bitter-root river

Pend Oreille River

The Pend Oreille River is a tributary of the Columbia River, approximately long, in northern Idaho and northeastern Washington in the United States, as well as southeastern British Columbia in Canada. In its passage through British Columbia its name is spelled Pend d'Oreille River. It drains a scenic area of the Rocky Mountains along the U.S.-Canada border on the east side of the Columbia. The river is sometimes defined as the lower part of the Clark Fork, which rises in western Montana. The river drains an area of , mostly through the Clark Fork and its tributaries in western Montana and including a portion of the Flathead River in southeastern British Columbia. The full drainage basin of the river and its tributaries accounts for 43% of the entire Columbia River Basin.


The Pend Oreille River begins at Lake Pend Oreille in Bonner County, Idaho in the Idaho Panhandle, draining the lake from its western end near Sandpoint (The Clark Fork River enters the lake from its eastern end). It flows west, receiving the Priest River from the north at the town of Priest River, then flows into southern Pend Oreille County in northeastern Washington at Newport. Once in Washington it turns north, flowing along the eastern side of the Selkirk Mountains. It flows roughly parallel to the Idaho border for approximately , through the Colville National Forest, past Tiger and Metaline Falls. It crosses the international border into southeastern British Columbia, looping west for about and joining the Columbia from the east, approximately north of the international border and approximately south of Montrose.


There are five dams on the Pend Oreille River: Waneta (owned by Teck Cominco) and Seven Mile (B.C. Hydro) dams in Canada, Boundary (Seattle City Light), Box Canyon (Pend Oreille County PUD), and Albeni Falls (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) dams in the United States. None provide for fish passage.


Variant names, according to the USGS, include: Bitter Root River, Bitterroot River, Clark Fork, Clarke Fork, Clarkes Fork, Clarks Fork, Deer Lodge River, Hell Gate River, Missoula River, Pend d'Oreille River, Silver Bow River, Clark's Fork, and Pend-d'Oreille River.


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