Yamhill River

The Yamhill River is an 11-mile (18 km) tributary of the Willamette River, in the U.S. state of Oregon. Formed by the confluence of the South Yamhill River and the North Yamhill River about 3 miles (5 km) east of McMinnville, it drains part of the Northern Oregon Coast Range. The river meanders east past Dayton to join the Willamette River at its river mile (RM) 55 or river kilometer (RK) 89, south of Newberg.[4][6]

Yamhill River
Yamhill river at Dayton.jpg
Yamhill River at Dayton
Yamhill River is located in Oregon
Yamhill River
Location of the mouth of the Yamhill River in Oregon
EtymologyUncertain but probably after a local Kalapuya tribe[2]
CountryUnited States
Physical characteristics
Sourceconfluence of South Yamhill River and North Yamhill River
 • locationbetween McMinnville and Dayton, Yamhill County, Oregon
 • coordinates45°13′33″N 123°08′42″W / 45.22583°N 123.14500°W / 45.22583; -123.14500[1]
 • elevation152 ft (46 m)[3]
MouthWillamette River
 • location
Yamhill County, Oregon
 • coordinates
45°13′47″N 122°59′52″W / 45.22972°N 122.99778°W / 45.22972; -122.99778Coordinates: 45°13′47″N 122°59′52″W / 45.22972°N 122.99778°W / 45.22972; -122.99778[1]
 • elevation
59 ft (18 m)[1]
Length11 mi (18 km)[4]
Basin size837 sq mi (2,170 km2)[5]

It is likely that Yamhill was the 19th century white settlers' name for a tribe of Native Americans, a Kalapuya people who inhabited the region.[2] The Yamhill people were among 27 bands and tribes moved to the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation, formally established in 1857.[7]


Formed by the confluence of the South Yamhill and North Yamhill rivers about 3 miles (4.8 km) east of McMinnville, the main stem Yamhill River flows generally east for about 11 miles (18 km) to the Willamette River, a tributary of the Columbia River. At about RM 9 (RK 14), Hawn Creek and then Millican Creek enter from the left as the Yamhill nears Lafayette, which lies to the river's left. Beyond Lafayette, Henry Creek enters from the left. Near Dayton, the river passes under Oregon Route 18 before skirting the city, which lies to its right at RM 5 (RK 8). Here Palmer Creek enters from the right. Below Dayton, the river enters the Willamette at its RM 55 (RK 89) south of Newberg.[4][6]

Lock and damEdit

In 1900 a Yamhill River lock and dam lock and dam was completed about 1.5 miles downriver from Lafayette, Oregon. The lock was decommissioned in 1954. The dam was deliberately destroyed in 1963 to allow better passage for salmon on the river. The site of the lock and dam is now a county park.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Yamhill River". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. November 28, 1980. Retrieved February 10, 2009.
  2. ^ a b McArthur, Lewis A.; McArthur, Lewis L. (2003). Oregon Geographic Names, Seventh Edition. Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. p. 1063. ISBN 0-87595-277-1.
  3. ^ Source elevation derived from Google Earth search using GNIS source coordinates.
  4. ^ a b c United States Geological Survey. "United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: McMinnville, Dayton, and Saint Paul quads". TopoQuest. Retrieved February 10, 2009. The maps include river mile (RM) markers from the mouth to the source, just beyond RM 11.
  5. ^ "Map 1: The Yamhill River Basin & the Chehalem Valley" (pdf). Yamhill Basin Council. 2002. Retrieved February 11, 2009.
  6. ^ a b Oregon Atlas & Gazetteer (Map) (1991 ed.). DeLorme Mapping. § 59–60. ISBN 0-89933-235-8.
  7. ^ "Fort Yamhill State Heritage Area" (PDF). Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Retrieved February 10, 2009.

External linksEdit