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Inchelium-Gifford Ferry


Columbian Princess

Photo taken by Richard Doody 1997


BH Photo #419987


Street Views 


Thomas Stensgar came to the upper Columbia as an employee of the Hudsonís Bay Company. He began the ferry between Gifford and Inchelium in 1898 when the Colville Reservation was about to be opened for homesteading and prospecting by non-Indians. Shortly, after its inauguration the operation came under the control of mining promoters, J.S. Harrison and Frank Rail. Ivar Gifford took over in 1903 and named the Stevens County landing for his father, James.

The crossing was made by a cable ferry until 1938 when completion of Grand Coulee Dam widened the river, slowed its current and made operation of that type of vessel impractical. The barge was freed from her cable and pushed across the river by a tug until a diesel powered ferryboat, the first of two Miss Columbiaís, could be built in 1941.

The Columbian Princess, which began operating on the crossing in 1983, uses diesel engines to pull it along a submerged cable. The ferry is operated by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and is one of two remaining river ferries in eastern Washington.


Ferry across Columbia River (Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake) on Ferry Crossing Landing Road
Ferry County, Washington, and Stevens County, Washington
Open to traffic
Built 1898
Ferry crossing
Also called
Gifford Ferry
Approximate latitude, longitude
+48.27768, -118.14424   (decimal degrees)
48°16'40" N, 118°08'39" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
11/415104/5347796 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 51750 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • April 19, 2018: Updated by Richard Doody: Added historical info to description
  • March 28, 2018: New photo from Richard Doody
  • August 1, 2016: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • July 22, 2014: New Street View added by Luke
  • March 19, 2012: Added by Michael Goff

Related Bridges 


  • Mike Goff - michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Luke
  • Dana and Kay Klein
  • Richard Doody