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The Volcanoes of
Lewis and Clark
October 19, 1805
Down the "Great" Columbia River - Spring Gulch to Umatilla
 
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

October 18
Down the "Great Columbia", Snake/Columbia Confluence to Spring Gulch
October 19

Down the "Great Columbia",
Spring Gulch to Umatilla NWR

Wallula Gap, Oregon State Geology, Hat Rock and Hat Rock State Park, Umatilla Rapids, McNary Dam, and Lake Wallula, Umatilla Rapids vs. Devils Bend Rapids, Mount Adams and Mount Hood, Sillusi Butte, Umatilla River and the Umatilla NWR, Blalock Islands
CONTINUE

October 20
Islands and Ridges, Umatilla NWR to Roosevelt and Arlington
 

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]


 
To the Pacific - October 1805
Down the "Great" Columbia River - Spring Gulch to Umatilla
 

Lewis and Clark's campsite of October 18, 1805 was located within the Wallula Gap, about 1 mile downstream from Port Kelley, Washington. The campsite was near Spring Gulch Creek. Today the location of the campsite is under the waters of Lake Wallula, behind McNary Dam.

Saturday, October 19, 1805
The great chief with two of his inferior chiefs, and a third belonging to a band on the river below, made us a visit at a very early hour. The first of these is called Yelleppit, a handsome well proportioned man, ...... This conference detained us till nine o'clock, by which time great numbers of the Indians had come down to visit us. On leaving them, we went on for eight miles, [through the Wallula Gap]
"... passed high clifts of rocks on each Side of the River ..." [Ordway, October 19, 1805]


Along the Journey - October 19, 1805
Wallula Gap, 2003

Wallula Gap:
Glacial-outburst waters which crossed the Channeled Scablands during the Missoula Floods were channeled through Wallula Gap. For several weeks, as much as 200 cubic miles of water per day were delivered to a gap that could discharge less than 40 cubic miles per day. Ponded water filled the Pasco Basin and the Yakima and Touchet valleys to form temporary Lake Lewis. -- U.S. National Park Service, National Natural Landmarks Program Website, 2002


Map, 1814, Lewis and Clark on the Columbia, click to enlarge Map, 1854, Columbia River, Willow Creek to Walla Walla, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1994, Columbia River from Crow Butte to the Snake River, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1994, Columbia River and Wallula Gap, click to enlarge Image, 2003, Wallula Gap
  1. 1814 Map, Lewis and Clark (section of original). (Click to enlarge.) Shows the Columbia River crossing a chain of mountains (right), the location of the Wallula Gap. 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 Wallula Gap area (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Includes Horse Heaven Hills ("lands destitute of timber"), Willow Creek, Umatilla River, Walla Walla River, Touchet River, Twin Sisters ("Chimney Rock"), Yakima River, and the junction of the Snake River (only the "S" shows) with the Columbia. 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. 1994, NASA Image, Columbia River from Crow Butte to the Snake River (section of original) (Click to enlarge). View from space - Columbia River, Snake River, Yakima River, Walla Walla River, Umatilla River, Crow Butte and Wallula Gap, north-looking, low-oblique photograph, September 1994. NASA Earth from Space #STS064-112-093. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  4. 1994, NASA Image, Closer-in view Columbia River and Wallula Gap (section of original) (Click to enlarge). View from space - Columbia River, Snake River, Lake Wallula, and the Wallula Gap, north-looking, low-oblique photograph, September 1994. NASA Earth from Space #STS064-112-093. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  5. 2003, Wallula Gap, from downstream, looking towards Port Kelley. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


Prominent Lava Flows seen from Wallula Gap vicinity:
Horse Heaven Hills anticline sections show excellent exposures of the thick Frenchman Springs member overlain by the Umatilla Member of the Saddle Mountains Basalt -- the Roza and Priest Rapids Members are missing. A Martindale flow caps the highest visible point west of the river; it overlies imbricated Snake River gravel, compositionally similar to that at Lower Monumental Dam, showing that an ancestral Wallula Gap existed at least 8.5 million years ago. The Saddle Mountains Basalt formation is the youngest in the Columbia River Basalt Group. It is about 13.5 to 6 million years old and contains flows erupted sporadically during a period of waning volcanism, deformation, canyon cutting, and development of thick but local sedimentary deposits between flows. The Saddle Mountains Basalt has a volume of only about 700 cubic miles, less than one percent of the total volume of basalt, yet contains by far the greatest chemical and isotopic diversity of any formation in the group. -- Swanson and Wright, 1981


Lewis and Clark are approximately 309 miles from the mouth of the Columbia River, a spot where the right bank of the Columbia is Washington State and the left bank is the State of Oregon.


Along the Journey - October 19, 1805
Oregon State Geology:
Oregon's geology tells fantastic stories of awesome volcanic eruptions, cataclysmic floods and titanic continental collisions. -- Oregon State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries Website, 2004


when we came to an island near the left shore which continued six miles in length. At the lower extremity of it is a small island on which are five houses, at present vacant, though the scaffolds of fish are as usual abundant. A short distance below, are two more islands, one of them near the middle of the river. [today these islands are under the waters of Lake Wallula] On this there were seven houses; but as soon as the Indians, who were drying fish, saw us, they fled to their houses, and not one of them appeared till we had passed, when they came out in greater numbers than is usual for houses of that size, which induced us to think that the inhabitants of the five lodges had been alarmed at our approach and taken refuge with them. We were very desirous of landing in order to relieve their apprehensions, but as there was a bad rapid along the island, all our care was necessary to prevent injury to the canoes. At the foot of this rapid is a rock, on the left shore, which is fourteen miles from our camp of last night, and resembles a hat in its shape [Hat Rock].
"... "S.W. 14 miles to a rock in a Lard. resembling a hat just below a rapid at the lower Point of an Island in the Midl: of the river ..." [Clark, October 19, 1805, first draft]


Along the Journey - October 19, 1805
Hat Rock, 2002

Hat Rock:
Hat Rock was the first distinctive landmark passed by the Lewis and Clark Expedition on their journey down the Columbia, and is one of the few remaining sites not underwater. -- Oregon State Parks and Recreation Website, 2002


Map, 1908 USGS topo map of Hat Rock area, click to enlarge Map, 1984, Hat Rock, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1994, Columbia River and McNary Dam vicinity, click to enlarge Image, 2002, Hat Rock
  1. 1908 Map (section of original), from Umatilla 1:125,000 topographic quadrangle. (Click to enlarge). Original map surveyed in 1907, contour interval of 50 feet. -- University of Washington Library Collections Website, 2002
  2. 1984 Map, Hat Rock (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, McNary Dam to Juniper, 1984, Chart#18541, 1:20,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  3. 1994, NASA Image, Columbia Riverm McNary Dam, and Hat Rock (section of original) (Click to enlarge). View from space - Columbia River, McNary Dam, Lake Wallula, Walla Walla River, and Hat Rock, north-looking, low-oblique photograph, September 1994. NASA Earth from Space #STS064-112-093. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  4. 2002, Hat Rock from near Hat Rock State Park. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2002 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.



Hat Rock State Park:
Hat Rock State Park is located off U.S. Highway 730 nine miles east of Umatilla and about 5.5 miles above McNary Dam. Hat Rock is on the south shore of Lake Wallula, the lake formed by McNary Dam. The park is a desert oasis surrounded by rolling sagebrush hills and out croppings of basalt. Hat Rock State Park offers visitors a chance to escape summer heat under shelter of cottonwood, black locust ringed by acres of green grass. A boat ramp provides access to the lake, which is noted for walleye, sturgeon and other fish. Waterskiing, jetskiing, swimming and boating are popular here. The park has its own pond -- stocked with rainbow trout -- and provides year-round habitat for waterfowl. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2003, and Oregon State Parks and Recreation Website, 2002


Four miles beyond this island we came to a rapid, [Umatilla Rapids] from the appearance of which it was judged prudent to examine it. After landing for that purpose on the left side, we began to enter the channel which is close under the opposite shore. It is a very dangerous rapid, strewed with high rocks and rocky islands, and in many places obstructed by shoals, over which the canoes were to be hauled, so that we were more than two hours in passing through the rapids, which extend for the same number of miles. The rapid has several small islands, and banks of muscleshells are spread along the river in several places. In order to lighten the boats, captain Clarke, with the two chiefs, the interpreter, and his wife, had walked across the low grounds on the left to the foot of the rapids [Umatilla Rapids].

The Umatilla Rapids are now under the waters of Lake Wallula, the reservoir behind the McNary Dam, which was constructed at the site of the rapids. Lake Wallula extends approximately 67 miles up the Columbia River.


Along the Journey - October 19, 1805
McNary Dam

Umatilla Rapids, McNary Dam, and Lake Wallula:
Captain Clark called the Umatilla Rapids the Muscle Shell Rapids, a spot where he found mounds of freshwater mussel shells all along the shoreline. Later, these rapids were known as the Umatilla Rapids, now beneath the water behind McNary Dam. It was at this spot, Clark climbed a cliff nearby and first sighted Mount Adams. Today, the 7,365-feet-long McNary Dam is at the location of what was the Umatilla Rapids. McNary Dam consists of a concrete structure with an earthfill embankment at the Oregon (south) abutment. The spillway is a concrete, gravity-type spillway dam, 1,310 feet long, and contains 22 vertical lift gates. The dam is located at Columbia River Mile (RM) 292. Construction on the dam was initiated in May 1947 and completed in 1954. Originally called the Umatilla Dam, the River and Harbor Act of 1945 renamed the dam in honor of the late Senator Charles L. McNary, a U.S. Senator from Oregon from 1917 to 1944. Lake Wallula lies directly behind McNary Lock and Dam. It extends 64 miles up the Columbia River to the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site, about 27 miles above Pasco, Washington, and also extends up the Snake River to Ice Harbor Lock and Dam. Lake Wallula has a water surface area of 38,800 acres, with 242 miles of shoreline. -- Lewis & Clark Bicentennial of Oregon Website, 2002, Salem Public Library Website, 2002, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Website, 2002


Map, 1858 Military recon map, mouth of the Umatilla River, click to enlarge Map, 1863, Umatilla, Walla Walla, Touchet Rivers, etc., click to enlarge Map, 1908 USGS topo map of Umatilla area, click to enlarge Map, 1908 USGS topo map of Umatilla Rapids area, click to enlarge Map, 1984, Umatilla River, Umatilla, and McNary Dam, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1985, Columbia River from Willow Creek to McNary Dam, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1994, Columbia River from Crow Butte to the Snake River, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1994, Columbia River, McNary Dam, and Lake Wallula, click to enlarge Image, 1958, McNary Dam area, click to enlarge Image, Aerial view McNary Dam, click to enlarge
  1. 1858 Military Recon Map (section of original), Mouth of the Umatilla River. (Click to enlarge). Map of military reconnaissance from Fort Dalles, Oregon, via Fort Wallah-Wallah, to Fort Taylor, Washington Territory, 1858. Shows approximate location of military road constructed 1859 to 1862. From the report and maps of Captain John Mullan, United States Army, G.P.O., 1863. University of Washington Archives #UW85. -- University of Washington Library Archives Website, 2002
  2. 1863 Map (section of original), Columbia River, Umatilla Rapids, Monumental Rocks, Umatilla River, Walla Walla River, Touchet River, etc. (Click to enlarge). Original map by John Mullan, Julius Bien, and Edward Freyhold, United State Office of Explorations and Surveys. Prepared from field notes from 1858-1863. Scale 1:1,000,000. Original map from: report and maps of Captain John Mullan, United States Army, of his operations while engaged in the construction of a military road from Fort Walla-Walla, on the Columbia River, to Fort Benton, on the Missouri River, 1863. -- University of Washington Library Archives Website, 2002
  3. 1908 Map, mouth of the Umatilla River (section of original), from Umatilla 1:125,000 topographic quadrangle. (Click to enlarge). Original map surveyed in 1907, contour interval of 50 feet. What is marked "Devils Bend Rapids" on this topo map corresponds to "Umatilla Rapids" on the 1858 and 1863 maps. The 1858 and 1863 "Umatilla Rapids" are downstream of the mouth of the Umatilla River. -- University of Washington Library Collections Website, 2002
  4. 1908 Map Umatilla Rapids (section of original), from Umatilla 1:125,000 topographic quadrangle. (Click to enlarge). Original map surveyed in 1907, contour interval of 50 feet. This "Umatilla Rapids" does not correspond to the "Umatilla Rapids on the 1858 or 1863 map. The 1858 and 1863 "Umatilla Rapids" are downstream of the mouth of the Umatilla River. -- University of Washington Library Collections Website, 2002
  5. 1984 Map, Umatilla River, Umatilla, and McNary Dam (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Blalock Islands to McNary Dam, 1984, Chart#18539, 1:20,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  6. 1985, NASA Image, Columbia River from Willow Creek to McNary Dam (section of original) (Click to enlarge). View from space - Columbia River, Willow Creek, Alder Creek, Crow Butte, Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge vicinity, Umatilla River, McNary Dam, and Lake Umatilla, August, 1985. The Columbia River flows right (east) to left (west). Washington State is the upper half of the image (north) and Oregon is the lower half (south). Lake Umatilla was formed by the John Day dam (not in image). NASA Earth from Space #STS51F-035-0011. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  7. 1994, NASA Image, Columbia River from Crow Butte to the Snake River (section of original) (Click to enlarge). View from space - Columbia River, Snake River, Yakima River, Walla Walla River, Umatilla River, Crow Butte and Wallula Gap, north-looking, low-oblique photograph, September 1994. NASA Earth from Space #STS064-112-093. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  8. 1994, MASA Image, Columbia River, McNary Dam, and Lake Wallula (section of original) (Click to enlarge). View from space - Columbia River, McNary Dam, and Lake Wallula, north-looking, low-oblique photograph, September 1994. McNary Dam is in the lower left. NASA Earth from Space #STS064-112-093. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  9. 1958, McNary Dam as seen on September 16, 1958. (Click to enlarge). The dam on the Columbia River near Umatilla was built by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for flood control and hydroelectric power. The banks of the Columbia River, with a "cap" of lava flows, are in the background.. Oregon State Archives Photograph #7221(Ben Maxwell). Photograph Date: September 16, 1958. Photographer: Ben Maxwell. From: Salem Public Library Collection. -- Oregon State Archives Website, 2002
  10. Aerial View, McNary Dam and Locks. (Click to enlarge). -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Photo Archvies, 2002


Umatilla Rapids vs. Devil's Bend Rapids:
The 1858 map and the 1863 Map have the name "Umatilla Rapids" on the downstream side of the Umatilla River. The 1908 Topographic Map has the "Umatilla Rapids" located on the upstream side of the Umatilla River, and the rapids on the downstream side are called the "Devil's Bend Rapids". The "Umatilla Rapids" of Lewis and Clark is the upstream rapids. This is the location Captain Clark climbed a hill at the foot of the rapids and spotted Mount Adams. He also made reference to a "knob" immediately across from him which is today's Sillusi Butte (see below), and made mention that within half a mile past the rapids the "hilly country on the right side of the river ceased".


On the way, captain Clarke ascended a cliff about two hundred feet above the water, from which he saw that the country on both sides of the river immediately from its cliffs, was low, and spreads itself into a level plain, extending for a great distance on all sides. To the west, at the distance of about one hundred and fifty miles, is a very high mountain covered with snow, and from its direction and appearance, he supposed to be the mount St. Helens, [in error, Captain Clark actually saw Mount Adams] laid down by Vancouver, as visible from the mouth of the Columbia:
"... I assended a high clift about 200 feet above the water; from this place I descovered a high mountain of emence hight covered with Snow, this must be one of the mountains laid down by Vancouver, as seen from the mouth of the Columbia River, from the course which it bears which is 'West' I take it to be Mt. St. Helens, [actually Mount Adams] destant about 120 miles a range of mountains in the Derection crossing a conical mountain S. W. toped with snow ..." [Clark, October 19, 1805]
"... we discovred a verry high round mountain a long distance down the River which appears to have Snow on the top of it ..." [Ordway, October 19, 1805]
"... the Country around level plains except Some hills & clifts along the Shores. we discovred a high hill or mountn a long distance down the River which appears to have Snow on it ..." [Whitehouse, October 19, 1805]


Along the Journey - October 19, 1805
Map, Columbia River including Mount Adams, 1860

Mount Adams:
Mount Adams is 12,276 feet high, and dominates the landscape of much of southwestern Washington State.


Map, the Volcanoes of Lewis and Clark, click to enlarge Map, 1999, Mount Adams and Vicinity, click to enlarge Map, 1853, Washington and Oregon and the Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1855, Columbia River, Vancouver to the Pacific, click to enlarge Map, 1860, Columbia River, Washington, Oregon, click to enlarge Image, 1987, Mount Adams, Washington, from Troutlake, click to enlarge
  1. Map, "Lewis and Clark Volcano Sitings"
  2. 1999 Map, Mount Adams and Vicinity, with major river drainages. (Click to enlarge). The headwaters of the Lewis River are shown on the left of the map. Map also includes the Wind River, Little White Salmon River, White Salmon River, and Klickitat River which flow into the Columbia River. Map modified from Vallance, 1999, USGS Bulletin 2161.
  3. 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
  4. 1855 Map, Columbia River from Vancouver to the Pacific, including Mount St. Helens (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
  5. 1860 Map, Columbia River, Washington State, and Oregon (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Original Map: Map of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, (1860). This map dates between March 2nd, 1861 (when the Dakota Territory was formed) and March 4th, 1863 (when the Idaho Territory was formed from eastern Washington and western Dakota) Nearing retirement from a thirty year long and rather successful career, S. Augustus Mitchell printed this map showcasing Oregon, the Territory of Washington, and British Columbia. Washington became a territory in 1853, arguing that distances to Willamette Valley kept them from obtaining a voice in the Oregon territorial government. As this map shows, when it split from Oregon proper the Washington territory included parts of Wyoming and Montana and all of Idaho. Territorial government for Idaho would not be approved until 1863. When Mitchell retired he left the business for his son to manage. Washington State University Archives #WSU7. -- Washington State University Archives, 2004
  6. 1987, USGS Photo showing Mount Adams, Washington, from Trout Lake (Click to enlarge). Photographer: Lyn Topinka, Date: November 1987. -- USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory Photo Archives, 2004



there is also another mountain of a conical form, whose top is covered with snow, in a southwest direction [Mount Hood]. ......


Along the Journey - October 19, 1805
Map, Columbia River including Mount Hood, 1860

Mount Hood:
Mount Hood, at 11,245 feet high, is the fourth highest peak in the Cascade Range and the highest in the state of Oregon. The peak dominates the skyline from the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area to the wheat fields of Wasco and Sherman Counties of eastern Oregon. It is just visible along this stretch of the river.


Map, the Volcanoes of Lewis and Clark, click to enlarge Map, 1993, Mount Hood and Vicinity, click to enlarge Map, 1814, Lewis and Clark on the Columbia, click to enlarge Map, 1853, Washington and Oregon and the Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1855, Columbia River, Vancouver to the Pacific, click to enlarge Map, 1860, Columbia River, Washington, Oregon, click to enlarge Image, Mount Hood, Oregon, as seen from Timberline, click to enlarge
  1. Map, "Lewis and Clark Volcano Sitings"
  2. 1993 Map, Mount Hood and Vicinity, showing river drainages which flow into the Columbia river. (Click to enlarge). Includes Hood River and the Sandy River. Map modified from: Brantley and Scott, 1993.
  3. 1814 Map, Lewis and Clark (section of original). (Click to enlarge.) Shows Mount Hood. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 1855 Map, Columbia River from Vancouver to the Pacific, including Mount St. Helens (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
  6. 1860 Map, Columbia River, Washington State, and Oregon (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Original Map: Map of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, (1860). This map dates between March 2nd, 1861 (when the Dakota Territory was formed) and March 4th, 1863 (when the Idaho Territory was formed from eastern Washington and western Dakota) Nearing retirement from a thirty year long and rather successful career, S. Augustus Mitchell printed this map showcasing Oregon, the Territory of Washington, and British Columbia. Washington became a territory in 1853, arguing that distances to Willamette Valley kept them from obtaining a voice in the Oregon territorial government. As this map shows, when it split from Oregon proper the Washington territory included parts of Wyoming and Montana and all of Idaho. Territorial government for Idaho would not be approved until 1863. When Mitchell retired he left the business for his son to manage. Washington State University Archives #WSU7. -- Washington State University Archives, 2004
  7. Image, Mount Hood, Oregon, as seen from Timberline parking lot. (Click to enlarge). Photographer: Lyn Topinka. -- USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory Photo Archives, 2004



As captain Clarke arrived at the lower end [site of today's McNary Dam] of the rapid [Umatilla Rapids] before any, except one of the small canoes, he sat down on a rock to wait for them, and seeing a crane fly across the river, shot it, and it fell near him. Several Indians had been before this passing on the opposite side towards the rapids, and some few who had been nearly in front of him, being either alarmed at his appearance or the report of the gun, fled to their houses. ...... We remained here to dine, and then proceeded.
"... I observed a great number of Lodges on the opposit bank passing up to where Capt. Lewis was with the Canoes, others I saw on a knob nearly opposit to me ..." [Clark, October 19, 1805]

Clark's journal for October 19, 1805, mentions a "knob", today known as Sillusi Butte.


Along the Journey - October 19, 1805
Sillusi Butte, Washington, 2003

Sillusi Butte:
William Clark mentions a "knob" across from where he was sitting. At 927 feet elevation, Sillusi Butte is located on the Washington side of the Columbia River, overlooking McNary Dam. The butte is about 2 1/2 miles upstream of the mouth of the Umatilla River (on the Oregon side of the Columbia.) Before McNary Dam was built, Sillusi Butte overlooked the Umatilla Rapids.


Map, 1908 USGS topo map of Umatilla Rapids area, including Sillusi Butte, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1994, Columbia River from McNary to Spring Gulch, click to enlarge Image, 2002, Hat Rock
  1. 1908 Map (section of original), from Umatilla 1:125,000 topographic quadrangle. (Click to enlarge). Original map surveyed in 1907, contour interval of 50 feet. -- University of Washington Library Collections Website, 2002
  2. 1994, NASA Image, Columbia River from McNary to Spring Gulch (section of original) (Click to enlarge). View from space - Columbia River, McNary Dam, Umatilla River, Sillusi Butte vicinity, Juniper Canyon, and Spring Gulch, north-looking, low-oblique photograph, September 1994. NASA Earth from Space #STS064-112-093. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  3. 2003, Sillusi Butte, Washington, from the Oregon banks of the Columbia River. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


At half a mile the hilly country on the right side of the river ceased: at eleven miles we found a small rapid, and a mile further came to a small island on the left, where there were some willows. ...... On leaving the island we passed three miles further along a country which is low on both sides of the river, [today the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge]

Downstream of McNary Dam is the Oregon town of Umatilla and the Umatilla River, and the upstream edge of the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge. Lewis and Clark make no mention of the Umatilla River on their downstream journey, but heading upstream on April 27, 1806, they refer to a "small river, called Youmalolam".


Along the Journey - October 19, 1805
Umatilla River, 2003

Umatilla River:
The Umatilla River originates on the west slope of the Blue Mountains, east of Pendleton, Oregon. It flows 115 miles north and west to enter the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 289, draining an area of nearly 2,290 square miles. The mouth of the Umatilla River is at approximately 270 feet elevation above mean sea level. The headwaters are as high as 4,950 feet. The south and east portions of the Umatilla drainage lie on the steep, timbered slopes of the Blue Mountains within the Umatilla National Forest. The remainder of the drainage consists of moderate slopes and level terrain. Lewis and Clark called the river "You ma lolam River". They missed the river in 1805, but added it to the route maps on the return trip in 1806. The river's name was standardized when Wilkes charted it in 1841. Umatilla Landing was established at the mouth of the river in 1863, an important steamboat landing on the Columbia for mines in Oregon and Idaho. White River -- Bonneville Power Administration Website, 2002, Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority Website, 2002, and Washington State Historical Society Website, 2004.


Map, 1814, Lewis and Clark on the Columbia, click to enlarge Map, 1837, Columbia River with Mount Hood, click to enlarge Map, 1853, Washington and Oregon and the Columbia River, click to enlarge Map, 1854, Columbia River, Willow Creek to Walla Walla, click to enlarge Map, 1855, Clearwater and Snake from Canoe Camp to the Columbia, click to enlarge Map, 1858 Military recon map, mouth of the Umatilla River, click to enlarge Map, 1863, Umatilla, Walla Walla, Touchet Rivers, etc., click to enlarge Map, 1908 USGS topo map of Umatilla area, click to enlarge Map, 1984, Umatilla River, Umatilla, and McNary Dam, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1985, Columbia River from Willow Creek to McNary Dam, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1985, Columbia River and the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1994, Columbia River from Crow Butte to the Snake River, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1994, Columbia River, including Umatilla River, click to enlarge Image, 2003, Umatilla River
  1. 1814 Map, Lewis and Clark (section of original). (Click to enlarge.) Shows the Umatilla River ("You-ma-lolam R."). 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. 1837 Map, Columbia River with Mount Hood (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Includes the Umatilla River ("Ottalais 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
  3. 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
  4. 1853-54 Map, Columbia River, including the Wallula Gap area (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Includes Horse Heaven Hills ("lands destitute of timber"), Willow Creek, Umatilla River, Walla Walla River, Touchet River, Twin Sisters ("Chimney Rock"), Yakima River, and the junction of the Snake River (only the "S" shows) with the Columbia. 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
  5. 1855 Map, Clearwater and Snake Rivers, including the Umatilla River (U-mah-ti-lah R.) (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
  6. 1858 Military Recon Map (section of original), Mouth of the Umatilla River. (Click to enlarge). Map of military reconnaissance from Fort Dalles, Oregon, via Fort Wallah-Wallah, to Fort Taylor, Washington Territory, 1858. Shows approximate location of military road constructed 1859 to 1862. From the report and maps of Captain John Mullan, United States Army, G.P.O., 1863. University of Washington Archives #UW85. -- University of Washington Library Archives Website, 2002
  7. 1863 Map (section of original), Columbia River, Umatilla Rapids, Monumental Rocks, Umatilla River, Walla Walla River, Touchet River, etc. (Click to enlarge). Original map by John Mullan, Julius Bien, and Edward Freyhold, United State Office of Explorations and Surveys. Prepared from field notes from 1858-1863. Scale 1:1,000,000. Original map from: report and maps of Captain John Mullan, United States Army, of his operations while engaged in the construction of a military road from Fort Walla-Walla, on the Columbia River, to Fort Benton, on the Missouri River, 1863. -- University of Washington Library Archives Website, 2002
  8. 1908 Map, mouth of the Umatilla River (section of original), from Umatilla 1:125,000 topographic quadrangle. (Click to enlarge). Original map surveyed in 1907, contour interval of 50 feet. What is marked "Devils Bend Rapids" on this topo map corresponds to "Umatilla Rapids" on the 1858 and 1863 maps. The 1858 and 1863 "Umatilla Rapids" are downstream of the mouth of the Umatilla River. -- University of Washington Library Collections Website, 2002
  9. 1984 Map, Umatilla River, Umatilla, and McNary Dam (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Blalock Islands to McNary Dam, 1984, Chart#18539, 1:20,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  10. 1985, NASA Image, Columbia River from Willow Creek to McNary Dam (section of original) (Click to enlarge). View from space - Columbia River, Willow Creek, Alder Creek, Crow Butte, Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge vicinity, Umatilla River, McNary Dam, and Lake Umatilla, August, 1985. The Columbia River flows right (east) to left (west). Washington State is the upper half of the image (north) and Oregon is the lower half (south). Lake Umatilla was formed by the John Day dam (not in image). NASA Earth from Space #STS51F-035-0011. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  11. 1985, NASA Image, Closer-in view Columbia River and the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge vicinity (section of original) (Click to enlarge). View from space - Columbia River, Crow Butte, Lake Umatilla, and the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge vicinity, August, 1985. The Columbia River flows right (east) to left (west). Washington State is the upper half of the image (north) and Oregon is the lower half (south). Lake Umatilla was formed by the John Day dam (not in image). NASA Earth from Space #STS51F-035-0011. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  12. 1994, NASA Image, Columbia River from Crow Butte to the Snake River (section of original) (Click to enlarge). View from space - Columbia River, Snake River, Yakima River, Walla Walla River, Umatilla River, Crow Butte and Wallula Gap, north-looking, low-oblique photograph, September 1994. NASA Earth from Space #STS064-112-093. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  13. 1994, NASA Image, Columbia River, including the Umatilla River (section of original) (Click to enlarge). View from space - Columbia River, McNary Dam, Umatilla River, Sillusi Butte vicinity, Juniper Canyon, and Spring Gulch, north-looking, low-oblique photograph, September 1994. NASA Earth from Space #STS064-112-093. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  14. 2003, Umatilla River, Oregon, at its confluence with the Columbia River. (Click to enlarge). Copyright © 2003 Lyn Topinka, private archives, used with permission.


Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge:
Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge is 29,370 acres of marshes, sloughs, open water, cropland, and sagebrush uplands, and is a nesting area for Great Basin Canada geese and several species of ducks. The refuge typically has 90,000 wintering Canada geese and 200,000 wintering ducks - practically all species of ducks found in the west except sea ducks. The largest number of ducks on the refuge at one time was 458,000 on November 13, 1983. Long-billed curlews and other marsh and water birds nest on the refuge. Mammals include mule deer, coyote, and many smaller species. Walleye, steelhead, salmon, sturgeon, crappie, and bass are found in refuge waters. The refuge is located along the Columbia River in the vicinity of Irrigon, Oregon, and Paterson, Washington. -- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Website, 2002,



and encamped under some willow trees on the left, having made thirty-six miles to-day [near Irrigon, Oregon]. Immediately opposite to us is an island close to the left shore, and another in the middle of the river [upstream of Blalock Island area], on which are twenty-four houses of Indians, all engaged in drying fish. ......


Along the Journey - October 19, 1805
Map, Blalock Islands area, 1858

Blalock Islands:
The large island once known as "Long Island" and "Blalock Island" has been inundated with the waters of Lake Wallula, the reservoir behind McNary Dam.


Map, 1858 Military recon map, Castle Rock and Canoe Encampment Rapids, click to enlarge Map, 1906 USGS topo map, Blalock Islands, click to enlarge Map, 1987, Blalock Islands, downstream half, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1985, Columbia River from Willow Creek to McNary Dam, click to enlarge NASA Image, 1985, Columbia River and the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
  1. 1858 Military Recon Map (section of original), Blalock Island Vicinity (Long Island). (Click to enlarge). Map of military reconnaissance from Fort Dalles, Oregon, via Fort Wallah-Wallah, to Fort Taylor, Washington Territory, 1858. Shows approximate location of military road constructed 1859 to 1862. From the report and maps of Captain John Mullan, United States Army, G.P.O., 1863. University of Washington Archives #UW85. -- University of Washington Library Archives Website, 2002
  2. 1906 Map Closer-View (section of original), from Blalock Island 1:125,000 topographic quadrangle. (Click to enlarge). Original map surveyed in 1906, contour interval of 50 feet. -- University of Washington Library Collections Website, 2002
  3. 1987 Map, Blalock Islands, downstream half (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Office of Coast Surveys, Historical Maps and Charts, Columbia River, Juniper to Pasco, 1987, Chart#18542, 1:20,000. -- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Website, 2004
  4. 1985, NASA Image, Columbia River from Willow Creek to McNary Dam (section of original) (Click to enlarge). View from space - Columbia River, Willow Creek, Alder Creek, Crow Butte, Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge vicinity, Umatilla River, McNary Dam, and Lake Umatilla, August, 1985. The Columbia River flows right (east) to left (west). Washington State is the upper half of the image (north) and Oregon is the lower half (south). Lake Umatilla was formed by the John Day dam (not in image). NASA Earth from Space #STS51F-035-0011. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002
  5. 1985, NASA Image, Columbia River and the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge, including Blalock Island (section of original) (Click to enlarge). View from space - Columbia River, Crow Butte, Blalock Island, and the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge vicinity, August, 1985. The Columbia River flows right (east) to left (west). Washington State is the upper half of the image (north) and Oregon is the lower half (south). Lake Umatilla was formed by the John Day dam (not in image). NASA Earth from Space #STS51F-035-0011. -- NASA Earth from Space Website, 2002


Along the Journey - October 19, 1805
The Camp - October 19, 1805:
Lewis and Clark's camp of October 19, 1805 was near Irrigon, Oregon, in what is today the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge.



 
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June/July 2004, Lyn Topinka
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