The Willamette River is a vital, multi-purpose waterway that touches the lives of millions of people along its banks and throughout the Pacific Northwest. An important historical and cultural resource, the Willamette today still abounds with great natural beauty, abundant wildlife, and varied recreational opportunities.
Rising in the mountains of west central Oregon, it joins the McKenzie River at Eugene and flows past Harrisburg, Corvallis, and Albany (where it is fed by the Calapooia River, it flows on through the broad and fertile Willamette Valley. After being joined by the Santiam River, it continues past Independence and Salem. At Oregon City, it tumbles over the Willamette Falls and passes through Portland before joining the Columbia River to the Pacific.