Condit Un-Damned C8

Condit Dam, the former site of the now-removed dam.  Removed in 2011.




The Condit is now gone.  The absolute best dam videos are Andy Maser’s.   Thanks Andy for doing such a superlative job documenting the removal efforts and successes.    Check out the blog and videos here:



Central Cascades Alliance 1998 bumper sticker

Next are a bunch of historic photos of the 1912 construction of Condit Dam.  These photos are from the Gorge Heritage Museum, (Bingen, Wa) archives.

The narrows of the White Salmon River, before Condit dam construction commences

Looking upstream as work begins on Condit dam, late 1912

Condit dam construction, Dec 1912 (this is looking upstream)

Condit dam construction, looking upstream

Construction on Condit dam face, downstream side

Condit dam Surge Tank construction

Upstream of Condit dam during 1912/13 construction

Waterfalling face of Condit dam, after construction finishes, circa 1915

Aerial view looking upstream along Condit Dam penstock flume pipe (note the lack of trees left of the pipe)

Condit dam penstock pipe, transporting the water to the Surge tank and then down to the power house located along the White Salmon River 0ne mile below the dam.

Can you spot the author in this next picture??  New Belgium came to town and called the infamous author of “Pokin ‘Round the Gorge” to see if he could rally some fine felines to participate in this chilly dam-removal celebration.  They offered each model about $250!!  Yup, I did find some young activist gals who were willing to shiver out of their scivvies for such a good cause.  ‘Twas such fun….I still laugh at the memories…hahahahahahaha.  Every time I drink a Fat Tire I remember all these dam beauties.  Gotta like my job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Watch the Youtube video of Skinny-dippers at Condit dam here:

Celebrating in Oct ’07 the eventual demise of the Condit dam with New Belgium’s Skinny Dip beer. This was a really fun day, despite the icy waters!! This ad ran nationwide in a variety of magazines in the summer of 2008, including page 87 of 6/2008 Men’s Journal

And here are some more present-day 2011 photos of the annual springtime gush of water over Condit Dam’s face, as well as the penstock pipe (flume) walkway.

The soon-to-be empty Northwestern Lake, impounded by Condit dam

Condit Dam penstock pipe and waterfalling dam face

The twin waterfalls of Condit Dam

The penstock ladder for access to the Little White Salmon river below the dam

The riverside beneath the Condit Dam. This is June 2011, probably the last time EVER that water will spill over the top of Condit.

Next we walk down the mile-long “trail” atop the penstock pipe to its end at the “surge tank”.  Note the trees in these photos compared to the barren slopes during the 1912 building of the dam.  I reckon this is what 100-year-old trees look like!

Condit’s penstock pipe walkway

Penstock walkway, White Salmon River below

Approaching the Surge Tank

The walkway ends at the Surge Tank….but the waters continue through the Surge tank and down two pipes to the actual powerhouse, which is situated on the bank of the White Salmon River down below.  When Condit Dam and the penstock pipe are all removed in late 2011 and 2012, the powerhouse will be left as-is for another use by Klickitat County. Good plan!!

Twin pipes below the Surge tank

8 thoughts on “Condit Un-Damned C8

  1. Pacific Power and Light has closed access to the dam and to much of the whole area. There are warning signs starting on Alt 141 up to Powerhouse Road (the Powerhouse Road sign disappeared months ago). Gravel is being poured at the base of the dam to provide a location for the equipment needed to create the tunnel into the dam.

    My 10 year old daughter and I got to walk the upper part of the pipe and take pictures just a few weeks ago. Thank you for letting us know how – we’ll treasure the pictures long after the dam is gone.

    Too bad the pipe will be removed as well – seems like a “dam” shame to me. Some of it should be saved somewhere (like the old Flume)…

  2. Some of the best pictures and coverage other than here that I’ve found is at:

    The Powerhouse Road sign is back up. State Alternate Route 141 will be closed 10/26 from 10AM to 2PM – looks like the blast at noon will be on schedule. Supposedly it will be live on the Web in high definition. If I find out how and where, I’ll post the details here.

  3. The dam *is* gone and Powerhouse Road reopened. The view of the Narrows where the dam was is stunning – I can’t believe the change in only a year. Do go and enjoy seeing this beautiful river again!

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