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Snake River

The Snake River is a river in the western part of the United States. The Snake River is 1,038 miles (1,670 km) in length, and is the Columbia River's main tributary. The Lewis and Clark expedition (1803-6) was the first major U.S. exploration of the river. Once known as the Lewis River, the Snake originates at Yellowstone National Park in NW Wyoming, flows through Jackson Lake[?] in the Grand Teton National Park. The river passes through Idaho where it cascades down several notable falls, and passes the cities of Twin Falls and Boise, and flows north along the Idaho/Oregon border, through Hell's Canyon, and past the cities Lewiston, Idaho and Clarkston, Washington. It then flows into Washington, through many hydroelectric dams and finally joins the Columbia River near Pasco, Washington.

Tributaries of the Snake include Henrys Fork River[?], the Boise River[?], the Salmon River[?], and the Clearwater River.

The Snake River's many hydroelectric power plants are a major source of electricity in the region. Its watershed provides irrigation for various projects, including the Minidoka, Boise, Palisades, and Owyhee projects by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, as well as a variety of private projects such as at Twin Falls.

The Snake runs through a number of gorges. The gorges include one of the deepest in the world, Hell's Canyon, with a maximum depth of 7,900 feet (2,410 m).

The name "Snake" possibly derived from an S-shaped (snake) sign which the Shoshone Indians made with their hands to mimic swimming salmon. The uppermost part of the river, from the point where Henrys Fork enters, is referred to informally as the South Fork Snake River.

Variant Names:

  • Great Snake River
  • Lewis Fork
  • Lewis River
  • Mad River
  • Saptin River
  • Shoshone River
  • Yam-pah-pa

Counties through which the Snake flows:

Source for some material: U.S. Geological Survey (http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnis/web_query.GetDetail?tab=Y&id=1533479)

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