The Sandy River Delta is located on the western end of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area. Today, the delta is a 1,400-acre natural area — 200+ years ago, it was a beach along the Columbia River where the Corps of Discovery camped en route to the Pacific Ocean (November 3, 1805) and again on their return home (March 31, 1806). While at the delta the Expedition was met by the nearby Watlala Nation, members of which played an integral part to helping Lewis and Clark better understand the Sandy River, the Sandy River Delta, and the land around it.
On the second stop at Sandy River Delta, Merriweather Lewis noted in his journal, “when we decended the river in November last there were 24 other lodges formed of Straw and covered with bark… these lodges are now destroyed and the inhabitants as the Indians inform us have returned to the great rapids of this river…” The Watlala Nation had a “large wooden house” in the same area, which survived the elements. While camping at the delta, the corps also made detailed celestial and natural observations,.
Today, the Sandy River Delta lies in the US Forest Service Park which is also home to the Lewis and Clark State Recreation Area. With extensive trails, equestrian trails, forests, fields, and wetlands there is an impressive natural landscape to explore. There are numerous ways to explore the area, such as biking, hiking, horseback riding, wading, and fishing. The Sandy River Delta also is considered a “key viewing area” that offers a magnificent view of the western Columbia Gorge.
With such rich history and biodiversity the Sandy River Delta is an idyllic natural scene.