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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Yeon Mountain, Katanai Rock, St. Peters Dome, and Rock of Ages, Oregon"
Includes ... Yeon Mountain ... Katanai Rock ... St. Peters Dome ... Rock of Ages ... "Katant Rock" ... "Leaven's Creek" ... "Leavens Slough" ... "Cathedral Rock" ... "Cathedral Point" ...
Image, 2005, Yeon Mountain, St. Peters Dome, and Rock of Ages, from Skamania Landing, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Yeon Mountain, Katanai Rock, St. Peters Dome, and Rock of Ages, Oregon, from Skamania Landing, Washington. Image taken June 29, 2005.


Yeon Mountain ... Katanai Rock ... St. Peters Dome ... Rock of Ages ...
Yeon Mountain, Katanai Rock, St. Peters Dome, and Rock of Ages are all located on the Oregon side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 140. At their base lies the small community of Dodson. On the Washington side of the Columbia lie Franz Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Skamania Landing.

Yeon Mountain was named for John Baptiste Yeon who came to Oregon in 1885. John Baptiste Yeon was a "rags to riches" story, beginning his Oregon career as a logger, and ending it as a prominant Portland citizen. He was among those who promoted the Historic Columbia River Highway. The John B. Yeon State Park, east of Yeon Mountain, was also named to honor him.

Originally rounded Yeon Mountain was called "St. Peters Dome", with the tall basalt feature to the west being called "Cathedral Rock". Today's the name "St. Peters Dome" has been applied to this tall basalt feature. It was first climbed in 1940 when a party of six reached its summit. To the west of Yeon Mountain and St. Peters Dome is another basalt feature called "Rock of Ages".



Yeon Mountain ...
Yeon Mountain was named for John Baptiste Yeon who came to Oregon in 1885. John Baptiste Yeon was a "rags to riches" story, beginning his Oregon career as a logger, and ending it as a prominant Portland citizen. He was among those who promoted the Historic Columbia River Highway. The John B. Yeon State Park, east of Yeon Mountain, was also named to honor him.

Originally rounded Yeon Mountain was called "St. Peters Dome", with the tall basalt feature to the west being called "Cathedral Rock". Today's the name "St. Peters Dome" has been applied to this tall basalt feature.



Katanai Rock and "Leaven's Creek" ...
In 1915 a joint committee from the Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Geographic Board, and the Mazamas, at the request of the United Highway Commission, suggested new names and renaming of places along the newly completed Columbia River Highway. This list was submitted to the United States Geographic Board for the final approval. "Katant Rock" was suggested for today's "Katanai Rock".

"... The committee recommends that the high mountain between Tumalt Creek and St. Peter's Dome be called Yeon Mountain, for the very obvious reason that Mr. Yeon has given so much time and money in the construction of the highway and should have his name attached to some prominent feature. The spire directly across Leveens Creek from St. Peter's Dome has been named Katant Rock, from an Indian word meaning "Place of rocks. ..." ... ["Morning Oregonian", April 1, 1915]

"Leveens Creek" today is an un-named creek (according to the U.S. Board of Geographic Names) which drains the "gully" between St. Peter's Dome on the west and Yeon Mountain on the east. It is approximately 1.5 miles in length. Robert A. Habersham's 1889 Multnomah County map shows this creek with it's mouth named "Leavens Slough". According to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office Records (GLO) database (2014), on October 1, 1869 Hiram A. Leavens was given title to 149.84 acres of T1N R6E, parts of Sections 2 and 3, and T2N R6E, parts of sections 34 and 35 (1862 Homestead EntryOriginal).



St. Peter's Dome ...
St. Peter's Dome is a basalt spire west of Yeon Mountain and, at one time, was referred to as "Cathedral Rock" or "Cathedral Point".

According to "Oregon Geographic Names" (McArthur and McArthur, 2003), St. Peter's Dome use to be called "Cathedral Rock".

"... This basalt monolith in the Columbia Gorge near Dodson was a conspicuous challenge to the mountain-climbing fraternity for many years. In 1940, it was first climbed by Joe Leuthold and five others, including a woman, Ida Darr. In early days, this was called Cathedral Rock and the name Saint Peters Dome described the higher summit to the south now called Yeon Mountain. ..."

St. Peters Dome in 1940 ...
From the Oregon State Archives "A 1940 Journey Across Oregon":

"... HORSETAIL FALLS, 156.6 m., forming the design that gives it name, shoot downward across the face of the sheer rock wall into an excellent fishing pool. Spray from the pool continually drifts across the highway. East of the falls towers ST. PETERS DOME, a 2,000-foot basalt pinnacle. ..."



Rock of Ages ...
(to come)

Views ...
On the Washington State side, good views of Yeon Mountain, Katanai Rock, St. Peters Dome, and Rock of Ages can be had from Skamania Landing. On the Oregon side, good views of can be had from the roads around Dodson. Nice views from the west can be seen from the area around Oneonta on the Historic Columbia River Highway.

Views from Skamania Landing, Washington ...

Image, 2005, Yeon Mountain from Skamania Landing, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Yeon Mountain and Katanai Rock, Oregon, as seen from Skamania Landing, Washington. Image taken June 29, 2005.
Image, 2005, Yeon Mountain from Skamania Landing, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Columbia Gorge view from Skamania Landing, Washington. Yeon Mountain is prominent on the middle skyline with Katanai Rock at its lower base and St. Peter's Dome to the right. Image taken June 29, 2005.
Image, 2015, Yeon Mountain from Skamania Landing, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Yeon Mountain from Skamania Landing boat ramp, Washington. Image taken December 31, 2015.


Views from near Dodson ...

Image, 2004, Yeon Mountain, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Yeon Mountain and Katanai Rock, Oregon. View from off of Interstate 84 from near Dodson, Oregon. Yeon Mountain was at one time called "St. Peter's Dome". Image taken June 27, 2004.
Image, 2004, St. Peters Dome and Rock of Ages, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
St. Peters Dome (left) and Rock of Ages (right), Oregon. View from off of Interstate 84 from near Dodson, Oregon. Image taken June 27, 2004.


Views from Oneonta ...

Image, 2006, Yeon Mountains and St. Peters Dome from Oneonta, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Flanks of Yeon Mountain with Katanai Rock, with St. Peters Dome on the right. View from Oneonta along the Historical Columbia River Highway. Image taken September 23, 2006.
Image, 2006, St. Peters Dome from Oneonta, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
St. Peters Dome as seen from Oneonta. View along the Historical Columbia River Highway. Image taken September 23, 2006.
Image, 2006, Spire west of St. Peters Dome from Oneonta, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Rock of Ages spire west of St. Peters Dome as seen from Oneonta. View along the Historical Columbia River Highway. Image taken September 23, 2006.


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:    Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2014;    McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2004, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland;    Oregon State Archives website, 2005;    U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office Records (GLO) database, 2014;   

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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September 2010