The Klickitats were Native American people that settled on the north side of the Columbia River around present-day Bingen and Lyle, WA

Klickitat Brave from 1899

Many of us know the "Klickitat" as a scenic river that flows through the mountains of the Gorge and into the Columbia River at Lyle, Washington. However, the word "Klickitat" actually derives from a Chinookan word meaning "beyond," referring to people that lived on the other side of the mountains.  


The Klickitats (also spelled Klikitats) were a Native American tribe that lived north of the Columbia River in present-day Washington, surrounded by headwaters of today's Cowlitz, Lewis, White Salmon, and Klickitat rivers.  Like the Multnomahs, the Klickitats encountered Lewis and Clark during their historic expedition in 1805.  Their tribe, then estimated to be numbered at nearly 700, was documented in the journals of these explorers. 


The Klikitats were active traders and became widely known as intermediaries between coastal tribes and those living east of the Cascade Mountains.


They joined in the Yakima treaty at Camp Stevens, Washington on June 9, 1855 and ceded their lands to the United States. Descendants of this tribe are now almost wholly on Yakima Reservation in Washington.