It begins in Canada and ends on the Oregon border, but make no mistake—the Columbia is Washington’s river. Once its salmon fed us; today its humming dams and silent windmills feed us power. Our farmland drinks its water, and we play on what’s left. Nuclear war was born on the same banks that welcomed Lewis and Clark and the Oregon Trail. The Columbia River is the backbone of Washington state, 1,243 miles of history and our future. 

 

In This Feature:

A Brief History of the Columbia River

Impress your friends on your next trip with some historical trivia.

07/24/2015 By Allison Williams

Where to Stay and Play on the Columbia River

From the lake to the mouth, make the most of your next trip along the river.

07/24/2015 By Allison Williams

This Is What Washington’s Tiniest Ferry Looks Like

Who’s says there’s no such thing as a free ride?

07/24/2015 By Allison Williams

Columbia River Caviar Might be Making a Comeback

All it takes is some prehistoric fish.

07/24/2015 By Allison Williams

Kiteboarding Sets Sail

But the Gorge-born sport isn’t taking the wind out of windsurfing.

07/24/2015 Photography by Allison Williams

The Hardest Job on the Columbia

The giant ships of the Columbia River don't drive themselves.

07/24/2015 By Allison Williams

Where the Wild Things Are

A guide to the animals in and along the Columbia River.

07/24/2015 By Allison Williams

The Strange Song of Woody Guthrie

The ultimate folk balladeer immortalized Washington in “Roll On Columbia.”

07/24/2015 By Allison Williams

5 Ways to Boat Down the Columbia

Bring your own captain’s hat.

07/24/2015 By Allison Williams

Maya Lin Heard Something Here

The Vietnam War memorial artist is commemorating in her own way.

07/24/2015 By Allison Williams

The Atomic Graveyard on the Hanford Reach

The Hanford Reach was the top-secret site of America’s biggest technological achievement—or one of its deadliest. Now it’s simultaneously a toxic dump and a pristine expanse of river.

07/24/2015 By Allison Williams