Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Youngs Creek and Youngs Creek Falls, Oregon"
Includes ... Youngs Creek ... Youngs Creek Falls ... Shepperd's Dell ...
Image, 2004, Rooster Rock State Park and Youngs Creek, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Rooster Rock State Park, Oregon, and Latourell and Youngs Creeks. From Crown Point looking upstream at Rooster Rock State Park. Latourell Creek (right) and Youngs Creek (left) meander through the foreground. Shepperds Dell is to the right off of Youngs Creek. Image taken October 10, 2004.


Youngs Creek ...
Youngs Creek flows into the Shepperd's Dell area at Columbia River Mile (RM) 131 where it turns west and flows through Rooster Rock State Park. Approximately a mile and 1/2 later Youngs Creek merges with Latourell Creek and forms Mirror Lake. Mirror Lake then merges with the Columbia River just below Rooster Rock at RM 138.5. A good view of Youngs Creek, Latourell Creek, and the eastern part of Rooster Rock State Park can be seen from Crown Point.

Early Youngs Creek ...
Robert A. Habersham's 1889 Multnomah County map shows an "A.F. Young" owning property on the hillslope near where Youngs Creek reaches the flats of today's Shepperds Dell and Rooster Rock State Park.

Image, 2005, Youngs Creek as seen from Crown Point, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Latourell and Youngs Creeks, Rooster Rock State Park, as seen from Crown Point. From Crown Point looking upstream at Rooster Rock State Park. Latourell Creek (right) and Youngs Creek (left) meander through the foreground. Shepperds Dell is to the right off of Youngs Creek. Image taken March 6, 2005.


Youngs Creek Falls ...
A stairwell and trail to Youngs Creek Falls is at the east end of the Shepperd's Dell Bridge. The falls is a tiered falls nearly 300 feet in total length, with 5 drops. Most of the falls is not visible from the Shepperds Dell turnout on the Historic Columbia River Highway. Youngs Creek Falls is one of the many falls in the Columbia River Gorge which can be seen along the highway.

Image, 2004, Youngs Creek Falls, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Youngs Creek Falls. Image taken October 11, 2004.
Image, 2005, Youngs Creek Falls, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Gene and Riley, Youngs Creek Falls. Image taken March 6, 2005.


"The Golden Age of Postcards" ...

The early 1900s was the "Golden Age of Postcards", with the "Penny Postcard" being a popular way to send greetings to family and friends. Today the Penny Postcard has become a snapshot of history.

Penny Postcard, Shepperds Dell Highway, looking downstream, ca.1920
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: Shepperd's Dell Highway looking downstream, ca.1920 Penny Postcard, ca.1920, "Looking West from Shepperd's Dell Dome, Columbia River Highway, Oregon". Card #820. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 2, 1805 ...
Examined the rapid below us [from their camp at Fort Rains, looking at the Cascade Rapids] more pertcelarly the danger appearing too great to Hazzard our Canoes loaded, dispatched all the men who could not Swim with loads to the end of the portage below, I also walked to the end of the portage with the carriers where I delayed untill everry articles was brought over and canoes arrived Safe. here we brackfast and took a Meridn. altitude 59 45' 45" about the time we were Setting out 7 Squars came over loaded with Dried fish, and bear grass neetly bundled up, Soon after 4 Indian men came down over the rapid in a large canoe.     passed a rapid at 2 miles & 1 at 4 miles opposite the lower point of a high Island on the Lard Side [Bradford Island], and a little below 4 Houses on the Stard. Bank, a Small Creek on the Lard Side [Tanner Creek] opposit Straw berry Island [Hamilton Island], which heads below the last rapid, opposit the lower point of this Island [Hamilton Island] passed three Islands covered with tall timber [today there are two, Ives and Pierce] opposit the Beatin rock [Beacon Rock]    Those Islands are nearest the Starboard Side, imediately below on the Stard. Side passed a village of nine houses [indentified on Atlas map#79 as the "Wah-clallah Tribe of Shahala Nation", location near today's Skamania and Skamania Landing], which is Situated between 2 Small Creeks [Woodard Creek and Duncan Creek], and are of the Same construction of those above; here the river widens to near a mile, and the bottoms are more extensive and thickly timbered, as also the high mountains on each Side, with Pine, Spruce pine, Cotton wood, a Species of ash, and alder.     at 17 miles passed a rock near the middle of the river [Phoca Rock], about 100 feet high and 80 feet Diamuter,     proceed on down a Smoth gentle Stream of about 2 miles wide, in which the tide has its effect as high as the Beaten rock [Beacon Rock] or the Last rapids at Strawberry Island [Hamilton Island],- Saw great numbers of waterfowl of Different kinds, Such as Swan, Geese, white & grey brants, ducks of various kinds, Guls, & Pleaver [today just below Beacon Rock is Franz National Wildlife Refuge]. ...     we encamped under a high projecting rock on the Lard. Side [Rooster Rock, with Crown Point rising above it],     here the mountains leave the river on each Side [leaving the Columbia River Gorge, Steigerwald Land NWR is on the north and the Sandy River delta is on the south], which from the great Shute to this place is high and rugid [Columbia River Gorge]; thickly Covered with timber principalley of the Pine Species. The bottoms below appear extensive and thickly Covered with wood.     river here about 2 miles wide.     Seven Indians in a Canoe on their way down to trade with the nativs below, encamp with us, those we left at the portage passed us this evening and proceeded on down The ebb tide rose here about 9 Inches, the flood tide must rise here much higher- we made 29 miles to day from the Great Shute [Cascade Locks]-






Clark, April 6, 1806 ...
Two Indians Came last night very late to our Camp [Cottonwood Beach, Washougal, Washington] and continued all night. early we had all the meat packed up and our Canoes loaded ready for to Set out and after an early brackfast at which time all things were ready and we Set out and proceeded to the Camp of Gibson & party about 9 miles [on the Oregon side of the Columbia near Shepperds Dell], they had killed 3 Elk at no great distance and Wounded two others so badly that we expect to precure them. Sent a party of Six men with Shannon who had killed the Elk to bring in the Elk, and formed a Camp, near which we had a Scaffold made ready to dry the meat as Soon as it Should arive. ...     in the evening late the Indians left us and returned to their village. we derected that fires be kept under the meat all night. and tha Drewyer and the two Fields proceed on to the next bottom and hunt untill we Should arive. 9 miles


Lewis, April 6, 1806 ...
This morning we had the dryed meat secured in skins and the canoes loaded [at their camp at Cottonwood Beach, Washougal, Washington]; we took breakfast and departed at 9 A. M. we continued up the N. side of the river nearly to the place at which we had encamped on the 3rd of Nov. [in error, Lewis meant their camp of November 2, 1805, which was at Rooster Rock] when we passed the river to the south side in quest of the hunters we had sent up yesterday and the day before. from the appearance of a rock near which we had encamped on the 3rd of November last [November 2, 1805, Rooster Rock] I could judge better of the rise of the water than I could at any point below. I think the flood of this spring has been about 12 feet higher than it was at that time; the river is here about 1 miles wide; it's general width from the beacon rock [Beacon Rock, Washington] which may be esteemed the head of tide water, to the marshey islands [Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge, Cathlamet Bay, near Astoria] is from one to 2 miles tho' in many places it is still wider. it is only in the fall of the year when the river is low that the tides are persceptable as high as the beacon rock [Beacon Rock]. this remarkable rock which stands on the North shore of the river is unconnected with the hills and rises to the hight of seven hundred feet; it has some pine or reather fir timber on it's nothern side, the southern is a precipice of it's whole hight. it rises to a very sharp point and is visible for 20 miles below on the river. at the distance of ten miles from our encampment [Cottonwood Beach] we met with our hunters in the upper end of the bottom to which we had directed them on the South side of the river [Shepperds Dell]. they had killed three Elk this morning and wounded two others so badly that they expected to get them. we therefore determined to encamp for the evening at this place in order to dry the meat, in surch of which we sent a party immediately and employed others in preparing scaffoalds and collecting firewood &c against their return. ...  : : p the party whom we sent for the flesh of the Elk which Shannon had killed returned in the evening with that of four, one had by some mistake been omitted. Drewyer and shannon found the two wounded Elk and had killed them. we set all hands at work to prepare the meat for the saffoald they continued their operations untill late at night. we directed Shannon to go out early in the morning with a party to bring in the Elk which had been left last evening in mistake. we also directed Drewyer and the two Feildses to ascend the river early in the morning to a small bottom a few miles above and hunt untill our arrival.


Gass, April 6, 1806 ...
We had a fine morning, with some fog; about 10 o'clock we set out; passed a beautiful pairie on the north side [area of Steigerwald National Wildlife Refuge], which we could not see for the fog as we went down; proceeded on about 9 miles and came to our hunters' camp [Shepperds Dell]. they had killed 5 elk; so we halted, sent out for the meat and began to dry it. We are now at the head of the Columbia valley; which is a fine valley about 70 miles long, abounding with roots of different kinds, which the natives use for food, especially the Wapto roots which they gather out of the ponds. The timber is mostly of the fir kind, with some cherry, dog-wood, soft maple and ash; and a variety of shrubs which bear fruit of a fine flavour, that the natives make use of for food.




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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:    See Shepperds Dell;   

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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June 2014