Washougal is a community of about 13,000, located on the Washington side of the Columbia River, 14 miles east of Vancouver. The first European to settle in this area was a British seaman named Richard Howe, who arrived in 1838. He eventually married the daughter of a local chief, named princess White Wing (later called Betsy). Both Richard and Betsy Howe lived long and fulfilling lives, dying at the ages 90 and 96, respectively. Some of their descendents still live there.
Set in the scenic Columbia River Gorge, Washougal’s beauty is further enhanced by the Washougal River which runs through town. Through the 1990's Washougal's population grew by about 50 percent and is a mix of families, commuting professionals and outdoor enthusiasts. Residents are passionate about sustaining their beautiful surroundings while supporting responsible growth.
The town is made up of palatial estates, restored historic homes, new construction, cattle and horse ranches, Craftsman, colonial, Victorian, ranch and Tudor styles as well as spacious townhomes, many with river, city and mountain views.
Citizens and visitors gather at the Washougal Main Street Market to experience community in the heart of downtown. Here, patrons come to shop, eat, visit, listen to live music and enjoy the best of local farmers and artisans. Their motto is “support local, eat fresh.” The primary regional shopping area is located at the Pendleton Woolen Mills outlet store, where visitors travel from the metropolitan area and out-of-state to shop, and tour buses are a frequent sight.
Washougal is a veritable natural playground. Boating, wind surfing, water-skiing, fishing, hiking, camping and picnic sites are all within close proximity of town, and the Washougal River is one of the premier salmon and steelhead rivers in the state. The city itself has nine parks, of which three are situated on the Washougal River and one on the Columbia. Steigerwald and Franz Lake National wildlife refuges support native birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles and a wide variety of foliage.