An Aerial Look at the Cowlitz River Precedes Journey

By The Chronicle

news.150528.cowlitz.aerials.upper.phc0727The Cowlitz River stretches from Mount Rainier National Park to the Columbia River.

Over approximately 105 miles, it winds through wilderness and pastures, communities and recreational areas.

news.150521.cowlitz.aerials.phc0393In preparation for The Chronicle’s Journey on the Cowlitz, Visuals Editor Pete Caster took two flights above the river.

The purpose was twofold.

The aerial endeavors allow us to gather current images of a river known for its ability to transform. The Cowlitz undergoes a natural rerouting process each year, depending on rainfall and the amount of melted snow feeding its tributaries.

news.150521.cowlitz.aerials.phc0363While satellite imagery might show a smooth bend in the river, our current photographs could show a treacherous logjam.

Secondly, the aerial images are meant to provide new angles on an ancient river.

Enjoy these photographs and videos, and know they represent just a taste of what’s ahead.

During the next several weeks, The Chronicle will send out dispatches from below as Caster and Reporter Dameon Pesanti plunge into uncertainty.

We are thrilled and honored to present to you, the readers, what we find on this magnificent wild waterway.


River Facts

The Cowlitz River is fueled by a number of tributaries, the largest being the Cispus and Toutle Rivers.

Here’s a list of tributaries.