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 visitors. The lodge features a 18-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 1980.
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. 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.
County Seat: Stevenson
Incorporation Date: March 9, 1854
Form of Government: General Law
Area: 1,656 sq mi (4,289 km2)
Population: 12,060 (2019)
Etymology: A Chinookan word meaning “swift water”