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Area Communities


The site where the town is located was originally called Wrights after one of the original settlers. This was the name given to the rail stop there. The rail stop down the river at milepost 7.2 was named Klickitat and the railroad later switched the two signs when the carbonated beverage company Klickitat Pop (operating near the town) gained fame. On February 7, 1910 the name of the town post office was officially changed to Klickitat.

The first non-native settlers arrived in 1890 seeking land to homestead. The abundance of timber drew in other settlers during the early 1900s. Travel through the Klickitat canyon and up to the plateau was arduous until the completion of a rail line in 1903. The rail line eased travel and facilitated the transportation of people, crops, livestock and timber. The lumber mill was the primary employer in town, with the first major mill formed 1909, until 1994 when the mill was permanently closed. The naturally carbonated mineral springs just north of town gave rise to heath spas, a carbonated beverage company, and a large dry ice plant which operated until 1957.

Activities include fishing and kayaking in the Klickitat River. Biking and hiking can be done along the Klickitat Trail, which follows the river north from the Columbia River past the town of Klickitat. Washington State Route 142 provides a scenic drive through the canyon. Two miles north of town is the remains of the dry ice plant, now a camp site. The sole remaining building is now the home of Vaux’s Swifts.


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