Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Table Mountain, Washington"
Includes ... Table Mountain ... Table Mountain Landslide (Bonneville Landslide) ... Campsite of October 30-31, 1805 ... Campsite of April 12, 1806 ...
Image, 2013, Table Mountain, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Table Mountain, Washington, as seen from Hamilton Island, Washington, with part of the Bonneville Landslide in the foreground. Image taken February 19, 2013.


Table Mountain ...
Table Mountain is located on the Washington side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 148, and rises above Stevenson, Washington and Cascade Locks, Oregon. Magnificent views of the peak and it's companion Greenleaf Peak are visible from many areas along the Columbia. Cascade Locks, on the Oregon side of the Columbia, has perhaps the best view of Table Mountain. Other good views are from Bonneville Dam and North Bonneville, Washington. Table Mountain is part of the massive Bonneville Landslide event which formed the Cascade Rapids, a major barrier to early travelers on the Columbia River. Lewis and Clark reached this area in October 1805 and had to portage around the rapids.

Lewis and Clark and Table Mountain ...
Lewis and Clark reached the Table Mountain area on October 30, 1805, and set up camp near Ashes Lake, just upstream of the "Cascade Rapids" and across from today's Cascade Locks, Oregon. Table Mountain rises over the area. From this camp the men took two days to portage down through the Cascade Rapids.
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Image, 2004, Table Mountain from Bonneville Dam, North Bonneville, Washington click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Table Mountain and the Bonneville Landslide, Washington, as seen from Cascade Locks, Oregon. View towards the location of Lewis and Clark's campsites of October 30 and 31, 1805 and April 12, 1806, near Ashes Lake, Washington, at the upper end of the Bonneville Landslide. View from Thunder Island, Cascade Locks, Oregon. Image taken November 4, 2004.


Bonneville Landslide ...
Table Mountain is part of the massive Bonneville Landslide event which formed the Cascade Rapids, a major barrier to early travelers on the Columbia River. The Bonneville Landslide is one of the greatest landslides along the Columbia River, diverting the river channel a mile, and creating the legend of the Bridge of the Gods.
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Image, 2011, Table Mountain, Greenleaf Basin, Greenleaf Peak, Washington, click to enlarge
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Table Mountain, Greenleaf Basin, and Greenleaf Peak, Washington, as seen from Cascade Locks Marina, Cascade Locks, Oregon. Image taken May 20, 2011.


Columbia River Basalt Group ...
"Flood basalts of the Miocene Columbia River Basalt Gorup (CRBG) are among the most volumninous and far-traveled lava flows on earth. About 10% of the basalt flows that erupted on the Columbia Plateau between 17 and 12 Ma were voluminous enough to pass through the Cascade arc via a wide ancestral Columbia River valley, and some of them eventually reached the Pacific Ocean. Some of the larger flows invaded the marine strata, forming mega-invasive flows on the continental shelf and slope. ...

The basic geologic framework of the Columbia River Gorge has been known for over a century. In the western gorge, the package of Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG) flood-basalt flows unconformably overlies volcanogenic rocks of ancestral Cascade volcanic arc. Vigorous and widespread volcanism characterized the arc from its inception 40 Ma until ca. 18 Ma, when activity greatly declines. The arc must have been relatively quiescent during emplacement of the most voluminous CRBG flows, because interflow volcanic sediments are sparse. The larger flows passed through a 50-km-wide ancestral Columbia River valley on their way to the ocean. Owing to late Cenozoic uplift of the Cascade Range and resultant incision by the Columbia River, CRBG flows are now spectacularly exposed in the cliffs and waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge. The modern gorge roughly follows the northern margin of the broad Miocene valley. Grande Ronde flows clearly abut the northern paleovalley wall formed by early Miocene volcaniclastic rocks of the 19 Ma Eagle Creek Formation. ...

The slight southward dip of the Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG) section and the underlying Eagle Creek Formation gives the western gorge an asymmetric physiographic cross section. In Washington, failure of weakly lithified Eagle Creek strata that dip toward the river under the load of superincumbent basalt has produced huge landslide complexes composed largely of CRBG debris. In Oregon, where strata dip away from the river, undercutting of the Eagle Creek Formation instead creates towering cliffs. As a result, the CRBG section south of the river consists of continuous cliffs, whereas to the north the CRBG forms scattered peaks (Greenleaf Peak, Table Mountain, Hamilton Mountain, and Archer Mountain) separated by low-lying terrain underlain by the Eagle Creek Formation or landslide debris. Each of these peaks is actually the southern end of a N-S ridge of CRBG, marking sites where basalt flows backfilled south-flowing tributaries of ancestral Columbia River."


Source:    Wells, R.E., Niem, A.R., Evarts, R.C., and Hagstrum, J.T., 2010, "The Columbia River Basalt Group -- From the gorge to the sea", IN: Geologic Society of America Field Guild 15, 2009.


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Views ...

Image, 2004, Table Mountain, Washington, from Robbins Island, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Table Mountain, Washington, from Robins Island, Oregon. Image taken October 27, 2004.
Image, 2003, Table Mountain and Greenleaf Peak, Washington, from Bonneville Dam, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Table Mountain and Greenleaf Peak, Washington, as seen from downstream of Bonneville Dam, Oregon. Image taken October 25, 2003.
Image, 2014, Table Mountain from Bonneville Dam, North Bonneville, Washington click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Table Mountain as seen from near the North Powerhouse, Bonneville Dam, North Bonneville, Washington. Image taken March 21, 2014.
Image, 2005, Table Mountain, Washington, from Hamilton Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Table Mountain, Washington, from Hamilton Island, Washington. Image taken April 2, 2005.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 30, 1805 ...
A cool morning, a moderate rain all the last night, after eating a partial brackfast of venison we Set out [from their camp near Drano Lake and the Little White Salmon River]     passed Several places where the rocks projected into the river & have the appearance of haveing Seperated from the mountains and fallen promiscuisly into the river, Small nitches are formed in the banks below those projecting rocks which is comon in this part of the river, Saw 4 Cascades caused by Small Streams falling from the mountains on the Lard. Side,

[The possiblities in a two-mile area are - upstream to downstream - Starvation Creek and Falls, the seasonal Cabin Creek and Falls, Warren Creek and Falls, Wonder Creek and Lancaster Falls, Lindsey Creek and Falls, and Summit Creek and Falls.]

a remarkable circumstance in this part of the river is, the Stumps of pine trees [Submerged Forest]

[The Submerged Forest existed along the reach from above Dog Mountain/Viento Creek on the upstream edge and Wind Mountain/Shellrock Mountain on the downstream edge.]

are in maney places are at Some distance in the river, and gives every appearance of the rivers being damed up below from Some cause which I am not at this time acquainted with [Bonneville Landslide],     the Current of the river is also verry jentle not exceeding 1 1/2 mile pr. hour and about 3/4 of a mile in width. Some rain, we landed above the mouth of a Small river on the Stard. Side [Wind River] and Dined ...   :  here the river widens to about one mile large Sand bar in the middle, a Great [rock] both in and out of the water, large <round> Stones, or rocks are also permiscuisly Scattered about in the river, ...     The bottoms above the mouth of this little river [Wind River] <which we Call> is rich covered with grass & firn & is about 3/4 of a mile wide rich and rises gradually, below the river (which is 60 yards wide above its mouth) the Countery rises with Steep assent. we call this little river <fr Ash> New Timbered river from a Speces of Ash <that wood> which grows on its banks of a verry large and different from any we had before Seen, and a timber resembling the beech in bark <& groth> but different in its leaf which is Smaller and the tree smaller. passed maney large rocks in the river and a large creek on the Stard. Side in the mouth of which is an Island [Rock Creek near Stevenson, Washington], passed on the right of 3 Islands <on> near the Stard. Side, and landed on an Island close under the Stard. Side at the head of the great Shute [head of the Cascades Rapids], and a little below a village of 8 large houses on a Deep bend on the Stard. Side, and opposit 2 Small Islands imediately in the head of the Shute, which Islands are covered with Pine, maney large rocks also, in the head of the Shute. Ponds back of the houses, and Countrey low for a Short distance. The day proved Cloudy dark and disagreeable with Some rain all day which kept us wet. The Countary a high mountain on each Side thickly Covered with timber, Such as Spruc, Pine, Cedar, Oake Cotton &c. &c.     I took two men and walked down three miles to examine the Shute and river below proceeded along an old Indian path, passd. an old village at 1 mile [vicinity of Ice House Lake] ...     I found by examonation that we must make a portage of the greater perpotion of our Stores 2 1/2 miles, and the Canoes we Could haul over the rocks, I returned at Dark ...     a wet disagreeable evening, the only wood we could get to burn on this little Island on which we have encamped [near Ashes Lake, the island is now under the waters of the Bonneville Reservoir. Ashes Lake was near the head of the Cascade Rapids. Across from Ashes Lake is Cascade Locks, Oregon.] is the newly discovered Ash, which makes a tolerable fire. we made fifteen miles to daye





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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:    Wells, R.E., Niem, A.R., Evarts, R.C., and Hagstrum, J.T., 2010, "The Columbia River Basalt Group -- From the gorge to the sea", IN: Geologic Society of America Field Guild 15, 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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September 2008