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Celilo Falls
   Wasco County, Oregon, United States

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INUNDATED
This waterfall formerly existed but has since been flooded beneath the waters impounded behind a dam.
Celilo Falls was the largest waterfall along the Columbia River up until the mid 1950s when the falls were submerged behind the backwaters of the Dalles Dam. The falls, when flowing stretched approximately 5800 feet in width and consistently ran with an average volume of almost 190,000 cubic feet per second - with peak summer flow rates regularly eclipsing 400,000 cubic feet and flood stage levels surpassing one million cfs occasionally. These volume levels made Celilo Falls the largest waterfall by volume in North America while it still existed (though before Niagara Falls was incorporated into a hydroelectric facility, Niagara had a greater average volume but still peaked at lower levels than Celilo Falls did). The falls currently sit beneath anywhere from 20 to 120 feet of water impounded behind the Dalles Dam.

HISTORY AND NAMES


  • Celilo Falls is the Official name of this waterfall

Celilo Falls was one of the largest Native American fishing sites on the west coast. Early photographs of the falls showed dozens of wooden platforms extending out over the various river channels which allowed the natives to utilized dip nets to trap salmon attempting to jump the falls.

Celilo Falls is shown in the center. Additional nearby waterfalls (if any) can be found in the list below.

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