It flows from glacial headwaters (elevation: 3,000 feet) in a valley of the Aleutian Range situated between Mount Chiginagak and Mount Kialagvik westward to a wide, tidal zone located in the far upper reaches of Ugashik Bay. Among its many feeder streams are Figure Eight Creek, Goblet Creek, Wandering Creek and Mercer Creek.
It is shallow with many oxbow turns and is not navigable. The streambed is a mix of gravel and mud, with its milty glacier headwaters growing increasingly muddy as it progresses.
There are many rivers in Alaska bearing the name Dog Salmon River and this river should not be confused with those located on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta or eastern Norton Sound.