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Legends of Love in the Columbia River Gorge

Klickitat Indian folklore has it that the Cascade Mountain Range was punishment for two brothers who could not share. Supreme god Tyhee Sahale (“great chief up above”) had two sons, Klickitat and Wy’east, who fought endlessly. So Sahale banished both—Klickitat he sent north of the Columbia River and Wy’east, south. Sahale then built The Bridge of the Gods to allow his family to meet occasionally, and he put an old woman named Loowit in charge of the bridge, giving her youth and beauty as payment.

Both brothers fell in love with Loowit and an ensuing war destroyed villages, forests, and collapsed the bridge, killing Loowit. Angered, Sahale transformed Klickitat into Mt. Adams, Wy’east into Mt. Hood, and Loowit into the youngest mountain in the Cascade Range: Mount St. Helens. Then Sahale made of Loo-wit, Klickitat and Wy’east snow peaks. Always they were to be cold and covered with ice and snow.

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