Washington: Wahkiakum County

Wahkiakum (wuk-EYE-uh-kum) County is west of Cowlitz County, along the Columbia River. Its population of 3,978 is second-smallest in Washington, and it is third-smallest in square miles.

The county in 1909

The county was named for Wahkiakum (“Tall Timber”), a 19th-century chief of the Chinook Indians.

The county seat of Wahkiakum County, and the smallest county seat in Washington, is the town of Cathlamet (pop. 532).

Pronounced “kath-LAM-et”

Cathlamet was the site of one of the largest Indian villages on the Columbia River west of the Cascades.

Home of the Kathlamet people

A highway bridge connects Cathlamet to Puget Island, and the Wahkiakum County Ferry connects Puget Island to Westport, Oregon. The ferry holds nine cars and takes about 10 minutes to cross the Columbia.

It’s the last scheduled ferry between Washington and Oregon.

Cathlamet has a Bald Eagle Days celebration every July.

Several movies have been filmed in Cathlamet, includent “Snow Falling on Cedars” (1999).


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