Bonneville Dam presents a serious barrier for paddlers traveling from the Northwest Discovery Water Trail to the Lower Columbia River Water Trail. A paddler has two options: portage and locking through.
The Corps of Engineers highly recommends portaging non-motorized vessels around Bonneville Dam instead of locking through. Paddlers should secure portage services well in advance and portage around Bonneville Dam should be supported by vehicle as heavily traveled roads, minimal shoulders and long distances make pedestrian –based portage unsafe and impractical. To portage:
The Corps of Engineers highly recommends portaging non-motorized vessels around Bonneville Dam. However, non-motorized craft on the Columbia River may be locked through if moored to a motorized assist vessel, all passengers are on board the assist vessel, AND the lock operator deems all other conditions safe (i.e.: prevailing weather patterns, vessel sizes, experience levels, etc). Here are links to more information:
NOTE: The river between the Cascade Locks Marina site and the Skamania County Fairgrounds site and the navigation lock at Bonneville Dam is narrow and there are NO TAKE OUT POINTS.