Cispus River

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Coordinates: 46°28′35″N 122°5′39″W / 46.47639°N 122.09417°W / 46.47639; -122.09417
Cispus River
VIEW OF UPSTREAM ELEVATION OF BRIDGE, LOOKING SOUTHWEST BY 245 DEGREES - Cispus Valley Bridge, Spanning Cispus River at Forest Service Road 2306, Randle, Lewis County, WA HAER WASH,21-RAND,2-2.tif
Bridge at Forest Service Road 2306
Country United States
State Washington
County Lewis, Skamania
Source Goat Rocks Wilderness
 - location Cascade Range
 - coordinates 46°29′41″N 121°25′45″W / 46.49472°N 121.42917°W / 46.49472; -121.42917 [1]
Mouth Cowlitz River
 - location Lake Scanewa
 - elevation 833 ft (254 m) [2]
 - coordinates 46°28′35″N 122°5′39″W / 46.47639°N 122.09417°W / 46.47639; -122.09417 [2]
Length 54 mi (87 km) [3]
Discharge for river mile 17.4 near Randle
 - average 1,001 cu ft/s (28.3 m3/s) [4]
 - max 9,800 cu ft/s (277.5 m3/s)
 - min 165 cu ft/s (4.7 m3/s)
Location of the mouth of the Cispus River in Washington

The Cispus River is about 54 miles (87 km) long[3] and flows into the Cowlitz River at Lake Scanewa in the Cascade Mountains of Washington.[5] Its tributaries drain most of south-central and southeastern Lewis County, extreme northeast Skamania County, and some of western Yakima County.

Its main stem begins in Lewis County in a high, glacial valley to the north of Snowgrass Flats in the Goat Rocks Wilderness, located on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. From here the river flows in a southwesterly direction and takes on the waters of several important headwater tributaries such as Walupt Creek.

About 40 miles (64 km) from its mouth, the Cispus River receives Muddy Fork from the left.[3] Muddy Fork starts 7 miles (11 km) from this junction, at Mount Adams' Lava Glacier and is named for the glacial debris and silt in the water which give the river a muddy appearance. The Cispus River flows though a heavily forested valley, much of the forest regrown after the Cispus Burn, which occurred the first decade of the 20th century and consumed most of the lower drainage.

The rushing Canyon Creek enters the river originating high on the slopes of Mount Adams. A few miles down the North Fork Cispus enters the main branch about 20 miles (32 km) from its start. From here on, the Cispus River flows westerly, passing campgrounds and trails in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Two tributaries, Yellowjacket and McCoy Creeks, flow into the river from the south about midway though its course. Beyond here, the river passes beneath Tower Rock, a prominent basalt monolith on the south side of the river. Soon after this the river leaves the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and enters the Weyerhauser Cowlitz Tree Farm. The Cispus River ends its course entering the Cowlitz River at Lake Scanewa, just upstream from Cowlitz Falls and Riffe Lake.

There is a stream flow monitoring station on the river which sends its data live to the USGS. Whitewater rafting also takes place on the Cispus River.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Cispus River
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Cispus River
  3. ^ a b c United States Geological Survey. "United States Topographic Map". TopoQuest. Retrieved January 27, 2013.  River miles are marked and numbered on the relevant map quadrangles.
  4. ^ "Water Resources Data-Washington Water Year 2005; Cowlitz River Basin; 14231900 Cispus River above Yellowjacket Creek, near Randle, WA". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  5. ^ "Cowlitz Falls Project". Lewis County Public Utility District. Retrieved January 27, 2013. 

External links[edit]