Lemhi River

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Lemhi River
Reenactment on Lemhi River Nez Perce National Historic Trail (23723417842).jpg
Historical reenactment on the Lemhi River
Lemhi River is located in Idaho
Lemhi River
Location of the mouth of the Lemhi River in Idaho
Lemhi River is located in the United States
Lemhi River
Lemhi River (the United States)
CountryUnited States
CitiesLeadore, Salmon
Physical characteristics
 • coordinates44°40′56″N 113°21′17″W / 44.68222°N 113.35472°W / 44.68222; -113.35472[1]
 • elevation5,954 ft (1,815 m)[2]
MouthSalmon River
 • location
 • coordinates
45°11′17″N 113°54′23″W / 45.18806°N 113.90639°W / 45.18806; -113.90639Coordinates: 45°11′17″N 113°54′23″W / 45.18806°N 113.90639°W / 45.18806; -113.90639[1]
 • elevation
3,900 ft (1,200 m)[2]
Length60 mi (97 km)[3]
Basin size1,216 sq mi (3,150 km2)[4]
 • locationnear mouth at Salmon, ID[4]
 • average251 cu ft/s (7.1 m3/s)[4]
 • minimum0.75 cu ft/s (0.021 m3/s)
 • maximum2,610 cu ft/s (74 m3/s)

The Lemhi River is a 60-mile-long (97 km)[3] river in Idaho in the United States. It is a tributary of the Salmon River, which in turn is tributary to the Snake River and Columbia River.


From its source near Leadore and the confluence of several headwater streams, the Lemhi River flows generally northwest, through the Lemhi Valley, between the Lemhi Range to the west, and the Bitterroot Range and Beaverhead Mountains to the east. The Lemhi River flows into the Salmon River at the city of Salmon.

River modification[edit]

The water of the Lemhi River and its tributaries is used for irrigation agriculture. Of the river's mainstem tributaries, only 7% are not totally disconnected year round due to diversion for irrigation.[5]


In August 1805 Lewis and Clark crossed the continental divide at the Lemhi Pass 10 miles (16 km) to the east of the Lemhi River. There, the group encountered a tribe of Shoshone Indians, one of whom turned out to be Cameahwait, brother of Sacagawea. The expedition sent a reconnaissance party, guided by Swooping Eagle,[6] north along the Lemhi to the Salmon River attempting to find a navigable path, but turned back when they found that the Salmon was not passable by boat or on land.[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lemhi River, USGS, GNIS
  2. ^ a b Google Earth elevation for GNIS coordinates.
  3. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map Archived 2012-04-05 at WebCite, accessed May 3, 2011
  4. ^ a b c Water Resource Data, Idaho, 2005, USGS.
  5. ^ Salmon Subbasin Plan, Northwest Power and Conservation Council
  6. ^ a b http://lewisandclarkjournals.unl.edu/read/?_xmlsrc=1805-08-20.xml&_xslsrc=LCstyles.xsl.
  7. ^ Cameahwait's Village, retrieved on March 11, 2008.

External links[edit]

Media related to Lemhi River at Wikimedia Commons