Portage Bonneville Dam

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 upstream portage site is at the Cascade Locks Marina, approximately four miles upstream of Bonneville Dam in Cascade Locks, Oregon. Restrooms and telephone are available. The downstream portage site is the Hamilton Island Boat Ramp located on the Washington side of the river, approximately ½ mile downstream of Bonneville Dam. Cross the Bridge of the Gods at Cascade Locks to access Washington State. An alternate upstream portage site is the Skamania County Fairgrounds in Stevenson, WA. This site has no boat ramp, but is relatively easily accessed from both land and water. They fairgrounds are accessed by water by going under the railroad and highway bridges at Rock Creek, approximately five miles upstream of the dam. There are restrooms, but no phone service. 

Locking through: 
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:

How to Lock Through Bonneville Dam
September 15, 2012 - May 14, 2013 Bonneville Dam Locking Schedule

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.