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The D River is a river in Lincoln City, Oregon, United States. The once-nameless river was at one time the "shortest river in the world"[4][5][6][7] in the Guinness World Records at 440 feet (130 m).

D River
D river.jpg
Looking downstream toward the Pacific
Name origin: Winning entry in a 1940 naming contest[1]
Country United States
State Oregon
County Lincoln
Source Devils Lake
 - location Lincoln City
 - elevation 9 ft (3 m) [2]
 - coordinates 44°58′02″N 124°00′55″W / 44.96722°N 124.01528°W / 44.96722; -124.01528 [3]
Mouth Pacific Ocean
 - location Lincoln City
 - elevation 7 ft (2 m) [3]
 - coordinates 44°58′02″N 124°01′06″W / 44.96722°N 124.01833°W / 44.96722; -124.01833Coordinates: 44°58′02″N 124°01′06″W / 44.96722°N 124.01833°W / 44.96722; -124.01833 [3]
Location of the mouth of the D River in Oregon


World record disputeEdit

The world's shortest title was lost in 1989 when Guinness named the Roe River in Montana as the world's shortest. Attempting to reclaim the title, the people of Lincoln City submitted a new measurement to Guinness of about 120 feet (37 m) marked at "extreme high tide".[8] At that time, Lincoln City's Chamber of Commerce described the Roe as a "drainage ditch surveyed for a school project." Montana supporters shot back that the D was merely an "ocean water backup," pointed out that there was an alternative fork to the Roe which was only 30 feet (9.1 m) long, and suggested that a new survey be conducted.[9] Guinness apparently never ruled on the dispute, leaving the claim by the Roe stand, but instead chose to no longer list a shortest river, possibly as a result of this ongoing dispute.[9]

Starting in 2006, the Guinness Book of World Records did not list a category for shortest river.[citation needed]


The D river flows from Devils Lake, under U.S. Route 101, and into the Pacific Ocean, entirely within the city limits of Lincoln City. The D River State Recreation Site off Highway 101 is home to two of the world's largest kite festivals in the spring and fall.[4]

This area was originally settled as the town of Delake, which was later incorporated with other nearby towns to form Lincoln City in 1965. The river had been known by several names, including simply "the outlet", and earned its short name in a contest.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Price, Niki (January 18, 2007). "The World's Shortest River Is Long on Controversy". Oregon Coast Today. Archived from the original on February 3, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2009. In 1940, the Delake Chamber of Commerce sponsored a nationwide contest to come up with a new, shorter name for the world's shortest river. The winning moniker, 'D,' a perfectly succinct name submitted by Mrs. Johanna Beard of Albany, Ore., was officially accepted by the U.S. Geographic Board of Names. 
  2. ^ Source elevation derived from Google Earth search using GNIS source coordinates.
  3. ^ a b c "D River". Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). United States Geological Survey. May 22, 1986. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "D River State Recreation Site". Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Seeks Name for River". The News-Sentinel. July 4, 1940. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Shortest River? Well, Maybe". The Register-Guard. February 18, 1953. Retrieved February 2, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Oregon Has Squabble Over Shortest River". The Times-News. October 12, 1963. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  8. ^ Finley, Carmel (May 4, 1988). "D River Reclaims 'Lost' Title". The Oregonian. Ginther said he determined that the D River flows from a fish control structure at the entrance of the lake west to where a huge driftwood log marks the point of extreme high tide, give or take five feet, and depending on sand elevation. That is 120 feet. 
  9. ^ a b Jennings, Ken (June 18, 2012). "What's the World's Shortest River?". Conde Nast Traveler. Retrieved October 1, 2017. 

External linksEdit

  Media related to D River at Wikimedia Commons

"World's Shortest" river