About This Community
The Gateway to the Gorge - this small community of just over 14,000 sits at the west entrance of the scenic Columbia River Gorge. It is considered the "crossroads to discovery" as shortly after Captain Robert Grey discovered the mouth of the Columbia River in May 1792, Lieutenant William Broughton was sent to explore its waters. Broughton traveled approximately 136 miles upriver and landed in present day Washougal near the east end of Reed Island. The discovery of the Columbia River and its tributaries opened up trade between Europeans and the Chinook Indians who lived in the region. In 1806, Lewis and Clark spent six days at Cottonwood Beach Park. This was the longest they stayed at a single site during their Expedition in the Pacific Northwest.