Link to USGS home page.
USGS HOME
Contact USGS

  • Assess
  • Prepare
  • Forecast
  • |
  • Activity
  • Products
  • Observatories
  • About

The Volcanoes of
Lewis and Clark
April 4 - 5, 1806
Back on the Columbia - The Willamette Valley
 
Home
The Volcanoes of Lewis and Clark

Map of the Journey
Volcanoes, Basalt Plateaus, Major Rivers, etc.

The Volcanoes
Mount Adams, Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Mount Rainier, and Mount St. Helens

CALENDAR of the Journey
October 1805 to June 1806

Along the Journey
Pacific Northwest Maps - Columbia River, Volcanoes, Flood Basalts, Missoula Floods, Geology, etc.

The Corps of Discovery
The Journey of Lewis and Clark

About the Reference Materials
The Journals, Biddle/Allen, DeVoto, Gass, Moulton, Topo Maps, and others

USGS Lewis and Clark Links
Links to USGS Websites highlighting the Lewis and Clark Journey

Resources
Publications Referenced and Websites Visited


PREVIOUS

April 3
Five Volcanoes and a Side-Trip Up the Willamette
April 4-5

Back on the Columbia,
The Willamette Valley

Cottonwood Beach, Sauvie Island, Willamette River, Multnomah Channel, Puget Trough and Willamette Valley and Boring Lava Field, Willamette Falls and Oregon City
CONTINUE

April 6-8
Columbia River Gorge, Cottonwood Beach Camp to Shepperd's Dell
 

On October 7, 1805, Lewis and Clark and the "Corps of Discovery" began their journey down the Clearwater River and into the volcanics of the Pacific Northwest. The Corps travelled from the Clearwater to the Snake and down the "Great Columbia", finally reaching the Pacific Ocean on November 15, 1805. Along the journey they encountered the lava flows of the Columbia Plateau, river channels carved by the great "Missoula Floods", and the awesome beauty of five Cascade Range volcanoes.

Map, Lewis and Clark in the Pacific Northwest, click for brief
                         summary
[Click map for brief summary about the area]


 
Heading for Home - April 1806
Back on the Columbia - The Willamette Valley
 

Between March 31 and April 5, 1806 Lewis and Clark camped near present day Cottonwood Beach, just upstream of Washougal, Washington.

Friday, April 4, 1806
The hunters were still out in every direction. Those from the opposite side of the river returned with the flesh of a bear and some venison, but the flesh of six deer and an elk which they had killed was so meagre and unfit for use, that they had left it in the woods. Two other deer were brought in, but as the game seemed poor, we despatched a large party to some low grounds on the south, six miles above us, to hunt there until our arrival. As usual many of the Indians came to our camp, some descending the rivers with their families, and others from below with no object except to gratify their curiosity.


Along the Journey - April 4, 1806
Cottonwood Beach, 2003

Cottonwood Beach:
Between March 31 and April 5, 1806 the Corps of Discovery camped near present day Cottonwood Beach in Washougal. From this campsite, William Clark also led a group of men back down the Columbia to discover the Willamette River, which they had missed on both their outward and return voyages. Presently, the cities of Washougal and Camas, Port of Camas/Washougal, and the Clark County Parks Department, are collaborating on creating a regional park at this location and it has been named Capt. William Clark Park at Cottonwood Beach. -- City of Washougal, Washington, Website, 2002


Map, 1948, Reed Island, Steigerwald Lake, Cottonwood Point, and Point Vancouver, click to enlarge Map, 1948, Reed Island, Steigerwald Lake, Cottonwood Point, and Point Vancouver, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1992, Columbia River and the Sandy River area, click to enlarge Image, 2003, Cottonwood Beach
  1. 1948 Map, Columbia River with Reed Island, Steigerwald Lake, Cottonwood Point, and Point Vancouver. (Click to enlarge). Cottonwood Beach is downstream (left) of Cottonwood Point. Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Vancouver to Bonneville, 1948, Chart#6156, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  2. 1985 Map (section of original), Reed Island, Steigerwald Lake, Cottonwood Point, and Point Vancouver. (Click to enlarge). Cottonwood Beach is downstream (left) of Cottonwood Point. Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Vancouver to Bonneville, 1985, Chart#18531, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  3. 1992, NASA Image, Columbia River and the Sandy River area (section of original). (Click to enlarge). View from space - west-looking, low-oblique photograph, showing a section of the Columbia River with Government Island, Lady Island, Reed Island, Sandy River, Washougal River, Cottonwood Beach, and Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington, September 1992. The Columbia River is flowing from bottom (east) to top (west). NASA Earth from Space #STS047-096-066. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  4. 2003, Cottonwood Beach, near Washougal, Washington. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


The visit of captain Clarke to the Multnomahs, now enabled us to combine all that we had seen or learnt of the neighbouring countries and nations. Of these the most important spot is Wappatoo island [Sauvie Island], a large extent of country lying between the Multnomah [Willamette River], and an arm of the Columbia, which we have called Wappatoo inlet [Multnomah Channel], and separated from the main land by a sluice eighty yards wide which at the distance of seven miles up the Multnomah [Willamette River] connects that river with the inlet. The island [Sauvie Island] thus formed is about twenty miles long, and varies in breadth from five to ten miles: the land is high and extremely fertile, and on most parts is supplied with a heavy growth of cottonwood, ash, the large-leafed ash, and sweet willow, the black alder, common to the coast, having now disappeared. But the chief wealth of this island consists of the numerous ponds in the interior, abounding with the common arrowhead (sagittaria sagittifolia) to the root of which is attached a bulb growing beneath it in the mud. This bulb, to which the Indians give the name of wappatoo, is the great article of food, and almost the staple article of commerce on the Columbia. ......


Along the Journey - April 4, 1806
Sauvie Island pumpkin patch, 2003

Sauvie Island:
Sauvie Island contains approximately 24,000 acres of land and lakes, and had its origin in alluvial deposits from the Columbia and Willamette rivers as their velocities decreased by changes in direction and by lava extrusions located on the north end. The island is 16 miles long and 4.5 miles at the widest point. The Sauvie Island wildlife area includes 8,053 acres of deeded land and 3,490 acres of land leased from the Division of State Lands for wildlife management purposes. The island is bounded on the east by the Columbia River; on the south by the Willamette River and on the west by the Multnomah Channel. Across the river on the Washington side, Scappoose Bay provides fish and wildlife habitat. -- Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority Website, 2002, Oregon State Archives Website, 2002, and Washington State Historical Society Website, 2002


Map, 1814, Lewis and Clark on the Columbia, click to enlarge Map, 1854, Columbia River, Fort Vancouver area, click to enlarge Map, 1887, Sauvie Island vicinity, click to enlarge Map, 1988, Downstream end of Sauvie Island, Bachelor Island, Multnomah Channel, Lewis River, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1994, Columbia River, Deer Island to the Willamette River, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1994, Columbia River upstream of Vancouver, showing Sauvie Island, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1992, Columbia River with Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1992, Columbia River upstream of Vancouver, showing Sauvie Island, click to enlarge Image, 2003, Multnomah Channel and Sauvie Island Bridge Image, 2003, Sauvie Island
  1. 1814 Map, Lewis and Clark's map of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge.) Shows Sauvie Island ("Wappatoo I."). Map also includes three of the five volcanoes Lewis and Clark saw and commented on. While the journals mention the expedition seeing Mount Adams, it does not appear on their map. Mount Jefferson is to the south (bottom) and off the map. From the "Nicholas Biddle/Paul Allen" 1814 publication. Original Map: "A Map of Lewis and Clark's Track, Across the Western Portion of North America, From the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean". From: History of the expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clark : to the sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains and down the river Columbia to the Pacific Ocean : performed during the years 1804-5-6 : by order of the government of the United States / prepared for the press by Paul Allen. Philadelphia : Bradford and Insskeep, 1814. Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University #upbover maps37. -- Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library Website, 2004.
  2. 1853-54 Map, Columbia River, including the Fort Vancouver area (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Sauvie Island is depicted but not named. Includes Longview, Washington (Monticello), Coweeman River (Minter R.), Kalama River (Ca-la-ma R.), Lewis River (Cath-la-pootle R.), Willamette River, Fort Vancouver, Cape Horn, and "The Cascades". Vancouver Lake is depicted but not labeled. Original Map: "Rocky Mountains to Puget Sound : from explorations and surveys / made under the direction of the Hon. Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War by Isaac I. Stevens Governor of Washington Territory, 1853-4." Inset: (Supplementary sketch) Reconnaissance of the railroad route from Wallawalla to Seattle via Yak-e-mah River & Snoqualmie Pass. By A. W. Tinkham in January 1854. Drawn by J. R. P. Mechlin. 20 x 28 cm. Topographer, John Lambert, Published in Washington D.C., 1859, 1:1,200,000, Notes: From the U.S. War Department, Explorations and Surveys for a Railroad Route from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, Topographical Maps, to Illustrate the Various Reports, U.S. Library of Congress American Memories Reference "LC Railroad Maps #156". -- U.S. Library of Congress, American Memories Website, 2004
  3. 1887 Map (section of original), Columbia River and the Sauvie Island vicinity. (Click to enlarge). Bachelor Island, while not named on the map, is the island south (below) the Lewis River. Original Map: The Columbia River from Celilo to the mouth showing locations of the salmon fisheries, 1887. Scale ca. 1:375,000, Relief shown by hachures. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Office, G.P.O. 1888. University of Washington Archives #UW128. -- University of Washington Library Archives Website, 2002
  4. 1988 Map, Downstream end of Sauvie Island, Bachelor Island, Multnomah Channel, Lewis River (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Saint Helens to Vancouver, 1988, Chart#18524, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  5. 1994, NASA Image, Columbia River from Deer Island to the Willamette River (section of original). (Click to enlarge). View from space - north-northeast-looking, low-oblique photograph, showing a section of the Columbia River from Deer Island to the Willamette River, including the Lewis River, Sauvie Island, Bachelor Island, and the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, October 1994. The Columbia River is flowing from lower right to upper left in this image (southeast to northwest). Washington State is the upper right of the image and Oregon is to the bottom left. NASA Earth from Space #STS068-262-025. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  6. 1994, NASA Image, Columbia River and Sauvie Island (section of original). (Click to enlarge). View from space - north-northeast-looking, low-oblique photograph, showing a section of the Columbia River and Sauvie Island, Oregon, October 1994. NASA Earth from Space #STS068-262-025. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  7. 1992, NASA Image, Columbia River, Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington (section of original). (Click to enlarge). View from space - west-looking, low-oblique photograph, showing a section of the Columbia River with Government Island, the Sandy River, Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, September 1992. The Columbia River is flowing from bottom (east) to top (west). NASA Earth from Space #STS047-096-066. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  8. 1992, NASA Image, Columbia River upstream of Vancouver, Washington, showing Bachelor Island and the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge (section of original). (Click to enlarge). View from space - west-looking, low-oblique photograph, showing a section of the Columbia River upstream of Vancouver, Washington, September 1992. Bachelor Island is on the right side of the image, just barely discernible as an island (light colored yellowish area). Bachelor Island Slough separates Bachelor Island from the mainland. The area next to the Columbia on the right and the left side of Bachelor Island is part of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. The upper half of the image is Sauvie Island, with the Willamette River on it's left, the Columbia River on the bottom, and the Multnomah Channel on the upper side. NASA Earth from Space #STS047-096-066. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  9. 2003, Multnomah Channel and Sauvie Island Bridge, taken from Oregon Highway 30. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.
  10. 2003, Sauvie Island pumpkin patch. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


Mouth of the Willamette River, 2003

Willamette River:
Most of Oregon's population, technology and agricultural centers, and important transportion, power, and communications lifelines are located in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon. The lowlands of the Willamette Valley extend approximately 75 miles along the Willamette River and contain the major cities of Portland, Salem, Corvallis, and Eugene. The valley is part of the Willamette River drainage basin, which covers 12,300 square miles between the crest of the Oregon Coast Range on the west and the Cascade Range to the east. The Willamette River is the largest river in the valley and is fed by several major tributaries, including the McKenzie, Calapooia, Santiam, Tualatin, Yamhill, and Clakamas Rivers. The valley is the major source of ground and surface water for the population centers. -- Givler and Wells, 2001


Map, 1814, Lewis and Clark on the Columbia, click to enlarge Map, 1833, Illman and Pilbrow, Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1837, Columbia River with Mount Hood, click to enlarge Map, 1849, Alexander Ross's Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1853, Washington and Oregon and the Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1854, Columbia River, Fort Vancouver area, click to enlarge Map, 1855, Columbia River, Vancouver to the Pacific, click to enlarge Map, 1887, Portland and Vancouver vicinity, click to enlarge Map, 1988, Mouth of the Willamette and Vancouver Lake, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1992, Columbia River with Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2003, Mouth of the Willamette River, Oregon
  1. 1814 Map, Lewis and Clark's map of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge.) Shows the Willamette River merging from the south (just left of center). The Lewis and Clark name "Multnomah R." has been cropped. Map includes three of the five volcanoes Lewis and Clark saw and commented on. While the journals mention the expedition seeing Mount Adams, it does not appear on their map. Mount Jefferson is to the south (bottom) and off the map. From the "Nicholas Biddle/Paul Allen" 1814 publication. Original Map: "A Map of Lewis and Clark's Track, Across the Western Portion of North America, From the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean". From: History of the expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clark : to the sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains and down the river Columbia to the Pacific Ocean : performed during the years 1804-5-6 : by order of the government of the United States / prepared for the press by Paul Allen. Philadelphia : Bradford and Insskeep, 1814. Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University #upbover maps37. -- Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library Website, 2004.
  2. 1833 Map (section of original), Columbia River. (Click to enlarge). Includes Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson. Note: Mount Baker is depicted (upper middle) but Mounts Adams, Rainier and St. Helens are missing. The Columbia River is shown as "Oregon River" at its mouth and "Columbia or Oregon R." further inland. "Wappatoo Valley" is labeled. Also shows Fort Clatsop ("F. Clatsop or F. George"), the Willamette River ("Multnomah R."), Sandy River ("Quicksand R."), John Day River ("R.La Page"), Walla Walla River ("Wallwullah R."), Snake River ("Lewis R."), and the Yakima River ("Tapete R."). Original Map: Oregon Territory, 1833. Creator: Illman & Pilbrow, published by Illman & Pilbrow, New York. Comments: Illman & Pilbrow is the engraving firm which copyrighted and published this map, the actual artist is unknown. Washington State University Digital Maps Collection #WSU323. University of Washington Digital Maps Collection #UW104. -- Washington State University Early Washington Maps Digital Collection Website, 2004
  3. 1837 Map, Columbia River with Mount Hood (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Includes the "Wallamant or Multnomah R.". Original Map: Map of the Territory West of the Rocky Mountains (1837) Author: Washington Irving, Publisher: Philadelphia, Carey, Lea, & Blanchard. Washington State University Archives #WSU555. -- Washington State University Early Washington Maps Digital Collection Website, 2004
  4. 1849 Map (section of original), Alexander Ross's Columbia River. (Click to enlarge). Original Map: Map of the Columbia to illustrate Ross's adventures. Author: Alexander Ross; Publication Date: 1849; Publisher: London, Smith, Elder and Co., 1849. Washington State University Archives #WSU478. -- Washington State University Early Washington Maps Digital Collection Website, 2004
  5. 1853 Map, Washington and Oregon and the Columbia River, from the Clearwater River to the Snake River and down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Includes: Clearwater River (Kooskooski), Lapwai Creek (Lapwai R.), Snake River (Saptin or Lewis R.), Columbia River (Columbia R.), Yakima River (Yakima R.), Walla Walla River (Wallawalla R.), Umatilla River (Umatilla R.), Willow Creek (Quesnells R.), John Day River (John day's R.), Deschutes River (Fall R.), Willamette River (Willammette R.), and Cowlitz River (Cowlitz R.). Original Map: "Map of California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, and New Mexico (1853)", by Thomas Cowperthwait & Co. Washington State University Archives #WSU22. -- Washington State University Library Collections Website, 2003
  6. 1853-54 Map, Columbia River, including the Fort Vancouver area (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Includes Longview, Washington (Monticello), Coweeman River (Minter R.), Kalama River (Ca-la-ma R.), Lewis River (Cath-la-pootle R.), Willamette River, Fort Vancouver, Cape Horn, and "The Cascades". Vancouver Lake is depicted but not labeled. Original Map: "Rocky Mountains to Puget Sound : from explorations and surveys / made under the direction of the Hon. Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War by Isaac I. Stevens Governor of Washington Territory, 1853-4." Inset: (Supplementary sketch) Reconnaissance of the railroad route from Wallawalla to Seattle via Yak-e-mah River & Snoqualmie Pass. By A. W. Tinkham in January 1854. Drawn by J. R. P. Mechlin. 20 x 28 cm. Topographer, John Lambert, Published in Washington D.C., 1859, 1:1,200,000, Notes: From the U.S. War Department, Explorations and Surveys for a Railroad Route from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, Topographical Maps, to Illustrate the Various Reports, U.S. Library of Congress American Memories Reference "LC Railroad Maps #156". -- U.S. Library of Congress, American Memories Website, 2004
  7. 1855 Map, Columbia River from Vancouver to the Pacific (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Original Map: "Map of Oregon and Washington Territories: showing the proposed Northern Railroad route to the Pacific Ocean, by John Disturnell, 1855. University of Washington Archives #UW155. -- University of Washington Library Collections Website, 2002
  8. 1887 Map (section of original), Columbia River and the Portland and Vancouver vicinity, including the Willamette River. (Click to enlarge). Original Map: The Columbia River from Celilo to the mouth showing locations of the salmon fisheries, 1887. Scale ca. 1:375,000, Relief shown by hachures. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Office, G.P.O. 1888. University of Washington Archives #UW128. -- University of Washington Library Archives Website, 2002
  9. 1988 Map, Mouth of the Willamette River and Vancouver Lake (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Saint Helens to Vancouver, 1988, Chart#18524, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  10. 1992, NASA Image, Columbia River, Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington (section of original). (Click to enlarge). View from space - west-looking, low-oblique photograph, showing a section of the Columbia River with Government Island, the Sandy River, Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, September 1992. The Columbia River is flowing from bottom (east) to top (west). NASA Earth from Space #STS047-096-066. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  11. 2003, Mouth of the Willamette River, Oregon, as seen from Blurock Landing, Washington. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


Multnomah Channel and the Sauvie Island Bridge, 2003

Multnomah Channel:
Multnomah Channel has also been known as the Willamette Slough (1887 map). The channel separates Sauvie Island from mainland Oregon, and is a favorite recreation spot of boaters.


Map, 1814, Lewis and Clark on the Columbia, click to enlarge Map, 1854, Columbia River, Fort Vancouver area, click to enlarge Map, 1887, Sauvie Island vicinity, click to enlarge Map, 1988, Downstream end of Sauvie Island, Bachelor Island, Multnomah Channel, Lewis River, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1994, Columbia River, Deer Island to the Willamette River, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1994, Columbia River upstream of Vancouver, showing Sauvie Island, click to enlarge Image, 2003, Multnomah Channel and Sauvie Island Bridge
  1. 1814 Map, Lewis and Clark's map of the Columbia River (section of original). (Click to enlarge.) Multnomah Channel is depicted but not named. Map includes three of the five volcanoes Lewis and Clark saw and commented on. While the journals mention the expedition seeing Mount Adams, it does not appear on their map. Mount Jefferson is to the south (bottom) and off the map. From the "Nicholas Biddle/Paul Allen" 1814 publication. Original Map: "A Map of Lewis and Clark's Track, Across the Western Portion of North America, From the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean". From: History of the expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clark : to the sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains and down the river Columbia to the Pacific Ocean : performed during the years 1804-5-6 : by order of the government of the United States / prepared for the press by Paul Allen. Philadelphia : Bradford and Insskeep, 1814. Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University #upbover maps37. -- Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library Website, 2004.
  2. 1853-54 Map, Columbia River, including the Fort Vancouver area (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Multnomah Channel is depicted on the west (left) side of Sauvie Island (depicted but not named), separating Sauvie Island from mainland Oregon. Includes Longview, Washington (Monticello), Coweeman River (Minter R.), Kalama River (Ca-la-ma R.), Lewis River (Cath-la-pootle R.), Willamette River, Fort Vancouver, Cape Horn, and "The Cascades". Vancouver Lake is depicted but not labeled. Original Map: "Rocky Mountains to Puget Sound : from explorations and surveys / made under the direction of the Hon. Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War by Isaac I. Stevens Governor of Washington Territory, 1853-4." Inset: (Supplementary sketch) Reconnaissance of the railroad route from Wallawalla to Seattle via Yak-e-mah River & Snoqualmie Pass. By A. W. Tinkham in January 1854. Drawn by J. R. P. Mechlin. 20 x 28 cm. Topographer, John Lambert, Published in Washington D.C., 1859, 1:1,200,000, Notes: From the U.S. War Department, Explorations and Surveys for a Railroad Route from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, Topographical Maps, to Illustrate the Various Reports, U.S. Library of Congress American Memories Reference "LC Railroad Maps #156". -- U.S. Library of Congress, American Memories Website, 2004
  3. 1887 Map (section of original), Columbia River and the Sauvie Island vicinity. (Click to enlarge). Bachelor Island, while not named on the map, is the island south (below) the Lewis River (upper right). The Willamette Slough is today called the Multnomah Channel. Original Map: The Columbia River from Celilo to the mouth showing locations of the salmon fisheries, 1887. Scale ca. 1:375,000, Relief shown by hachures. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Office, G.P.O. 1888. University of Washington Archives #UW128. -- University of Washington Library Archives Website, 2002
  4. 1988 Map, Downstream end of Sauvie Island, Bachelor Island, Multnomah Channel, Lewis River (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Saint Helens to Vancouver, 1988, Chart#18524, 1:40,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  5. 1994, NASA Image, Columbia River from Deer Island to the Willamette River (section of original). (Click to enlarge). View from space - north-northeast-looking, low-oblique photograph, showing a section of the Columbia River from Deer Island to the Willamette River, including the Lewis River, Sauvie Island, Bachelor Island, and the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, October 1994. The Columbia River is flowing from lower right to upper left in this image (southeast to northwest). Washington State is the upper right of the image and Oregon is to the bottom left. NASA Earth from Space #STS068-262-025. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  6. 1994, NASA Image, Columbia River and Sauvie Island (section of original). (Click to enlarge). View from space - north-northeast-looking, low-oblique photograph, showing a section of the Columbia River and Sauvie Island, Oregon, October 1994. NASA Earth from Space #STS068-262-025. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  7. 2003, Multnomah Channel and Sauvie Island Bridge, taken from Oregon Highway 30. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


This valley [Willamette Valley and Puget Trough] is bounded westward by the mountainous country bordering the coast [Coast Range], from which it extends eastward thirty miles in a direct line, till it is closed by the range of mountains [Cascade Mountain Range] crossing the Columbia above the great falls [Celilo Falls]. Its length from north to south we are unable to determine, but we believe that the valley must extend to a great distance: it is in fact the only desirable situation for a settlement on the western side of the Rocky mountains, and being naturally fertile, would, if properly cultivated, afford subsistence for forty or fifty thousand souls. The highlands are generally of a dark rich loam, not much injured by stones, and though waving, by no means too steep for cultivation, and a few miles from the river they widen at least on the north side, into rich extensive prairies. ......


Along the Journey - April 4, 1806
Puget Trough and Willamette Valley:
The Puget-Willamette Lowlands extend from the United States-Canadian border south to Eugene, Oregon, between the Coast Ranges and the Cascade Mountains. The climate is subhumid to humid. The northern part is a flat glacial plain interrupted by the complex bays and inlets of Puget Sound. The southern part of the lowlands consists of alluvial valleys along the Cowlitz, Columbia, and Willamette Rivers. Most of Oregon's population, technology and agricultural centers, and important transportion, power, and communications lifelines are located in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon. The lowlands of the Willamette Valley extend about 75 miles along the Willamette River and contain the major cities of Portland, Salem, Corvallis, and Eugene. The valley is part of the Willamette River drainage basin, which covers 12,300 square miles between the crest of the Oregon Coast Range on the west and the Cascade Range to the east. The Willamette River is the largest river in the valley and is fed by several major tributaries, including the McKenzie, Calapooia, Santiam, Tualatin, Yamhill, and Clakamas Rivers. The valley is the major source of ground and surface water for the population centers. -- Radbruch-Hall, et.al., 1982, USGS Professional Paper 1183, and Givler and Wells, 2001


Map, the Volcanoes of Lewis and Clark, click to enlarge Map, 1814, Lewis and Clark on the Columbia, click to enlarge Map, 1833, Illman and Pilbrow, Columbia River, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1994, Willamette Valley, click to enlarge
  1. Map, The Volcanoes of Lewis and Clark, including Geologic Provinces and major Geographic Features (Click to enlarge). Map created by Lyn Topinka, USGS/CVO, 2002; Geologic Provinces based on "USGS/NPS Geology in the Parks" Website, 2002. -- USGS/CVO Web Graphics Collection, 2004
  2. 1814 Map, Lewis and Clark (section of original). (Click to enlarge.) Lewis and Clark marked the valley on the map and labeled it "Wappatoo Valley". From the "Nicholas Biddle/Paul Allen" 1814 publication. Original Map: "A Map of Lewis and Clark's Track, Across the Western Portion of North America, From the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean". From: History of the expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clark : to the sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains and down the river Columbia to the Pacific Ocean : performed during the years 1804-5-6 : by order of the government of the United States / prepared for the press by Paul Allen. Philadelphia : Bradford and Insskeep, 1814. Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University #upbover maps37. -- Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library Website, 2004.
  3. 1833 Map (section of original), Columbia River. (Click to enlarge). Includes Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson. Note: Mount Baker is depicted (upper middle) but Mounts Adams, Rainier and St. Helens are missing. The Columbia River is shown as "Oregon River" at its mouth and "Columbia or Oregon R." further inland. "Wappatoo Valley" is labeled. Also shows Fort Clatsop ("F. Clatsop or F. George"), the Willamette River ("Multnomah R."), Sandy River ("Quicksand R."), John Day River ("R.La Page"), Walla Walla River ("Wallwullah R."), Snake River ("Lewis R."), and the Yakima River ("Tapete R."). Original Map: Oregon Territory, 1833. Creator: Illman & Pilbrow, published by Illman & Pilbrow, New York. Comments: Illman & Pilbrow is the engraving firm which copyrighted and published this map, the actual artist is unknown. Washington State University Digital Maps Collection #WSU323. University of Washington Digital Maps Collection #UW104. -- Washington State University Early Washington Maps Digital Collection Website, 2004
  4. 1994, NASA Image, View of Washington and Oregon, including the Willamette Valley. (Click to enlarge). NASA Astronaut Photography of Earth #STS068-276-55, October 3, 1994. -- NASA Astronaut Photography of Earth Website, 2002


Geology of the Willamette Valley:
The Willamette valley consists of four sub-basins: the southern and northern Willamette basins, the Tualatin basin, and the Portland basin. The Waldo Hills separate the southern Willamette basin from the northern basin, and the Chehalem Mountains separate the northern basin from the Tualatin Basin. Northeast of the Tualatin basin, the Tualatin Mountains form the divide with the Portland Basin. The Willamette Valley lies within a fore-arc basin between the Cascade Volcanic Arc and the Coast Ranges that may have originated in early Tertiary time. Some of the sub-basins have accumulated several hundred meters of sediment in late Cenozoic time. The northern basins also contain lavas of the Miocene Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG). Flows of the CRBG entered the valley approximately 16 million years ago through a low in the Cascade Range and spread into the Portland and northern Willamette basins. The Tualatin Mountains, Chehalem Mountains, Waldo Hills, and Salem Hills are largely composed of CRBG flows that dip inward toward the basin centers. Approximately 3.0 million to 260,000 years ago, the Boring Lavas were erupted from several vents throughout the northern Willamette, Portland, and Tualatin basins. Boring Lavas capped the Oregon City plateau and created many of the prominent small cone-shaped hills and mountains southeast of downtown Portland. Between 15,000 and 12,700 years ago catastrophic floods from glacial Lake Missoula inundated the majority of the Willamette Valley. These floods reached up to 120 meters above sea level covering the valley with up to 35 meters of sediment and depositing ice-rafted boulders foreign to the Willamette Valley as far south as Eugene, Oregon. -- Gannett and Caldwell


Boring Lava Field:
Metropolitan Portland, Oregon, and an area east of Vancouver, Washington, includes most of a Plio-Pleistocene volcanic field. which erupted from several vents throughout the northern Willamette, Portland, and Tualatin basins. The field was identified by Trimble in 1963, who named it after the hills east of Portland. It consists of at least 50 small monogenetic centers, composed chiefly of mafic andesite. The eruptive features mostly are short stubby lava flows, who compositions are very similar to comparable units in the High Cascades. The field ranges in age from about 3 to 1 million years. -- Allen, 1990, IN: Wood and Kienle, and Hammond, 1989.


Map, Boring Lava Vents, click to enlarge Engraving detail, 1879, Portland Oregon and Mount Hood, click to enlarge Image, 2003, Columbia River and Rocky Butte, Oregon
  1. Map, Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, and the Boring Lava Field. Location and elevation of 95 vents. -- Allen, 1975
  2. 1879, Detail of engraving of Portland, Oregon, Mount Hood, and Boring Lava cones. (Click to enlarge). The Columbia River is just visible, middle left. The Willamette River is in the foreground. Also visible are cones of the Boring Lava Field, middleground. Created by E.S. Glover. Published 1879, San Francisco. "Bird's-eye-view", looking east to the Cascade Mountains. Original lithograph shows Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, and Mount Hood, and also the Columbia River and the Willamette River. Reference #LC Panoramic Maps #722. -- Library of Congress American Memories Website, 2002
  3. 2003, Looking across the Columbia River at the Rocky Butte, a Boring Lava cone. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


The nations who inhabit this fertile neighbourhood are very numerous. The Wappatoo inlet extends three hundred yards wide, for ten or twelve miles to the south, as far as the hills near which it receives the waters of a small creek whose sources are not far from those of the Killamuck river [Wilson River ??]. On that creek resides the Clackstar nation, ...... Forty miles above its junction with the Columbia, it receives the waters of the Clackamos [Clackamas River], a river which may be traced through a woody and fertile country to its sources in mount Jefferson, almost to the foot of which it is navigable for canoes. ...... Two days' journey from the Columbia, or about twenty miles beyond the entrance of the Clackamos [Clackamas River], are the falls of the Multnomah [Willamette Falls, Oregon City]. At this place are the permanent residences of the Cushooks and Chahcowahs, two tribes who are attracted to that place by the fish, and by the convenience of trading across the mountains and down Killamuck river [Wilson River ??], with the nation of Killamucks, from whom they procure train oil. These falls were occasioned by the passage of a high range of mountains; beyond which the country stretches into a vast level plain, wholly destitute of timber.


Along the Journey - April 4, 1806
Willamette Falls, 1867

Willamette Falls and Oregon City:
The Willamette Falls area, now known as Oregon City, was the center of commerce and culture to native American tribes long before pioneers crossed the continent in their covered wagons. The falls were one of the biggest salmon fishing holes in the American West. Willamette Falls Locks opened its gates on January 1, 1873, allowing river traffic along the Willamette River safe portage around the 40-foot high Willamette Falls. The locks were the first water resource project in Oregon, and has been designated a National Historic Site and an Historic Engineering Site. The original lockmaster's office has been converted into a museum, and displays photographs of the historic locks that have been in operation since 1873. -- Library of Congress Website, 2002, "End of the Oregon Trail", and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Website, 2002.


Map, 1853, Washington and Oregon and the Columbia River, click to enlarge Engraving, 1841, Willamette Falls by J. Drayton, click to enlarge Stereo Image, 1867, Willamette Falls, click to enlarge Image, 1968, Willamette Falls, click to enlarge
  1. 1853 Map, Washington and Oregon and the Columbia River, from the Clearwater River to the Snake River and down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Includes: Clearwater River (Kooskooski), Lapwai Creek (Lapwai R.), Snake River (Saptin or Lewis R.), Columbia River (Columbia R.), Yakima River (Yakima R.), Walla Walla River (Wallawalla R.), Umatilla River (Umatilla R.), Willow Creek (Quesnells R.), John Day River (John day's R.), Deschutes River (Fall R.), Willamette River (Willammette R.), and Cowlitz River (Cowlitz R.). Original Map: "Map of California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, and New Mexico (1853)", by Thomas Cowperthwait & Co. Washington State University Archives #WSU22. -- Washington State University Library Collections Website, 2003
  2. 1841, Engraving, Chinookan men (possibly Clackamas) fishing at Willamette Falls, Oregon. (Click to enlarge). Engraving by J. Drayton, 1841. University of Washington Library Collection #NA3995. -- University of Washington Library Archives Website, 2002
  3. 1867, Stereo view, Willamette Falls. (Click to enlarge). Caption on image: The WIllamette Falls, Oregon. Photographer: Carleton E. Watkins. Photo Date: ca.1867. University of Washington Sterocard Collection #STE164, Stereocard Collection No. 58. -- University of Washington Libraries Collection Website, 2003
  4. 1968, Two people fishing from a boat at the falls on the Willamette River at Oregon City in Clackamas County. The falls are in the background. (Click to enlarge). Oregon State Archives Photograph #OHD7395. Photograph Date: ca. 1968, Photographer unknown. From: Oregon Department of Transportation. -- Oregon State Archives Website, 2002


As far as the Indians, with whom we conversed, had ever penetrated that country, it was inhabited by a nation called Calahpoewah, a very numerous people whose villages, nearly forty in number, are scattered along each side of the Multnomah [Willamette River], which furnish them with their chief subsistence, fish, and the roots along its banks. ......


Along the Journey - April 4, 1806
The Camp - March 31 through April 5, 1806:
Cottonwood Beach, Washougal, Washington.


Saturday, April 5, 1806
We dried our meat as well as the cloudy weather would permit [April 5, 1806] ...... Having made our preparations of dried meat, we set out the next morning [April 6, 1806]
"... Sergt. Gass & 2 other of the hunters returnd. with 3 Small black cubs which was sold to the Savages I and 5 more men went over to the S. Side and climbed a high River hill on which is excelent rich land ... the River hills are high above Quick Sand River Some of the clifts is 200 feet high. on the tops of those hills the land is excessively rich and thickly timbred with different Species of Fir intermixed with white cedder. I Saw one of the Fir trees which is 100 and 4 feet in length ..." [Ordway, April 5, 1806]
"... The weather was pleasant. There is a beautiful prairie and a number of ponds below the mouth of Sandy river; and about two miles from the Columbia the soil is rich with white cedar timber, which is very much stripped of its bark, the natives making use of it both for food and clothing ..." [Gass, April 5, 1806]
"... The Hunters & Serjt. Pryor informe us that they had measured a tree on the upper side of quick sand River 312 feet long and about 4 feet through at the stump. ..." [Clark, April 5, 1806]


Along the Journey - April 5, 1806
The Camp - March 31 through April 5, 1806:
Cottonwood Beach, Washougal, Washington.



 
Home Previous Continue


If you have questions or comments please contact: GS-CVO-WEB@usgs.gov
June/July 2004, Lyn Topinka
The Volcanoes of Lewis and Clark Home Page | CVO Home Page