Mica – Located on the Upper Columbia River at river mile 956
Mica Dam Constructed in 1973 with a powerhouse added in 1977. The Mica powerhouse has a generating capacity of 1805 MW. The dam is operated by BC Hydro. The Mica Dam was named after the abundance of mica minerals in the area and is one of the largest earthfill dams in the world.

Revelstoke – Located on the Upper Columbia River at river mile 882
Revelstoke Dam Constructed in 1984, Revelstoke dam forms Lake Revelstoke. It is a concrete hydroelectric gravity dam, owned and operated by BC Hydro. The dam operates in balance with the Mica reservoir, but was not constructed under the terms of the1964 Columbia River Treaty with the U.S.

Keenleyside – Located on the Upper Columbia River at river mile 770
Keenleyside Dam Completed in 1968, owned and operated by BC Hydro. Keenleyside is a earthfill and concrete gravity dam that has four spillways and eight low level ports. It does not have a powerhouse at present and operates only to provide water storage in accordance with the Columbia River Treaty.

Grand Coulee – Located at river mile 596.6
Grand Coulee
The Largest concrete dam and concrete structure in North America
Total length of dam 5,223 ft (1,592 m), Length of main dam: 3,867 ft (1,178 m), Length of forebay dam: 1,170 ft (356 m), Length of Wing Dam: 186 ft (56 m), Hydraulic height: 380 ft (116 m), Height of dam from bedrock: 550 ft (168 m), Height above original streambed: 401 ft (122 m), Reservoir Lake Roosevelt stretches for 151 mi (243 km), Average release: 110,000 ft³/s (3,100 m³/s)
4 power plants, 33 generators
Installed generating capacity: 6,809 Megawatts

Contains no Locks


Chief Joseph – Located at river mile 545.1
Chief Joseph Constructed in 1958 & Owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District. Eleven additional turbines were installed between 1973 and 1979, and the dam and lake were raised 10 feet (3 m), raising the capacity 2,620 Megawatts, making Chief Joseph Dam the second largest hydropower producer in the United States. With 27 main generators in the powerhouse, it has the hydraulic capacity of 213,000 cubic feet per second (6,030 m³/s).

Contains no Locks

Wells – Located at river mile 515.8
Wells Dam Constructed in 1967 & Owned by Douglas County PUD No. 1. Entities receiving power from Wells Dam along with Douglas PUD include Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation, Puget Sound Energy, Portland General Electric Company, PacifiCorp,  Avista Corporation and the Okanogan County Public Utility District. The Wells Dam has 10 generating units rated at a combined 840 megawatts. Eleven gated spillway openings can pass a flood of over 8,800,000 gallons of water per second.

Contains no Locks

Rocky Reach – Located at river mile 473.7
Rocky Reach Constructed in 1961 (units 1-4), additional units were completed 1971. Owned by Chelan County PUD No. 1. The additional units were installed primarily to make use of stored water released from reservoirs in Canada and the Libby Dam reservoir in Montana. The expansion work increased the power plant’s generating capability by 60 percent, from 815,000 kilowatts to 1.287 million kilowatts.

Contains no Locks


Rock Island – Located at river Mile 453.4
rockisland_aerialConstruction completed in 1933, 6 additional units were completed 1953, Second Powerhouse completed 1979. Owned by Chelan County PUD No. 1. This Dam is located 235 miles below the Canadian boarder and the Rock Island Project was also the first Dam to span the Columbia River. The Dam contains 31 spillway gates and 9 generators.

Contains no Locks

Wanapum – Located at river mile 415.8
wan 800px-wanapum_dam_from_west_shore_-_downstream_10360031Constructed in 1964. Owned by Grant County PUD No. 2. Powerhouse Capacity 1,038 Megawatts



Priest Rapids – Located at river mile 397.1
Priest Rapids Constructed in 1961 & Owned by Grant County PUD No. 2. Powerhouse Capacity: 955.6 Megawatts


McNary – Located at river mile 292
McNaryCompleted in 1957 and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Total capacity: 980 megawatts ; Overload capacity: 1,127 MW. Spillway Gates: 22; Length: 1,310 feet (400 m)



John Day – Located at river mile 215.6
John Day
johnday1Completed in 1971 and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Height: 183 feet (56 m), Length: 7,365 feet (2,327 m), Navigation lock: Single-lift, 86 feet (26 m) wide, 675 feet (206 m) long Powerhouse, Sixteen 135,000-kilowatt units Total capacity: 2,160 megawatts. Spillway Gates: 20.



The Dalles – Located at river mile 191.5,
epa-archives_the_dalles_dam-croppedCompleted in 1957 the Dalles Dam created Lake Celilo and covering Celilo Falls. Altitude: 79 feet, Height: 260 feet (79 m), Length: 8,875 feet (2,705 m), Navigation lock: Single-lift, 86 feet (26 m) wide, 650 feet (198 m) long. Powerhouse: Length: 2,089 feet (636.7 m), Fourteen 78,000 kilowatt units, Eight 85,975 kilowatt units. Total capacity: 1,779.8 megawatts. Spillway gates: 23.

Bonneville – Located at river mile 141.6
BonnevillebonnevilleFirst Powerhouse – Constructed in 1933-37; 313 m (1,027 ft) long; 10 generators with an output capacity of 526,700 kW. Spillway – Constructed 1933-37; 18 gates over a length of 442 m ( 1450 ft); maintains the reservoir (upriver) usually 18 m (60 ft) above the river on the downstream side; Second Powerhouse – Constructed 1974-82; 300.5 m (986 ft) long; 8 generators (plus two at fish ladders) with a total generating capacity of 558,200 kW. Bonneville Lock was constructed in 1987 to 1993 at a cost of $341 million – transit time for boats is approx. 30 minutes. Lake Bonneville – 77 km (48 mi) long reservoir on the Columbia River created by Bonneville Dam is part of the Columbia-Snake Inland Waterway.

The Bonneville Dam was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.

Video on the Columbia River Treaty

Click Here for History of the Dams and other structures on the Columbia River

Click here for a list of the hydroelectric projects on the Snake River, ID

Click here for the list of Washington waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge



  1. Damn thats a lot of Dams

  2. Very well researched. I love this site. Good luck with the trip.

  3. Hey, this is great…scratch that last comment… yeah. I love all the background stuff. thanks
    Keel’s mom xoxo

  4. […] Dams […]

  5. Well done with this page! Very cool.

  6. Very good page with usefull info! Very helpfull for my master research! sandy-greece

  7. I didn’t realize there were that many dams in use.

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  10. […] Bonneville Power Administration sells electricity from 31 dams in the Columbia River Basin, including its namesake dam near Cascade […]

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