Humptulips River

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Humptulips River
Estuary of the Humptolips River in Grays Harbor

Estuary of the Humptolips River in Grays Harbor

location Grays Harbor County , Washington , United States
River system Chehalis River
origin Confluence of the East Fork and West Fork Humptulips Rivers
47 ° 14 ′ 50 ″  N , 123 ° 53 ′ 21 ″  W
muzzle Grays Harbor Coordinates: 47 ° 1 '56 "  N , 124 ° 3' 6"  W 47 ° 1 '56 "  N , 124 ° 3' 6"  W.
Mouth height m

length 45 km
Catchment area 715 km²
Discharge at the river mile 22.9 level MQ
38 m³ / s
Communities Humptulips
Highway 109 bridge at Humptulips.

Highway 109 bridge at Humptulips .

The Humptulips River is a river in Grays Harbor County , Washington state . It has its origin at the confluence of the 32 km long East Fork Humptulips River with the 48 km long West Fork Humptulips River . The river empties after 45 km in Grays Harbor , the estuary of the Chehalis .


The Humptulips River has its origin in the Olympic National Forest . This part of the Olympic Peninsula receives around 5,600 mm of precipitation annually and is criss-crossed by many waterways. East Fork and West Fork of the river arise on the flanks of the Humptulips Ridge that separates them. Between the western arm and the Quinault River lies the Quinault Ridge, the eastern arm is separated from the Wynoochee River by Fitzgerald Peak.

The two arms flow south and south-west, then leave the mountains and unite around 7 km above Humptulips . At this location, the river is crossed by US Highway 101 . Below the village, directly at the mouth of the Stevens Creek, is a salmon breeding station . The river then flows further south and joins the North Bay of Grays Harbor , which opens out to the Pacific Ocean . Two smaller towns, Copalis Crossing and Tulips, lie near this estuary.

Although the Chehalis River also flows into Grays Harbor, the Humptulips River is considered the westernmost tributary of the Chehalis River river system , as the United States Geological Survey also understands Grays Harbor as part of this river system.

Effects of the timber industry

The Humptulips River erodes approximately nine acres of land on its banks annually . The severity of the erosion and destruction of the bank is due in part to the effects of the timber industry in its catchment area. Forest areas are felled on a large scale, especially in the area of ​​the East Fork Humptulips River. Most of the catchment area is made up of commercial forests, but there are pastures and arable land. About 228 km² of the catchment area lie within the Olympic National Forests. The headwaters are part of the Olympic National Park .

About 30 weirs were built for rafting purposes. These decimated the salmon's natural migration . To mitigate these effects, various salmon breeding stations on the river were put into operation.


The Humptulips River drains a catchment area of 715 km². The USGS operates a gauge west of Humptulips , about 23 miles above the mouth in Grays Harbor. At this point, the average annual runoff rate between 1933 and 2006 is 38 m³ / s. The highest value of 934 m³ / s was measured in November 2006, the lowest value of 2.3 m³ / s was recorded on September 11, 1944.

Name variants

Other names of the river, according to the Geographic Names Information System , are Hum-tu-lups, Humptolups, Humtutup, and Um-ta-lah. The name is derived from the Humptulips Indians, who belong to the Chehalis people . Some sources give the word "humptulips" the meaning "difficult to peg", in other opinion the name means "cool area".

Individual evidence

  1. James W. Phillips: Washington State Place Names . University of Washington Press, 1971, ISBN 0-295-95158-3 .