Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Columbia River Dike Trail, Washougal, Washington"
Includes ... Columbia River Dike Trail ... Steamboat Landing ... Cottonwood Beach ... Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail ... Steigerwald Lake NWR ...
Image, 2009, Columbia River Dike Trail, click to enlarge
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Columbia River Dike Trail, Washington. Section near Steigerwald Lake NWR. Image taken August 2, 2009.


Columbia River Dike Trail ...
The Columbia River Dike Trail is located east of Washougal, Washington. It follows the Columbia River for 3 1/2 miles (2016 info), starting at Steamboat Landing, passing through Cottonwood Beach, and bordering the south side of the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The Trail allows running, bicycling, horseback riding, and leashed pets.

Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail ...
The Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail (the hiking path around Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge) intersects the Columbia River Dike Trail at two locations.
[More]

Image, 2009, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
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Sign, Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken August 2, 2009.
Image, 2016, Columbia River, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
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Columbia River Dike Trail (left) at Steigerwald Lake NWR (right), Washougal, Washington. Image taken March 18, 2016.


Views along the Dike Trail ...

Image, 2016, Columbia River, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
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Columbia River at Steigerwald Lake NWR, along the Columbia River Dike Trail, Washougal, Washington. Image taken March 31, 2016.
Image, 2009, Columbia River from Dike Trail, click to enlarge
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Columbia River as seen from the Dike Trail. Reed Island is in the background. Image taken August 2, 2009.
Image, 2009, Columbia River from Dike Trail, click to enlarge
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View along the Columbia River Dike Trail. Image taken August 2, 2009.
Image, 2016, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
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Barns, Columbia River Dike Trail, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken March 18, 2016.
Image, 2016, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
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Barns, Columbia River Dike Trail, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken March 25, 2016.
Image, 2016, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
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Columbia River at Steigerwald Lake, NWR, as seen from the Columbia River Dike Trail, Washougal, Washington. Image taken March 31, 2016.
Image, 2016, Columbia River, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
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Columbia River at Steigerwald Lake NWR, along the Columbia River Dike Trail, Washougal, Washington. Mew Gull and California Sea Lion. Image taken March 25, 2016.
Image, 2011, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
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Purple Martin gourds, Columbia River Dike Trail, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken May 18, 2011.
Image, 2016, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
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Red-tailed Hawk, Columbia River Dike Trail, Washougal, Washington. Image taken March 31, 2016.
Image, 2016, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
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Burrowing Owl, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken March 31, 2016.
Image, 2016, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
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Ring-necked Pheasant, Columbia River Dike Trail, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken March 18, 2016.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 3, 1805 ...
The Fog So thick [typical of the Pacific Northwest in the fall and spring] this morning that we could not See a man 50 Steps off, this fog detained us untill 10 oClock at which time we Set out [from their camp at Rooster Rock], ...    I walked on the Sand beech Lard. Side, opposit the canoes as they passed allong. The under groth rushes, vines &c. in the bottoms too thick to pass through, at 3 miles I arrived at the enterance of a river [Sandy River] which appeared to Scatter over a Sand bar, the bottom of which I could See quite across and did not appear to be 4 Inches deep in any part; I attempted to wade this Stream and to my astonishment found the bottom a quick Sand, and impassable- I called to the Canoes to put to Shore, I got into the Canoe and landed below the mouth, & Capt Lewis and my Self walked up this river about 1 miles to examine this river which we found to be a verry Considerable Stream Dischargeing its waters through 2 Chanels which forms an Island [Sandy River Delta, which has had various names throughout history] of about 3 miles in length on the river and 1 miles wide, composed of Corse Sand which is thrown out of this quick Sand river Compressing the waters of the Columbia and throwing the whole Current of its waters against its Northern banks, within a Chanel of a mile wide, Several Small Islands 1 mile up this river, This Stream has much the appearance of the River Platt: roleing its quick Sands into the bottoms with great velocity after which it is divided into 2 Chanels by a large Sand bar before mentioned, the narrowest part of this River is 120 yards-on the Opposit Side of the Columbia a <large Creek> falls in [Washougal River]     above this Creek on the Same Side is a Small prarie [location of Washougal, Washington, Cottonwood Beach, now the home of Captain William Clark Park, and the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge]. extensive low country on each Side thickly timbered [low area upstream of Cottonwood Beach and Captain William Clark Park is the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge].

The Quick Sand river [Sandy River] appears to pass through the low countrey at the foot of those high range of mountains in a Southerly direction,- The large Creeks which fall into the Columbia on the Stard. Side [Washougal River] rise in the Same range of mountains to the N. N. E. and pass through Some ridgey land- A Mountain which we Suppose to be Mt. Hood [Mount Hood, Oregon] is S. 85 E about 47 miles distant from the mouth of quick sand river [Sandy River]     This mtn. is Covered with Snow and in the range of mountains which we have passed through and is of a Conical form but rugid- after takeing dinner at the mouth of this river [Sandy River]  we proceeded on passed the head of a Island [Lady Island] near the lard Side [???] back of which on the Same Side and near the head a large Creek falls in [Washougal River, today the town of Camas, Washington, lies between Lady Island and the Washougal River], and nearly opposit & 3 miles below the upper mouth of quick Sand river is the lower mouth, [for?] This Island [Lady Island] is 3 1/2 miles long, has rocks at the upper point, Some timber on the borders of this Island in the middle open and ponney. Some rugid rocks in the middle of the Stream opposit this Island.   <proceeded in> to Center of a large Island in the middle of the river which we call Dimond Isld. [Government Island] from its appearance, here we met 15 Indn men in 2 canoes from below, they informed us they Saw 3 vestles below &c. &c. we landed on the North Side of this Dimond Island and Encamped [on the north side of Government Island, perhaps opposite Fishers Landing],     Capt. L walked out with his gun on the Island, Sent out hunters & fowlers- below quick Sand River [Sandy River] the Countrey is low rich and thickly timbered on each Side of the river  [on the Oregon side this area is the eastern end of the Columbia Slough, located on the floodplain of the Willamette River with the Columbia River],   the Islands open & Some ponds river wide and emence numbers of fowls flying in every direction Such as Swan, geese, Brants, Cranes, Stalks, white guls, comerants & plevers &c. also great numbers of Sea Otter in the river [Harbor Seals] -     a Canoe arrived from the village below the last rapid ...     Capt Lewis borrowed a Small Canoe of those Indians & 4 men took her across to a Small lake in the Isld. [Government Island] ...    ...  :  note the mountain we Saw from near the forks proves to be Mount Hood [Mount Hood, Oregon]





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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources:    Vancouver Audubon Society website, 2009;   

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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February 2017