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Columbia River

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Washington / Oregon border
Columbia River
River Length
1,243 miles


The Columbia River, by far the largest river in the Pacific Northwest and the fourth longest in the United States, forms the border between much of Washington and Oregon after nearly bisecting Washington state itself.

The Columbia flows through a variety of terrain, from its glacial origins in British Columbia to the pine forests surrounding the banks of Lake Roosevelt and Lake Chelan. As the land flattens, the Columbia River meanders through fertile farmland near Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland before rushing through the scenic Columbia River Gorge to the Pacific Ocean.

The Columbia River produces the most hydroelectric power of any river in the United States, and this accounts for the huge lakes along the river's route. These dams have reduced the historic salmon runs, although the ongoing commitment to the Columbia River attempts to balance the historic, environmental, commercial, and recreational uses of the river.

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River Length
1,243 miles
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