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The Umpqua River (UHMP-kwah) is a river on the Pacific coast of Oregon in the United States, approximately 111 mi (179 km) long. One of the prinicipal rivers of the Oregon coast, it drains an expansive network of valleys in the mountains west of the Cascade Range and south of the Willamette Valley, from which it is separated by the Calapooya Mountains. The "Hundred Valleys of the Umpqua" form the timber-producing heart of southern Oregon centered on Roseburg. The river flows entirely within Douglas County, which encompasses most of the watershed of the river from the Cascades to the coast.
It is formed by the confluence of the North Umpqua and South Umpqua rivers, both of which rise in the Cascades, approximately 6 mi (10 km) northwest of Roseburg. In modern terminology, the "Umpqua Valley" is sometimes taken to refer to the populated lower reaches of the South Umpqua south of Roseburg, along the route of Interstate 5. The North Umpqua rises from snowmelt and is considered one of the premier summer steelhead streams in the West. The combined river flows generally northwest through the Coast Ranges in a serpentine course past Umpqua and Elkton. At Elkton it turns to flow west past Scottsburg . It enters Winchester Bay on the Pacific at Reedsport. It receives the Smith River from the north near its estuary on Winchester Bay. The Umpqua River Lighthouse protects the mouth of the river.
In the early 19th century the river valley was largely inhabited by the Coquille tribe of Native Americans. The tribe ceded most of its land to the U.S. government in the 1854 Kalapuya Treaty, agreeing to move to a reservation in Lincoln County as part of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz. The river itself is named for the Umpqua, a band of the Coquille.
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