Portage Guide

The Corps of Engineers recommends portaging non-motorized vessels around dams instead of locking through. The Corps and local chambers of commerce may maintain a list of businesses that can provide portage for a fee depending on the type and size of your vessel. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers does not provide portage service. Make arrangements before beginning your trip.

Non-motorized craft on the Columbia River may be locked through if moored to a motorized assist vessel. On the Snake River, non-motorized craft may be locked through without an assist vessel when no spill is occurring.

Portage Routes

Lower Granite Dam

The Lower Granite Dam portage route has been re-routed in order to accommodate debris removal from the dam. Portage route is on the north shore. Restrooms and water located on the south shore. Phone service available. Portage route is 1.25 miles long.

Little Goose Dam

Upstream end includes a low-profile portage dock adjacent to the dam. A corridor through the upper boat restricted area is marked with buoys along the northern shoreline. Downstream site is a gravel beach below the lower boat restricted area. Majority of route is paved. Emergency call box and restrooms near lower site. Water is not available.

Lower Monumental Dam

Upstream site is the Devil’s Bench boat ramp immediately upstream of the dam on the north shore. A vault toilet, campsites with tables and fire rings are available. No phone or water. Downstream is a cobble beach below the Juvenile Fish facility (about 1 mile portage). There are campsites, flush toilets, and water available three miles downstream at Windust Park (open seasonally, usually April through September).

Ice Harbor Dam

Upstream site is boat ramp on north side of river immediately upstream of the dam. A vault toilet is available, but there is no phone or water. Downstream site is a cobble beach below the navigation lock (about 1 mile portage).

McNary Dam

Upstream sites are boat ramps on both Oregon and Washington sides immediately upstream from the dam. Restrooms are available. Phone and water available on Oregon side. Downstream sites are a cobble beach below navigation lock (1mile portage) and a beach area west of spillway park (1 ¼ mile portage).

John Day Dam

Upstream site is at Railroad Island Park on Washington (north side of river), ¼ mile upstream of navigation lock through railroad culvert. Downstream site is Cliff’s boat ramp. Distance of approximately 1 mile. Currently no phone service is available. Restrooms located both upstream and downstream.

The Dalles Dam

Upstream site is Northshore Boat Ramp on Washington side. Dowstream site is currently unavailable for use. Restrooms are available at the boat dock, but no phone service.

Bonneville Dam

Upstream portage site is at the Cascade Locks Marina on the Oregon side, approximately 4 miles upstream. Restrooms and telephone are available. Also upstream is Skamania County Fairgrounds in Stevenson, WA, which can be accessed by going under the railroad and highway bridges at Rock Creek. This is about 5 miles upstream of the dam. There are restrooms, but no phone service. The river between these sites and the navigation lock is narrow and with no take out points. Downstream portage site is the Hamilton Island Boat Ramp located on the Washington shore, approximately ½ mile downstream of the dam. Currently restrooms are available but no phone service.