Dosewallips River

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Dosewallips River
Mt Constance Dosewallips River.JPG
Mount Constance (7,756 ft) above the Dosewallips River in Dosewallips State Park
Dosewallips River is located in Washington (state)
Dosewallips River
Location of the mouth of the Dosewallips River in Washington
CountryUnited States
Physical characteristics
SourceOlympic Mountains
 ⁃ coordinates47°47′1″N 123°20′18″W / 47.78361°N 123.33833°W / 47.78361; -123.33833[1]
MouthHood Canal
 ⁃ coordinates
47°41′6″N 122°53′47″W / 47.68500°N 122.89639°W / 47.68500; -122.89639Coordinates: 47°41′6″N 122°53′47″W / 47.68500°N 122.89639°W / 47.68500; -122.89639[1]
Tidal shoreline near the estuary of the Dosewallips River, Dosewallips State Park

The Dosewallips River (/ˌdsɪˈwɔːlɪps/ DOH-si-WAW-lips)[2] is a river situated on the Olympic Peninsula in the U.S. state of Washington. It rises near Mount Anderson in the Olympic Mountains within Olympic National Park and drains to Hood Canal and thence to the Pacific Ocean.

The river originates in two forks, which join about five miles from the headwaters. The National Park Service maintains trails and campsites along both forks, including one at the fork itself. The road leading to the trailhead was washed out in January 2002,[3][4] and the ranger station near the trailhead has been abandoned.

The entire estuary of the Dosewallips is within Dosewallips State Park and ongoing restoration efforts led by Wild Fish Conservancy, the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe, and the Hood Canal Coordinating Council are intended to improve salmon habitat through the reconnection of the river to its historical floodplain.


The name Dosewallips comes from a Twana Indian myth about a man named Dos-wail-opsh who was turned into a mountain at the river's source.[5] There are also several Klallam legends about the "Great Changer", Doquebatl, who transformed a mythical Klallam chief into a mountain at the headwaters of the Dosewallips River. In another story Doquebatl changed a woman into Mount Rainier and her son into Little Tahoma.[6]


In 1923, the Washington State Department of Highways built a steel truss bridge over the river near its mouth in Brinnon to carry U.S. Route 101.[7]

In 1982, the Jefferson County Public Utility District proposed the construction of a 10.4-megawatt hydroelectric dam on the river near the Elkhorn Campground.[8] Controversy over the dam project led to a dispute between the PUD and the Washington Department of Ecology that was settled in the United States Supreme Court case PUD No. 1 of Jefferson County v. Washington Department of Ecology in 1994.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Dosewallips River
  2. ^ Goode, J. Paul; Veregin Howard, Ph.D. (June 2006). Rand McNally Goode's World Atlas (21 ed.). Rand McNally & Company. p. 288. ISBN 0-528-85339-2. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
  3. ^ Washington Trails Association Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Final Environmental Impact Statement: Dosewallips Road Washout Project, Hood Canal Ranger District, Olympic National Forest, Olympic National Park, Jefferson County, Washington United States Forest Service
  5. ^ Phillips, James W. (1971). Washington State Place Names. University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-95158-3.
  6. ^ Parratt, Smitty (1984). Gods & goblins: A Field Guide to Place Names of Olympic National Park. CP Publications. p. 38. ISBN 0-914195-00-X.
  7. ^ Long, Priscilla (August 29, 2003). "Dosewallips River Bridge opens in August 1923". HistoryLink. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  8. ^ Lane, Bob (December 30, 1982). "City Light sees problem with small-scale hydropower projects". The Seattle Times. p. E2.
  9. ^ Pryne, Eric; Williams, Marla (May 31, 1994). "Supreme Court ruling says states can control water behind dams". The Seattle Times. p. A1.

External links[edit]