Skamania County Spotlight
With the imposing beauty of Mount St. Helens and the stunning, sprawling Columbia River Gorge, Skamania County is full of natural attractions and acts as one of the state’s most alluring destinations for recreation and leisure seekers. The Skamania Lodge, the county’s largest employer, capitalizes on the county’s beauty by offering recreation and lodging for many county visitors. The lodge features a 19-hole golf course, a convention center, and over 250 rooms, attracting both businesses and tourists to its exceptional facilities. In addition to tourism provided by the Skamania Lodge, the county also benefits from tourism stemming from the eruption of Mount St. Helens in the 1980s. The mountain, in the far northwest portion of the county, now features multiple visitor centers and attracts flocks of tourists looking to see its rugged—and destructive—beauty.
While Skamania County’s primary industry is now tourism and related services, the county’s abundant natural resources made it an exceptional site for logging and milling activities from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. Following the environmental movement of the 1970s, Skamania County’s logging industry almost completely diminished, as protections for the Northern Spotted Owl and salmon runs were put in place. Though the importance of logging has declined, Skamania County still benefits from its plentiful water resources, as the Bonneville Dam provides inexpensive hydroelectric power to the county.