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Klickitat River Basin ... 

According to the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority website (2004), the mainstem Klickitat River arises from the Cascades below Cispus Pass at approximately 5,000 feet elevation and flows 95 miles to its confluence with the Columbia River and the reservoir behind the  Bonneville Dam. Major tributaries to the mainstem Klickitat include Swale Creek, Little Klickitat River, Outlet Creek, Big Muddy Creek, West Fork Klickitat River, and Diamond Fork. The geology of the Klickitat drainage is dominated by extensive basalt strata having a total thickness of several thousand feet. Volcanic rocks of four distinct age groups underlie the basin. The Cascade crest is dominated by Mount Adams, a 12,000-foot dormant volcano with an extensive glacier system that drains into the Klickitat River. At the northwest corner of the basin lie the Goat Rocks, the deeply eroded remnants of an extinct volcano, that reach to about 8,000 feet. The northern boundary is the Klickton Divide, a 7,000-foot ridge of Columbia River Basalt that separates the Klickitat from the watershed of the Tieton River, a tributary to the Yakima. The Lost Horse and Lincoln plateaus, 5,000 to 6,000-foot-high plateaus underlain by Columbia River basalts, separate the Klickitat from the Ahtanum and Toppenish basins, which drain east to the Yakima River. In the southeast part of the basin, younger volcanic rocks, including many cinder cones, cover the older basalts on the divide separating the Klickitat from the Satus Basin.

Lewis and Clark and the Klickitat River ... 

Lewis and Clark passed the mouth of the Klickitat River on October 29, 1805, and named it "Cataract River".


"... after brackfast we proceeded on, the mountains are high on each Side, containing Scattering pine white oake & under groth, hill Sides Steep and rockey;   at 4 miles lower we observed a Small river falling in with great rapidity on the Stard. Side below which is a village of 11 houses, here we landed to Smoke a pipe with the nativs and examine the mouth of the river, which I found to be 60 yards wide rapid and deep,   The inhabitants of the village are friendly and Chearfull; those people inform us also those at the last village that this little river is long and full of falls, no Salmon pass up it, it runs from N. N. E.   that ten nations live on this river and its waters, on buries, and what game that Can kill with their Bow & arrows ...   The last river we passed we Shall Call the Cataract River from the number of falls which the Indians say is on it ..." [Clark, October 29, 1805]

On their return, the men passed the Klickitat on April 15, 1806.


"... a little below the entrance of Cataract river we halted at another village of the same people, at which we were equally unsuccessfull in the purchase of horses. ..." [Lewis, April 15, 1806]


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