Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Eagle Creek, Oregon"
Includes ... Eagle Creek ... Eagle Creek Bridge ... Eagle Creek Camping Grounds ... Wahtum Lake ... Chinidere Mountain ... Metlako Falls ... Punch Bowl Falls ... Cascade Fish Hatchery ... Eagle Creek Overlook ...
Image, 2006, Eagle Creek Bridge, click to enlarge
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Eagle Creek Bridge, Oregon. Upstream side. Image taken September 16, 2006.


Eagle Creek ...
Eagle Creek is located on the Oregon side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 146.5, at the upstream end of the Bonneville Dam. Downstream is Wauna Point and Tanner Creek. Upstream is Ruckel Creek. The Cascade Fish Hatchery is located on the right bank of Eagle Creek, near it's mouth. Eagle Creek was the location of the first U.S. Forest Service Campground, established in 1916. Today Eagle Creek is one of the most popular hikes in the Columbia Gorge.

Eagle Creek Drainage ...
According to the Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program's website (2014), there are nineteen small rivers and creeks entering the Columbia River between the Bonneville Dam and Hood River, with the three largest drainages being Eagle Creek, Phelps Creek, and Herman Creek. The 12.0-mile-long Eagle Creek is a perennial stream and the 2.9-mile-long East Fork Eagle Creek is intermittent and heads at Wahtum Lake.

Penny Postcard, Eagle Creek, Oregon
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Penny Postcard: Columbia River Highway, looking west from Eagle Creek, Oregon.
Penny Postcard, White Border, Divided Back, "Columbia River Highway, Looking West From Eagle Creek". Copyright Weister Co. Lipschuetz & Katz, Portland, Oregon. Card #318. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Caption on back: "On the Highway Looking West from Eagle Creek. This is another magnificent view from the highway, looking west from Eagle Creek at Tooth Mountain and showing Bridge of the Gods in the distance. Richmond Pearson Hobson says -- 'Other cities may have their industries and institutions. Only one city can have a Columbia River Highway. It will make Portland famous.'"
Image, 2013, Bonneville Dam, on the Columbia River, click to enlarge
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Bonneville Dam as seen from Hamilton Island, with Ruckel Creek drainage (behind left), un-named peak, and Eagle Creek drainage (behind right). Bonneville Dam as seen from Hamilton Island, accessed from Washington State Highway 14. Image taken February 19, 2013.


Eagle Creek Fire, 2017 ...
[More]

Image, 2017, Eagle Creek Fire, click to enlarge
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Eagle Creek fire, as seen from Bonneville Dam, Washington. Image taken September 5, 2017.
Image, 2017, Eagle Creek Fire, click to enlarge
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Eagle Creek fire, as seen from Bonneville Dam, Washington. Image taken September 5, 2017.
Image, 2017, Interstate 84 at Toothrock Tunnel, click to enlarge
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Cascade Fish Hatchery and the Eagle Creek drainage, from Interstate 84, Oregon. View from moving car heading east. Image taken September 25, 2017.


Views ...

Image, 2015, Eagle Creek, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Eagle Creek Bridge, Eagle Creek, Oregon. Image taken March 30, 2015.
Image, 2005, Eagle Creek Bridge, click to enlarge
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Eagle Creek Bridge, Oregon. Downstream side. Image taken June 29, 2005.
Image, 2006, Eagle Creek, click to enlarge
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Eagle Creek, looking upsream. Image taken September 16, 2006.


Eagle Creek, etc.

  • Bonneville Dam ...
  • Cascade Fish Hatchery ...
  • Eagle Creek Campground and Picnic Area ...
  • Eagle Creek Camping Grounds ...
  • Eagle Creek Overlook ...
  • Eagle Creek Overlook Shelter ...
  • Eagle Creek Staircase ...
  • Historic Columbia River Highway ...
  • Historic Columbia River Highway Bridge ...
  • Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail ...
  • Metlako Falls and Punch Bowl Falls ...
  • Wahtum Lake and Chinidere Mountain ...


Bonneville Dam ...
[More Bonneville Dam]
[More Bridge of the Gods]

Penny Postcard, Eagle Creek, Oregon
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Penny Postcard: View, Eagle Creek, Oregon.
Penny Postcard, Real Photo, Divided Back, "'View From Eagle Creek Pass', Bridge of the Gods from Columbia River Highway, Ore.". Copyright Cross & Dimmitt. Card #281. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.


Cascade Fish Hatchery ...
The Cascade Fish Hatchery located on 3.8 acres on the right bank of Eagle Creek. It was built in 1959 as part of the Mitchell Act. The hatchery uses the waters of Eagle Creek for egg incubation and the rearing of Coho Salmon. The location of the Cascade Fish Hatchery was once the location of a privately-owned campground with cabins, garages, and a two-story lodge located along what today is known as the Historic Columbia River Highway.

Eagle Creek Recreation Area:

"In 1915, the Oregon National Forest (by 1924 the Mount Hood National Forest) established the first improved forest campground in the United States near Eagle Creek, south and east of the CRH, as the Eagle Creek Forest Camp. It included day-use picnic facilities, good water, and sanitary conveniences. By the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) had greatly enlarged the Eagle Creek Campground, constructing several major buildings. From 1915 to 1937, a privately owned campground northeast of the bridge rented cabins with attached garages. A two-story lodge offered home cooking, fishing supplies, and groceries. The Cascade Salmon Hatchery was constructed on this site in the 1950s. A suspension bridge constructed over Eagle Creek in 1936 to provide access to the Eagle Creek Trail was destroyed in a winter storm in 1996."


Source:    National Historic Landmark Nomination Form, 1996.


[More]

Image, 2006, Cascade Fish Hatchery from Eagle Creek Bridge, click to enlarge
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Cascade Fish Hatchery from Eagle Creek Bridge, Oregon. Image taken September 16, 2006.
Image, 2006, Cascade Fish Hatchery and the Eagle Creek Bridge, click to enlarge
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Cascade Fish Hatchery and the Eagle Creek Bridge, Oregon. Image taken September 16, 2006.


Eagle Creek Campground and Picnic Area ...
Eagle Creek Campground and Picnic Area:

"The idea for the Eagle Creek Campground originated with Mount Hood Forest Supervisor Thomas H. Sherrard in 1914, and within a year the campground opened as the first "auto camp" in the northwest region. The present picnic area at Eagle Creek is separated from the camping area and was built entirely by the CCC in 1936. An extension to the picnic area was built in 1937 and included picnic spots and cooking stoves as well as additional parking. The CCC ovens in this area are in better condition than more recently built cement stoves.

The main Eagle Creek Campground and Picnic Area is a large recreation area that includes campsites on both sides of the Columbia River Highway. It is possibly the most elaborate and best preserved of the CCC-built recreation areas in the Mount Hood Forest. Structures still existing at Eagle Creek include two restrooms, a picnic shelter, an overlook building with a community kitchen, register booth, a suspension footbridge, and a garage. There are also drinking fountains, campfire pits, retaining walls, combination ovens/open fireplaces, campsites, and picnic areas."


Source:    Otis, et.al., 1986, "The Forest Service and The Civilian Conservation Corps: 1933-42, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, FS-395, August 1986, Chapter 14, Mount Hood National Forest;



Eagle Creek Camping Grounds ...
The "Eagle Creek Camp and Picnic Ground" opened in July 1916 and was the first official U.S. Forest Service "developed campground" within the United States, having tables, flush toilets, a check-in station, and ranger station. The campground was located at what was then the end of the Columbia River Highway, and was popular with residents of Portland who now had the new fangled "automobile". The Eagle Creek Camping Grounds were developed in cooperation with the Portland Chamber of Commerce and Progressive Businessmen’s Club of Portland. At the same time the U.S. Forest Service built the scenic 13.5-mile Eagle Creek Trail, a trail designed specifically for recreation use. Between 1933 and 1942 the Eagle Creek Camping Grounds were further developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The Eagle Creek Campground was also the first campground to have a Forest Ranger on site. Albert Wiesendanger and his wife lived in a tent during the camping season, and he was reassigned to the Forest Service's Regional Office’s sign shop in Portland during the winter.

Penny Postcard, Eagle Creek, Oregon
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Penny Postcard: Camping Grounds, Eagle Creek, Oregon.
Penny Postcard, White Border, Divided Back, "Eagle Creek Camping Grounds on the Columbia River Highway, Ore.". Published by The Oregon News Co., Portland, Oregon. Card #91. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Caption on back: "Eagle Creek Camping Grounds on the Columbia River Highway -- At this point the government has made a beautiful camping grounds, for the use of tourists and picnickers. The trail up Eagle Creek Canyon from this point is one of the most beautiful and picturesque in the State."
Penny Postcard, Eagle Creek, Oregon
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Penny Postcard: Hiking Eagle Creek Canyon, Oregon.
Penny Postcard, White Border, Divided Back, "Hitting the Trail up Eagle Creek Canyon from Columbia River Highway, Ore.". Published by The Oregon News Co., Portland, Oregon. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Caption on back: "During the summer season, thousands of sightseers go to Eagle Creek. 42 miles from Portland on the Columbia River Highway. The government Forest Reserve at this point has made a beautiful camping grounds, furnishing all the requirements necessary for campers in the way of tables, stoves, water, wood, etc. The trail up the Canyon is one of the most picturesque and beautiful walks for about 2 1/2 miles, to be found anywhere on the Highway and is used by thousands of people during the season."


Eagle Creek Overlook ...
The Eagle Creek Overlook was built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) in 1937 to accommodate sightseers watching the construction of the Bonneville Dam. Good views can be had of Interstate 84, the Bonneville Dam, Beacon Rock, and Bradford Island.

Image, 2015, Historic Columbia River Highway, click to enlarge
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Eagle Creek Overlook, Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon. Image taken October 22, 2015.
Image, 2015, Eagle Creek Overlook, click to enlarge
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Eagle Creek Overlook, Eagle Creek, Oregon. The Bonneville Dam and Beacon Rock can be seen in the background. Image taken March 30, 2015.
Image, 2008, Eagle Creek Overlook, click to enlarge
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Eagle Creek Overlook, Eagle Creek, Oregon. The Bonneville Dam and Beacon Rock can be seen in the background. Image taken August 23, 2008.
Image, 2008, View from the mouth of Eagle Creek, click to enlarge
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View from the mouth of Eagle Creek, Oregon. Beacon Rock is in the distance in the background. Image taken August 23, 2008.
Image, 2008, Bradford Island, click to enlarge
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Bradford Island, with paddleboat, as seen from the Eagle Creek Overlook. Image taken August 23, 2008.


Eagle Creek Overlook Shelter ...
Eagle Creek Overlook Shelter:

"The Eagle Creek Overlook Shelter was built in 1937 and has continued to function as a community kitchen and picnic shelter. It is located on the north side of the Overlook Picnic Area at a point south of the Loop Road and overlooks the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. The overlook building and picnic area were developed to accommodate large numbers of viewers interested in watching the dam's construction. The bluff chosen for the shelter gave them a perfect vantage point to view the dam and the river. The campground and picnic areas offered facilities for extended sightseeing."


Source:    Otis, et.al., 1986, "The Forest Service and The Civilian Conservation Corps: 1933-42, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, FS-395, August 1986, Chapter 14, Mount Hood National Forest;



Eagle Creek Overlook Shelter:

"The overlook park is located on a bluff north of the Eagle Creek Campground and Picnic Area, between the Bonneville Dam Pool and the westbound lanes of Interstate 84. The facility was developed in 1937 by the ivilian Conservation Corps to handle the increased number of sightseers who were attracted to the Eagle Creek Recreation Area or wished to view the construction of Bonneville Dam (1933-37), the first federal dam on the Columbia River. ...   A stone retaining wall runs along the north perimeter of the park, and a "rustic system" community kitchen and restroom building overlooks the river. The overlook park contains a short extant portion of the old Columbia River Highway." [National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, 1983]

"This building includes an enclosed dining room, with fireplace, and restrooms." [National Historic Landmark Nomination Form, 1996]


Image, 2015, Eagle Creek Overlook, click to enlarge
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Picnic area gate, Eagle Creek Overlook, Eagle Creek, Oregon. Image taken March 30, 2015.
Image, 2009, Eagle Creek Overlook, click to enlarge
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Eagle Creek Overlook Shelter, Eagle Creek, Oregon. Image taken June 3, 2009.
Image, 2009, Eagle Creek Overlook, click to enlarge
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Eagle Creek Overlook Shelter, Eagle Creek, Oregon. Image taken June 3, 2009.
Image, 2009, Eagle Creek Overlook, click to enlarge
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View of Bonneville Dam, Eagle Creek Overlook Shelter, Eagle Creek, Oregon. Image taken June 3, 2009.


Eagle Creek Staircase ...
"When the old Historic Columbia River Highway was reopened as a trail in 1996, some of it was just missing. Trail builders used a variety of techniques to connect the sections. Here, east of Tooth Rock, a large section of the road and the rock beneath it was blasted away to provide an approach to the new Tooth Rock Tunnel in 1937. The new highway surface is about 40 feet lower than the old. Trail builders had to resort to a staircase to link to two section together. Bicyclists will need to get off and walk, but a guideway has been provided beside the stairway to facilitate pushing bikes.

A few feet east of the stop sign at the top of the staircase is a hidden junction with another historic trail. This trail follows an ancient portage road westward over the ridge behind Tooth Rock. It's quite overgrown in places but very easy to follow. It connects with the Historical Columbia River Highway Trail near the Tooth Rock Trailhead. "

Source:    "PortlandHikers.org" website, 2014, Eagle Creek Staircase.


Image, 2014, Eagle Creek exit from Interstate 84, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Eagle Creek exit from Interstate 84, Oregon. Image taken April 13, 2014.
Image, 2014, Eagle Creek Staircase, click to enlarge
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Eagle Creek Staircase, Historical Columbia River Highway State Trail, Eagle Creek, Oregon. Image taken from moving car on Interstate 84. Image taken June 9, 2014.
Image, 2014, Eagle Creek Staircase, click to enlarge
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Eagle Creek Staircase, Historical Columbia River Highway State Trail, Eagle Creek, Oregon. Image taken June 5, 2014.

Note bike railing on the left.


Historic Columbia River Highway ...
The Eagle Creek Bridge was once part of the Historic Columbia River Highway (HCRH). Today the bridge, along with the Toothrock Tunnel located just downstream, is one of the few places of the HCRH being used by Interstate 84. The Eagle Creek Bridge part of the off-ramp from Interstate 84 heading east to the Cascade Fish Hatchery, Eagle Creek Campground, and various trailheads. The concrete-arch bridge is faced with stone and was the only HRCH bridge to be built that way. A nice addition for weary early travelers is a "sitting area" built into the downstream side of the bridge.

[More Historic Columbia River Highway]
[More HCRH Route]

Penny Postcard, Eagle Creek, Oregon
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Penny Postcard: Historic Columbia River Highway Bridge, Eagle Creek, Oregon.
Penny Postcard, Real Photo, Divided Back, ""Eagle Creek Bridge", Columbia River Highway, Ore.". Copyright Cross & Dimmitt. Card #395. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Eagle Creek, Oregon
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Penny Postcard: Historic Columbia River Highway Bridge, Eagle Creek, Oregon.
Penny Postcard, White Border, Divided Back (1915-1930), "Eagle Creek Bridge, Columbia River Highway, Oregon". Published by Wesley Andrews, Inc., Portland, Oregon. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Caption on back: "Bridge Across Eagle Creek. Over 60 feet in length, of Italian dry cement construction, with a wonderfully graceful arch through which dashes pell-mell the riotous cold, clear waters of Eagle Creek. This is one of the most beautiful of all the bridges on the Columbia River Highway."
Penny Postcard, Eagle Creek, Oregon
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Penny Postcard: Historic Columbia River Highway Bridge, Eagle Creek, Oregon.
Penny Postcard, White Border, Divided Back (1915-1930), "Eagle Creek and Highway Bridge, Columbia River Highway, Oregon.". Postmarked September 1923. Lipschuetz & Katz. Card #338. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Caption on back: "Bridge Across Eagle Creek. Over 60 feet in length, of Italian dry cement construction, with a wonderfully graceful arch through which dashes pell-mell the riotous cold, clear waters of Eagle Creek. This is one of the most beautiful of all the bridges on the Columbia River Highway."
Penny Postcard, Eagle Creek, Oregon
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Penny Postcard: Historic Columbia River Highway Bridge, Eagle Creek, Oregon.
Penny Postcard, White Border, Divided Back (1915-1930), "Bridge Across Eagle Creek, Columbia River Highway, Oregon.". Postmarked September 1923. Chas. S. Lipschuetz Company, Portland, Oregon. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Caption on back: "The bridge across Eagle Creek, seen from below, shows one of the many engineering feats accomplished when the Columbia River Highway was built, and renders a motor trip from Portland to the heart of the Cascades one that ravishes the soul with scenes of wonderful beauty. Eagle Creek Bridge will afford pleasure to those who love the beautiful."
Penny Postcard, Eagle Creek, Oregon
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Penny Postcard: Historic Columbia River Highway Bridge, Eagle Creek, Oregon.
Penny Postcard, White Border, Divided Back (1915-1930), "The Driveway at Eagle Creek Bridge, Columbia River Highway Near Portland, Oregon.". Postmarked July 1918. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Caption on back: "The view at this point shws very clearly the wonderful construction work made necessary in building this beautiful drive."

Image, 2006, Eagle Creek Bridge, click to enlarge
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Eagle Creek Bridge, Oregon. Upstream side. Image taken September 16, 2006.
Image, 2006, Historic Columbia River Highway, Eagle Creek, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Historic Columbia River Highway, Eagle Creek, Oregon. Looking west. Image taken September 16, 2006.
Image, 2006, Eagle Creek Bridge, click to enlarge
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Towards sitting area, Eagle Creek Bridge, Oregon. Downstream side. Image taken September 16, 2006.
Image, 2006, Eagle Creek Bridge, click to enlarge
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Sitting area, Eagle Creek Bridge, Oregon. Image taken September 16, 2006.
Image, 2006, Eagle Creek Bridge, click to enlarge
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Sitting area, Eagle Creek Bridge, Oregon. Image taken September 16, 2006.
Image, 2006, Eagle Creek Bridge, click to enlarge
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Bench, Eagle Creek Bridge, Oregon. Image taken September 16, 2006.


Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail ...
[More]


Metlako Falls and Punch Bowl Falls ...
Metlako Falls plunges over 80 feet and is located approximately 1.8 miles upstream along Eagle Creek. Less than 1/3 mile further is popular 36-foot high Punch Bowl Falls.

"... On Eagle creek are the Metlako falls, so called from the mythological Goddess of Salmon, and above are yet other falls unnamed and but seldom seen. The rushing torrent of the Eagle from its birthplace in Wahtum lake on the southern slopes of Chinidere is a succession of falls, cascades and cataracts. ... "


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

Penny Postcard, Eagle Creek, Oregon
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Penny Postcard: Punch Bowl Falls, Eagle Creek, Oregon.
Penny Postcard, White Border, Divided Back, "Punch Bowl of Eagle Creek near Columbia River Highway, Oregon". Published by The Oregon News Co., Portland, Oregon. Card #128. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.


Wahtum Lake and Chinidere Mountain ...
Eagle Creek begins in Wahtum Lake which sits within a glacial cirque on the shoulder of Chinidere Mountain. The 60-acre lake is a shallow lake being only 160 feet deep. Chinidere Mountain, once the location of a fire lookout, was named for a tribal leader of the Wasco Tribe.


"The Golden Age of Postcards" ...

The early 1900s was the "Golden Age of Postcards". The "Penny Postcard" became a popular way to send greetings to friends and family. Today the Penny Postcard has become an snapshot of history.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, April 10, 1806 ...




Columbia River GorgeReturn to
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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:
  • Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program (2014), "NWCouncil.org" website, 2017, Lower Oregon Columbia Gorge Tributaries Watershed Assessment;
  • McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press;
  • Oregon Department Fish and Wildlife website, 2006;
  • "OregonHikers.org" website, 2014, 2017;
  • Otis, et.al., 1986, "The Forest Service and The Civilian Conservation Corps: 1933-42, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, FS-395, August 1986, Chapter 14, Mount Hood National Forest;
  • Riddell, H.H., 1916, "The Lesser Waterfalls Along the Columbia, IN: Mazama, vol.5, 1916;
  • U.S. Forest Service website, 2006;


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 2017