Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Mist Falls, Oregon"
Includes ... Mist Falls ... Mist Creek ...
Image, 2009, Mist Falls, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mist Falls, Oregon, as seen from Benson State Park. Image taken January 13, 2009.


Mist Falls ...
The 500-foot-high Mist Falls is the second tallest falls in the State of Oregon, with Multnomah Falls, located one mile upstream, being higher. Mist Falls is located above Benson State Recreation Area at Columbia River Mile (RM) 135. Mist Falls is a 20-feet-wide tiered falls with 2 drops, and is located on Mist Creek. The falls is one of many falls in the Columbia River Gorge which can be seen from the Historic Columbia River Highway. Good views can be had from Benson State Recreation Area, or from the Washington side of the Columbia near Prindle.

"Lesser Waterfalls Along the Columbia" ...
"Directly above Multnomah Lodge, Mist falls comes in a film of cloud-like spray from the high cliffs, wasting into a cloud of mist in its thousand-foot descent, and gathering its waters at the head of the talus slope to cascade down in a dash of foam to the river level."

Source:    H.H. Riddell, 1916, "The Lesser Waterfalls Along the Columbia", IN: Mazama, vol.5.

Mist Falls in 1940 ...
From the Oregon State Archives "A 1940 Journey Across Oregon":

"... MIST FALLS, 159.8 m., where the water drops from a 1,200 foot escarpment were thus mentioned by Lewis and Clark: "Down from these heights frequently descend the most beautiful cascades, one of which [now Multnomah Falls] throws itself over a perpendicular rock. . . . while other smaller streams precipitate themselves from a still greater elevation, and evaporating in mist, again collect and form a second cascade before they reach the bottom of the rocks." ..."


Image, 2006, Mist Falls, Benson State Recreation Area, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mist at Mist Falls. View from Benson State Recreation Area, Oregon. Image taken April 22, 2006.


Mist Falls, etc.

  • Frozen ...
  • Multnomah Lodge ...
  • View from Washington State ...


Frozen ...
A cold snap and freezing weather makes for great views of frozen creeks and frozen waterfalls up and down the Columbia River Gorge.

Image, 2007, Mist Falls, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Frozen Mist Falls as seen from Benson State Recreation Area. Image taken January 15, 2007.
Image, 2007, Mist Falls, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Frozen Mist Falls as seen from Benson State Recreation Area. Image taken January 15, 2007.


Multnomah Lodge ("Mist Lodge") ...
Multnomah Lodge, also known as "Mist Lodge", was built in 1916 at the base of Mist Falls. It burned down in 1929. The fireplace and chimney, along with a Columbia River Highway drain cap, are still visible today.
[More]

Advertisement, Chanticleer Inn, 1919
Click image to enlarge
Multnomah Lodge, ILLUSTRATION, "Official Columbia Highway Tour", 1916.
Source: "Official Columbia Highway Tour", 1916, published by Scenic Tours Company, Portland, Oregon.
Image, 2013, Multnomah Lodge, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fireplace and chimney remains, Multnomah Lodge, Mist Falls, Oregon. Multnomah Lodge burned in 1929. The Historic Columbia River Highway is in the foreground. Image taken February 19, 2013.
Image, 2013, Multnomah Lodge, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fireplace and chimney remains, Multnomah Lodge, Mist Falls, Oregon. Multnomah Lodge burned in 1929. Image taken February 19, 2013.
Image, 2013, Multnomah Lodge, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Historic Columbia River Highway drain cover, Multnomah Lodge, Mist Falls, Oregon. Multnomah Lodge burned in 1929. Image taken February 19, 2013.


View from Washington State ...

Image, 2005, Mist Falls, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Upper Mist Falls, Oregon, as seen from Prindle, Washington. Interstate 84 is visible at the base of the falls. Image taken April 2, 2005.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 2, 1805 ...
Examined the rapid below us [from their camp at Fort Rains, looking at the Cascade Rapids] more pertcelarly the danger appearing too great to Hazzard our Canoes loaded, dispatched all the men who could not Swim with loads to the end of the portage below, I also walked to the end of the portage with the carriers where I delayed untill everry articles was brought over and canoes arrived Safe. here we brackfast and took a Meridn. altitude 59 45' 45" about the time we were Setting out 7 Squars came over loaded with Dried fish, and bear grass neetly bundled up, Soon after 4 Indian men came down over the rapid in a large canoe.     passed a rapid at 2 miles & 1 at 4 miles opposite the lower point of a high Island on the Lard Side [Bradford Island], and a little below 4 Houses on the Stard. Bank, a Small Creek on the Lard Side [Tanner Creek] opposit Straw berry Island [Hamilton Island], which heads below the last rapid, opposit the lower point of this Island [Hamilton Island] passed three Islands covered with tall timber [today there are two, Ives and Pierce] opposit the Beatin rock [Beacon Rock]    Those Islands are nearest the Starboard Side, imediately below on the Stard. Side passed a village of nine houses [indentified on Atlas map#79 as the "Wah-clallah Tribe of Shahala Nation", location near today's Skamania and Skamania Landing], which is Situated between 2 Small Creeks [Woodard Creek and Duncan Creek], and are of the Same construction of those above; here the river widens to near a mile, and the bottoms are more extensive and thickly timbered, as also the high mountains on each Side, with Pine, Spruce pine, Cotton wood, a Species of ash, and alder.     at 17 miles passed a rock near the middle of the river [Phoca Rock], about 100 feet high and 80 feet Diamuter,     proceed on down a Smoth gentle Stream of about 2 miles wide, in which the tide has its effect as high as the Beaten rock [Beacon Rock] or the Last rapids at Strawberry Island [Hamilton Island],- Saw great numbers of waterfowl of Different kinds, Such as Swan, Geese, white & grey brants, ducks of various kinds, Guls, & Pleaver [today just below Beacon Rock is Franz National Wildlife Refuge]. ...     we encamped under a high projecting rock on the Lard. Side [Rooster Rock, with Crown Point rising above it],     here the mountains leave the river on each Side [leaving the Columbia River Gorge, Steigerwald Land NWR is on the north and the Sandy River delta is on the south], which from the great Shute to this place is high and rugid [Columbia River Gorge]; thickly Covered with timber principalley of the Pine Species. The bottoms below appear extensive and thickly Covered with wood.     river here about 2 miles wide.     Seven Indians in a Canoe on their way down to trade with the nativs below, encamp with us, those we left at the portage passed us this evening and proceeded on down The ebb tide rose here about 9 Inches, the flood tide must rise here much higher- we made 29 miles to day from the Great Shute [Cascade Locks]-





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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:    Mershon, C.E., 2001, "East of the Sandy, The Columbia River Highway", Guardian Peaks, Inc., Portland;    Mershon, C.E., 2006, "The Columbia River Highway", Guardian Peaks Enterprises, Portland;    Oregon State Archives website, 2005;    Riddell, H.H., 1916, "The Lesser Waterfalls Along the Columbia", IN: Mazama, vol.5.;    University of Oregon Libraries Columbia River Basin Digital Collection, 2013, "Official Columbia Highway Tour", 1916, Published by The Scenic Tours Company, Portland, Oregon;    Waterfalls of the Pacific Northwest website, 2005;    Western Waters Digital Library, 2014; "Official Columbia Highway Tour", 1916, Scenic Tours Company, Portland, Oregon;   

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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September 2016