The City of White Salmon is comfortably situated on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River at an elevation of 550 feet. The city takes it name from the nearby White Salmon River, which was named by the Lewis and Clark Expedition when they observed the river teeming with salmon whose color had turned white after spawning.
The views from the White Salmon are quite spectacular. From the bluff looking south one can see the river, the city of Hood River and its valley as well as the truly majestic Mt. Hood. Looking towards the northeast one can catch a glimpse of Washington’s Mt. Adams. The city also includes approximately 3/4 of a mile of Columbia River frontage, including access to the Hood River Bridge.
The phrase, “The Land Where The Sun Meets The Rain” is often used to describe the climate in and around White Salmon. The city is located on the dry side of the Cascade Mountain range in a transition zone between the marine-influenced climate west of the Cascades and the dry continental climate of the inner-mountain region. The Columbia River Gorge serves as a funneling conduit for the differing air pressures on either side of the Cascades, resulting in reliable westerly winds in summer. The broad expanse of the Columbia River Gorge and the reliable summer winds have led to development of the area as a premier windsurfing and kiteboarding mecca. In winter the pressure patterns reverse, putting White Salmon at the top of the funnel where the bulk of the Cascade range typically inhibits the chilly easterlies that buffet Portland at the west end of the funnel.
The area’s relatively mild climate and location combine to offer visitors and residents a recreation paradise. Hiking, camping and biking opportunities are abundant throughout the Columbia River Gorge, Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Mt. Adams areas. Fishing is world class in the Columbia River and the abundant lakes and tributaries flowing off the High Cascades. Water enthusiasts can also sail, windsurf and kiteboard on the Columbia, or take a rafting or kayaking trip on either the White Salmon, Little White Salmon or Klickitat Rivers. In winter, downhill skiing is available at several resorts on nearby Mt. Hood and cross country trails are maintained throughout the Mt. Hood and Gifford Pinchot National Forests.
Because of its proximity to the Columbia River transportation corridor, White Salmon offers unique opportunities for progressive industrial development and has developed into an unmanned aeronautical nexus. White Salmon also has access to nearby barge, train, air transport and interstate highways – all leading to Pacific Rim ports and other major transportation arteries.
The City of White Salmon continues to invest in the retail-tourism sector. Art, restaurants, lodging, and recreational activities bolster the city’s retail economy.
In general, the area’s farms, orchards, gardens, cattle, llamas, logging mills, fishing and hunting provide a special and diverse way of life for local residents. If you decide to become a neighbor instead of a visitor you’ll be in excellent company.
To find out more about White Salmon contact:
Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (541) 296-2266
Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce (509) 493-3630
Columbia Gorge Economic Development Association (888) 760-3936
Just the Facts
Population in July 2008: 2,411. Population change since 2000: +9.9%
- Males: 1,162 (48.2%)
- Females: 1,249 (51.8%)
- 2000 Population – 2,193
- Median resident age: 36.7 years
- Washington median age: 35.3 years
Estimated median household income in 2008: $43,592 (it was $34,787 in 2000)
- White Salmon: $43,592
- Washington: $58,078
- Estimated per capita income in 2008: $23,461
- Per Capita Income 2004 (Klickitat County) – $24,809
- Link to White Salmon city income, earnings, and wages data
Mean prices in 2008
- All housing units: $273,350
- Detached houses: $303,826
- Townhouses or other attached units: $317,720
- Mobile homes: $57,219
- Occupied boats, RVs, vans, etc.: $32,500
Estimated median house or condo value in 2008: $232,235 (it was $120,000 in 2000)
- White Salmon: $232,235
- Washington: $308,100
- Median Home Value in 2004 – $252,800
- Average Temperature – JANUARY- 33.0, JULY- 67.00
- Annual Precipitation – 36.00″
- Location – Sixty five miles east of Portland in Washington State along the bluff overlooking the Columbia River and Oregon State. 1 mile from State Hwy 14 – approximately 3 miles from Interstate 84.
DISTANCE TO PORTLAND – 65 miles
DISTANCE TO BOISE – 375 miles
DISTANCE TO SEATTLE – 235 miles
DISTANCE TO SPOKANE – 275 miles
Original text courtesy of Columbia Gorge Economic Development Association and statistics courtesy CityData.com