles. The headwaters arise on the southern flanks of Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams. Mount Adams is the highest peak in the basin at 12,307 feet, and Mount St. Helens is an active volcano. The majority of the Lewis River basin is forested, with an area of approximately 30 square miles of upper basin denuded by the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. The major tributaries within the Lewis River system below Merwin Dam (RM 19.5) include the East Fork Lewis River, Johnson Creek, and Cedar Creek. The Lewis River drainage system is the result of geologic uplifting, volcanoes, and river flooding. The bedrock surrounding the three reservoirs is predominately younger Eocene to older Oligocene volcanic lava flows Oligocene volcaniclastic rocks, and Quaternary volcaniclastic deposits. The volcanic rocks have undergone regional compressional deformation with rock strata being folded by a major southeast plunging anticline and a southeast plunging syncline.


Early East Fork Lewis River ...

The 1855 Railroad Survey Map conducted by Isaac Stevens shows today's Lewis River as "Cath la pootle R." and today's East Fork Lewis River as "Yah kotl Riv.". In various reports within the survey the river was spelled "Yahkohtl". The party of George McClellan crossed the "Yahkohtl" on July 25, 1854.

Some early government maps show the East Fork Lewis River labeled as the "South Fork Lewis River". In 1929 the U.S. Board of Geographic Names offically changed the name to "East Fork Lewis River".

"Rec. Chief U.S. Engrs., Apr. 1, 1929, who states that as a number of official and congressional reports use the name East a change [to South} would be unwise. The course of the stream is uniformly from east to west." [1929 U.S. Board Geographic Names Decision Card]

Early Maps ...

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 Stevens' "Reports of Explorations and Surveys ...", 1855, Map No.3, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, courtesy Washington State University Digital Colletions, 2018.

"Mankas", "Yahkotl", "Chalacha", "Spilyeh", "Lakas", and the "Ca-la-ma R." (Kalama River), "Cath-la-pootle R." (Lewis River), and "Yah kotl Riv." (East Fork Lewis River).


Missoula Floods ...
The Washington community of Woodland is located on the Lewis River floodplain, an area once inundated by the massive floodwaters of the Missoula Floods. The Lewis River and its tributary the East Fork Lewis River cut their channels into Missoula Flood deposits.

QUATERNARY DEPOSITS.

Alluvial Deposits:

"During glacial maxima, sea level was as much as 400 feet (120 meters) lower than at present. The Columbia River in response deeply incised its bed, flowing through a narrow valley about two kilometers west of the map area (Ridgefield Quad). The Lewis and East Fork Lewis Rivers presumably also adjusted to lower base level at these times. Late in the last glacial period, huge glacier-outburst floods from Glacial Lake Missoula coursed down the Columbia River valley and hydraulically ponded in the Portland Basin; silt and fine sand that settled out of this temporary lake now cover much of the map area. As sea level rose during the late Pleistocene and Holocene, the late Pleistocene valleys gradually filled with sediment."

Cataclysmic-flood deposits:

"During the last glacial maximum in late Pleistocene time, an ice dam impounded Glacial Lake Missoula in western Montana. The dam failed repeatedly, releasing floods that coursed down the Columbia River and into the Portland Basin. The sediment-laden floodwaters were hydraulically constricted by the narrow reach of the Columbia River valley north of (downstream from) the Ridgefield quadrangle. The constriction caused temporary ponding in the Portland Basin and tribuatry valleys to levels as high as 400 feet (120 meters). Radiocarbon ages, paleomagnetic measurements, and tephrochronologic data indicate that the last glacial episode of floods occurred chiefly between about 17,000 and 13,000 14C years B.P. Similar episodes of cataclysmic flooding probably occurred earlier in the Quaternary.

During each flood, the suspended load of fine sand and silt settled out of the temporarily ponded floodwaters. In the northern Portland Basin, multiple floods collectively built up deposits of laminated micaceous sediments as thick as 100 feet (30 meters). These slack-water deposits (Qfs), which grade almost imperceptively northward from fine sand to silt, now mantle the entire surface of the Ridgefield quadrangle south of the East Fork Lewis River. Partly eroded flood deposits lie north of the river between 200 and 300 feet (60 and 75 meters) elevation, and local unmapped patches of micaceous silt are found at elevations up to 400 feet (120 meters)."

Late Pleistocene and Holocene alluvial deposits:

"Remnants of a terrace with surface elevations of 110 to 140 feet (33 to 43 meters) lie along the south bank of the Lewis River directly downstream from its confluence with the East Fork Lewis River. The terrace deposits (Qtd) consist of unconsolidated, poorly sorted sandy pebble gravel and lithic sand overlain by micaceous silt of Missoula-floods origin (Qfs). Terrace-gravel clasts are chiefly Tertiary volcanic rocks eroded from the Cascade Range, indicating that the terrace sediment was carried by the Lewis River rather than the Columbia."


Source:    R.C. Evarts, 2004, "Geologic Map of the Ridgefield Quadrangle, Clark and Cowlitz Counties, Washington", USGS Scientific Investications Map 2844.

[More]


Image, 2018, Geologic Map detail, Lewis River, Woodland, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Geologic Map detail, Lewis River upstream from Woodland, Washington. Original map: R.C. Evarts, 2004, Geological Map of the Woodland Quadrangle, Clark and Cowlitz Counties, Washington, U.S. Geologic Survey Scientific Investigations Map 2827.
Image, 2018, Geologic Map detail, East Fork Lewis River, Woodland, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Geologic Map detail, East Fork Lewis River upstream from merging with the Lewis River, Woodland, Washington. Original map: R.C. Evarts, 2004, Geological Map of the Ridgefield Quadrangle, Clark and Cowlitz Counties, Washington, U.S. Geologic Survey Scientific Investigations Map 2844.


East Fork Lewis River, etc.

  • RM 1 ... Paradise Point State Park ...
  • RM 3 ... La Center ...
  • RM 3.25 ... Brezee Creek ...
  • RM 10 ... Daybreak Regional Park and Boat Launch ...
  • RM 15 ... Lewisville Regional Park ...
  • RM 19 ... Heisson ...
  • RM 21 ... Lucia Falls ...
  • RM 23.5 ... Railroad Bridge ...
  • RM 24.5 ... Moulton Falls ...
  • RM 32.5 ... Sunset Falls ...


RM 1 ... Paradise Point State Park ...
Paradise Point State Park is located on the East Fork Lewis River at River Mile (RM) 1. The park's 88 acres (another sources gives 96 acres) features camping and day-use, with 6,180 feet of freshwater shoreline. Paradise Point State Park was acquired in six parcels between 1958 and 1986. According to the Washington State Parks Website (2006):

"... Two stories claim credit for the park's name. In one story, local tribes used the area for encampment along the east of the Lewis River and called it "Paradise Point." In another, a motorboat club from Portland, Oregon used to travel to Kaner Rock on the Lewis River for river trips and camping. They called the quiet, peaceful area "Paradise Point." ..."

Image, 2006, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Paradise Point State Park. Image taken May 30, 2006.
Image, 2006, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Fork Lewis River, Paradise Point State Park. Image taken May 30, 2006.
Image, 2006, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Paradise Point State Park. Part of the day-use area. Image taken May 30, 2006.
Image, 2006, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Paradise Point State Park. View looking under the Interstate 5 Bridge crossing the East Fork Lewis River. Image taken May 30, 2006.
Image, 2006, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Older part of Interstate 5, Paradise Point State Park. View from the day-use area. Image taken May 30, 2006.


RM 3 ... La Center ...
The community of La Center lies on the north bank of the East Fork Lewis River at River Mile (RM) 3. On the south and east is the flood plain of the East Fork, called "La Center Bottoms".
[More]

Image, 2018, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Fork Lewis River at La Center, Washington. View looking downstream from NW Lacenter Road bridge. Image taken September 19, 2018.
Image, 2018, La Center, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
La Center, Washington. Image taken September 19, 2018.


Brezee Creek ...
Brezee Creek flows on the east side of La Center and merges into the East Fork Lewis River at River Mile (RM) 3.25.
[More]

Image, 2008, Brezee Creek entering the E.F. Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Brezee Creek entering drainage to the the East Fork Lewis River, La Center, Washington. View from "La Center Bottoms", looking at NW Lacenter Rd. crossing the E.F. Lewis River. Image taken February 10, 2008.
Image, 2008, La Center Bottoms, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Brezee Creek, La Center Bottoms, La Center, Washington. Image taken February 10, 2008.


RM 10 ... Daybreak Park ...
Clark County's 77-acre Daybreak Regional Park and Boat Launch is located on the East Fork Lewis River a RM 10. The community of Battle Ground lies to the southwest.

Image, 2018, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Fork Lewis River at Daybreak Park. View from NE Daybreak Road, heading south, view looking downstream Lewis River. Image taken August 18, 2018.
Image, 2018, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Fork Lewis River at Daybreak Park. View from NE Daybreak Road, heading south, view looking downstream East Fork Lewis River. Image taken February 9, 2018.


RM 15 ... Lewisville Park ...
Lewisville Park is located in Battle Ground, Washington, and is located on the East Fork of the Lewis River at RM 15. Lewisville Park is Clark County's oldest regional park, established in the 1930s, and represents one of the areas most lasting and significant achievements of the Works Progress Administration. There are 154 rustic acres of forest and meadows with a 3-mile trail system meandering throughout the park. The rustic buildings in the park were designed by William J. Paeth. Lewisville Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 (District #86001202), and on the Clark County Heritage Register in 1987.

Image, 2016, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Fork Lewis River at Lewisville Park. View from Washington Route 503 heading north, view looking upstream East Fork Lewis River. Image taken October 19, 2016.
Image, 2017, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Fork Lewis River at Lewisville Park. View from Washington Route 503 heading south, view looking downstream East Fork Lewis River. Image taken June 30, 2017.
Image, 2018, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Fork Lewis River at Lewisville Park. View from Washington Route 503 heading north, view looking upstream East Fork Lewis River. Image taken February 9, 2018.
Image, 2013, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Fork Lewis River, looking upstream, from Lewisville Park. Image taken September 12, 2013.
Image, 2013, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Reflections, East Fork Lewis River, at Lewisville Park. Image taken September 12, 2013.
Image, 2013, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Reflections, East Fork Lewis River, at Lewisville Park. Image taken September 12, 2013.


RM 19 ... Heisson ...
Two "Heisson Bridges" cross the East Fork Lewis River at River Mile 19. The first bridge, a closed-spandrel arch bridge, was built in 1925 and closed to traffic in 1999 when the second, a concrete arch bridge, was built. Nearby is the "Henry Heisen House" and the "Heisson Store". The Henry Heisen House was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places (#79002526) in 1979.
[More]

Image, 2018, Heisson, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Heisson Bridge over the East Fork Lewis River, Washington. Image taken May 8, 2018.
Image, 2018, Heisson, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Two bridges over the East Fork Lewis River at Heisson, Washington. Image taken August 29, 2018.
Image, 2013, Heisson Store sign, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sign for Heisson Store, near Battle Ground Lake State Park, Washington. Image taken October 21, 2013.


RM 21 ... Lucia Falls ...
Lucia Falls Regional Park is a 24-acre park located on the north shore of the East Fork Lewis River, at RM 21.3. The park features beautiful picnicking and hiking areas with a view of steelhead leaping up the falls that give this park its name. Swimming and other types of water contact are not allowed because areas near the falls are sensitive fish spawning grounds. A 2.5-mile trail connects Lucia Falls Regional Park with Moulton Falls Regional Park.

"Lucia Falls is one of five named waterfalls along the East Fork Lewis River near Battle Ground. The falls drop about 15 feet over a channeled bedrock dam into a rather sizable pool. When the river runs low in the summer the falls are quite lackluster but during the wet season the river swells such that this waterfall can be quite impressive for its size."


Source:    Northwest Waterfall Survey, "waterfallsnorthwest.com" website, 2015.

According to "Names in Clark County" ("The Columbian", 2014):

"Lucia Falls:   There was a Lucia Mill in downtown Vancouver in 1885. After the Yacolt Burn of 1902, Mr. Lucia set up a mill on the East Fork of the Lewis River to salvage lumber from the burn. The mill was just upriver from the falls above Heisson, which now bear his name."

Image, 2015, Lucia Falls, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Salmon jumping, Lucia Falls, East For Lewis River, Washington. Image taken April 17, 2015.
Image, 2015, Lucia Falls, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Salmon jumping, Lucia Falls, East For Lewis River, Washington. Image taken April 17, 2015.
Image, 2016, Lucia Falls, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Salmon jumping, Lucia Falls, East For Lewis River, Washington. Image taken February 2016.


RM 23.5 ... Railroad Bridge ...
The "East Fork Railroad Bridge" is located between Heisson and Yacolt at East Fork Lewis River Mile (RM) 23.5. According to "BridgeHunter.com" website, the 160-foot bridge is a "pin-connected Pratt deck truss bridge over East Fork Lewis River on Chelatchie Prairie Railroad (B.Y.C.X.)". The bridge replaces an earlier bridge at the same location originally built in 1902.

Image, 2018, East Fork Lewis River, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Railroad Bridge over the East Fork Lewis River, Washington. View west, taken from moving car heading west on Lucia Falls Road. Image taken May 8, 2018.
Image, 2018, East Fork Lewis River, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Railroad Bridge over the East Fork Lewis River, Washington. View west, taken from moving car heading west on Lucia Falls Road. Image taken May 8, 2018.


RM 24.5 ... Moulton Falls ...
Moulton Falls Regional Park is over 300 acres and is located at the confluence of the East Fork Lewis River with Big Tree Creek. The park features two waterfalls and an arch bridge more than three stories high. The park sits on both sides of the river, is heavily forested, and contains volcanic rock formations from early lava flows. It also is an historic Indian meeting grounds. A 2.5-mile long trail connects Moulton Falls Regional Park to Lucia Falls Regional Park.

The southern end of the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad excursion train is at Moulton Falls Regional Park. The revived tracks opened for travel in 2001 and passes through the small Washington community of Yacolt, famous for the third (as of 2017) largest wildfire in Washington State history.

"Moulton Falls is the smallest of the five named waterfalls along the East Fork Lewis River, but also the easiest to access. The falls flume down a narrow trough, dropping over a series of potholes for about 10 vertical feet before the river mellows. When the East Fork runs high the falls swallow themselves up pretty well and it becomes more of a long rushing rapid than a waterfall, so if one is pressed for time, I would suggest skipping this waterfall and seeking out the better falls in the area."


Source:    Northwest Waterfall Survey, "waterfallsnorthwest.com" website, 2015.

According to "Names in Clark County" ("The Columbian", 2014):

"Moulton Falls:   After the Yacolt Burn of 1902, many sawmills were set up to scavenge the lumber, much like what happened after the St. Helenís eruption in 1980. One of the mills was erected at the falls on the East Fork of the Lewis by a Mr. Moulton. Moulton Falls Park is on the Lewis and Clark Railway."

Image, 2015, Moulton Falls, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Moulton Falls, East Fork Lewis River. Image taken April 17, 2015.
Image, 2015, Moulton Falls Park, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Moulton Falls Park, East Fork Lewis River. Image taken April 17, 2015.
Image, 2015, Moulton Falls Park, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Moulton Falls Park, East Fork Lewis River. Image taken April 17, 2015.
Image, 2017, Moulton Falls Park, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Stone steps, Moulton Falls Park, East Fork Lewis River. Image taken June 30, 2017.


RM 32.5 ... Sunset Falls ...
The U.S. Forest Service maintains the Sunset Falls Campground and Day Use Area on the East Fork Lewis River. The campground has a view of sunset falls and is in close proximity to the Silver Star Hiking area.

"Sunset Falls is the uppermost of a series of small waterfalls along the East Fork of the Lewis River. The falls drop about 18 feet into a large pool - though the height can be reduced at lower flows - in anywhere from one to as many as four distinct channels when flows permit. This waterfall is a popular spot for local kayakers and the pool below the falls serves as a good swimming hole when the river is more placid in the summer."


Source:    Northwest Waterfall Survey, "waterfallsnorthwest.com" website, 2015.

"Sunset Campground was a CCC Camp from 1933 to 1941, housing 200 men annually. The camp was built to accomplish reforestation and fire prevention projects within the Yacolt Burn. Several smaller spike camps were set up closer to the men's work sites during the summers."


Source:    U.S. Forest Service, 2003, "Driving Through Washington's Largest Wildfire; A self-guided tour of the Yacolt Burn".

Image, 2015, Sunset Falls, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sunset Falls, East Fork Lewis River. Image taken April 17, 2015.
Image, 2018, Sunset Falls, East Fork Lewis River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Benchmark at parking for Sunset Falls, East Fork Lewis River. Image taken May 8, 2018.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 5, 1805 ...





Clark, March 28, 1806 ...





Clark, March 29, 1806 ...




Vancouver PlainsReturn to
Menu
 






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

Sources:    See Lewis River sources ... Plus:
  • "Bridgehunter.com" website, 2016;
  • "The Columbian", 2014, "Clark History, Names in Clark County";
  • Hitchman, R., 1985, "Place Names of Washington", Washington State Historical Society;
  • Northwest Waterfall Survey, 2015, "waterfallsnorthwest.com" website;
  • "The Reflector" online Newspaper, December 21, 2011, "Heisson Store in Battle Ground has new owners with big ideas";
  • U.S. Forest Service, 2003, "Driving Through Washington's Largest Wildfire; A self-guided tour of the Yacolt Burn";
  • U.S. Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database, 2018;
  • 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;
  • Washington State Digital Archives database, 2018;


All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
/Regions/Places/lewis_river.html
July 2017