Great Falls of the Columbia

Great Falls of the Columbia (HM2DTS)

Location: Lyle, WA 98635 Klickitat County
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Country: United States of America
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N 45° 39.769', W 120° 57.394'

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“Indians assisted us over the portage”

The Lewis and Clark Expedition reached Celilo Falls, its first major obstacle on the Columbia River, on October 22,1805. William Clark named this imposing stretch of the river "Great Falls of the Columbia." For millenia, tribes gathered here to fish for salmon, trade, and socialize. With the help of local tribes, Lewis and Clark scouted a suitable route to portage around the falls.
The portage required two days of hard work. The first day, the explorers ferried their baggage two-thirds of a mile over rocky ground on this side of the river. The second day, they dragged their canoes for about 450 yards on the opposite side before lowering them on strong elkskin ropes made for this purpose.
Fishing at Celilo Falls
Celilo Falls was the heart of the traditional fishing grounds — an ancient and historic fishing place for the Yakamas, Umatillas, Nez Perce, Warm Springs, and others — represented by scores of dipnetters, especially during the fall Chinook runs.Adapted from: Celilo Falls: Remembering Thunder by Frederick K. Cramer
October 22, 1805
"we landed and walked down accompanied by an old man to view the falls, and the best rout for to make a portage... the waters is divided into Several narrow chanels which pass through a hard black rock

forming Islands of rocks...
"~William Clark~
October 23, 1805
"we were obliged to let the Canoes down by Strong ropes of Elk Skin which we had for the purpose, one Canoe in passing this place got loose by the Cords breaking, and was cought by the Indians below."~William Clark~
Strong Ropes
The craft of rope making dates back to ancient time. Local tribes made ropes from plants such as dogbane. Expedition members made ropes from braided strips of elk skin. Today, ropes are often made of synthetic materials such as nylon.
Series This marker is part of the Lewis & Clark Expedition series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, January 24th, 2019 at 7:02pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10T E 659185 N 5058615
Decimal Degrees45.66281667, -120.95656667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 45° 39.769', W 120° 57.394'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds45° 39' 46.14" N, 120° 57' 23.64" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)509
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near WA-14, Lyle WA 98635, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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