White Salmon River

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White Salmon River
White Salmon River, WA.jpg
White Salmon River is located in Washington (state)
White Salmon River
Location of the mouth of the White Salmon River in Washington
CountryUnited States
CountyKlickitat, Skamania
Physical characteristics
SourceMount Adams Wilderness
 ⁃ locationGifford Pinchot National Forest, Klickitat County, Cascade Range
 ⁃ coordinates46°11′10″N 121°35′05″W / 46.18611°N 121.58472°W / 46.18611; -121.58472[1]
 ⁃ elevation5,381 ft (1,640 m)[2]
MouthColumbia River
 ⁃ location
Columbia River Gorge near Underwood, Skamania County
 ⁃ coordinates
45°43′43″N 121°31′16″W / 45.72861°N 121.52111°W / 45.72861; -121.52111Coordinates: 45°43′43″N 121°31′16″W / 45.72861°N 121.52111°W / 45.72861; -121.52111[1]
 ⁃ elevation
79 ft (24 m)[1]
Length44.3 mi (71.3 km)[3]
Basin size400 sq mi (1,000 km2)[4]
TypeWild, Scenic
DesignatedNovember 17, 1986

The White Salmon River is a 44-mile (71 km) tributary of the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington.[3] Originating on the slopes of Mount Adams, it flows into the Columbia Gorge near the community of Underwood. Parts of the river have been designated Wild and Scenic. The principal tributaries of the White Salmon River include Trout Lake and Buck, Mill, Dry, Gilmer, and Rattlesnake Creeks.[5]

Wild and Scenic[edit]

In 1986, the lower White Salmon River was designated Wild and Scenic between Gilmer Creek and Buck Creek. In 2005, the upper river between the headwaters and the boundary of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest was added to the designation. The two reaches, which are not contiguous, total 27.7 miles (44.6 km), of which 6.7 miles (10.8 km) are "wild" and 22.3 miles (35.9 km) are "scenic."[4]


The White Salmon River is used for whitewater boating nearly year-round. A popular spot to launch a raft or kayak is the public put-in at the unincorporated community of BZ Corner. The day-use area at the put-in includes parking, restrooms, and toilets. Guided whitewater trips can be arranged with commercial outfitters with special-use permits for the White Salmon.[4]

Condit Dam demolition[edit]

On October 26, 2011, the Condit Dam on the White Salmon River was intentionally breached as part of the dam's decommissioning by PacifiCorp. The breach allowed the river to flow unimpeded for the first time in nearly a century.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "White Salmon River". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. September 10, 1979. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  2. ^ Source elevation derived from Google Earth search using GNIS source coordinates.
  3. ^ a b United States Geological Survey. "United States Topographic Map". TopoQuest. Retrieved January 31, 2013. River miles are marked and numbered on the relevant map quadrangles.
  4. ^ a b c "White Salmon River". National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  5. ^ "The Volcanoes of Lewis & Clark: April 14, 1806 Columbia River Gorge – Dog Mountain to Major Creek". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  6. ^ Howard, Brian Clark (October 28, 2011). "Spectacular Time-Lapse Video of Historic Dam Removal". National Geographic Daily News. Retrieved January 31, 2013.

External links[edit]