Washington: Skamania County

Skamania County (pop. 11,066) is west of Klickitat County, along the Columbia River. “Skamania” comes from a Chinook word meaning “swift waters.”

Much of the county is in Pinchot National Forest.

Mount St. Helens is in the northern part of Skamania County. St. Helens last erupted in 1980, causing massive destruction and the deaths of 57 people.

The summit was reduced from 9,677 feet to 8,365 feet elevation.

Today, the mountain is part of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Visitors may drive within four miles of the crater.

Mountain climbing is now allowed.

The county seat of Skamania County is the city of Stevenson (pop. 1,465).

Downtown Stevenson, Big River Grill on left

Stevenson is in the Columbia Gorge – an area that is extremely popular for windsurfing and kiteboarding.

Windsurfing on the Columbia

The Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum, in Stevenson, has a variety of exhibits about local history.

Also the world’s largest collection of rosary beads

Beacon Rock State Park is west of Stevenson; the 848-foot-tall rock has long been a landmark on the Columbia River.

One of the world’s largest free-standing monoliths

The Bonneville Lock and Dam, which opened in 1937, crosses the Columbia to Oregon. Built and managed by the Army Corps of Engineers, it is a major producer of electricity.

“Roll on Columbia, roll on”


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