The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest. It starts in the Canadian Rockies in British Columbia, where the flow starts out going northwest and then reverses course and heads south into the U.S. state of Washington. It then turns west to form most of the border between Washington and Oregon, before emptying into the Pacific Ocean. The river is 1,243 miles long. Its drainage basin is roughly the size of France and extends into seven U.S. states and a Canadian province. These photos are of the river as it passes through the Columbia River Gorge east of Portland.