The Columbia River
The Columbia River is 2,000 km long. It starts at Columbia Lake near Canal Flats, BC, and ends at the Pacific Ocean at Astoria, Oregon.
By volume, the Columbia is the fourth largest river in North America. By drainage area, it is the sixth largest river with a watershed that includes BC and seven states: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada.
As most of the river’s water comes from melting snow, its volume of water fluctuates seasonally. The highest volumes typically occur as snow melts between April and September, and the lowest between December and February.
From its headwaters to the ocean, the river drops 820 m. This change in elevation, combined with the hundreds of tributaries that flow into the river, make the Columbia a powerful generator of hydroelectricity.