Jump in your vehicle and head down river from Kooskia and you’ll find the quaint little town of Orofino on the banks of the Clearwater River.
Orofino’s population is around 3,400 and has an elevation of 1027 feet.
Orofino, originally called “Oro Fino,” means “fine gold.” In 1898, Orofino’s town site was formed. The post office objected to the two words, so the name became Orofino.
Orofino was developed from the inflow of settlers and the construction of the railroad up river. Orofino’s history follows Lewis and Clark, the early gold mining rushes and the timber industry. A mural in downtown depicts the area’s early cultural history. Sculptures of Weetxuuwiis and Chef Twisted Hair at Lewis & Clark Crossing are located just below the Orofino Bridge.
Lewis and Clark built canoes at the Canoe Camp in Orofino and then sailed on to the Columbia River. Surrounded by wilderness areas on three sides, Orofino is truly a haven for the great outdoors. The Clearwater River is well known for its large Steelhead Trout returning from the sea weighing in over 25 pounds.
In the late fall, there is also a run of Chinook salmon. Dworshak Dam creates a 53 mile long lake and is the largest straight axis dam in North America.
The Visitor Center located on the top of the dam offers tours through the interior of the dam.
The Ducks Unlimited Annual Auction is held in the springtime. In June, Dworshak Fish Hatchery offers FREE Fishing Day for kids and every third weekend in September, Orofino celebrates with the Clearwater County Fair and Lumberjack Days. Orofino has its own 9 hole golf course and in November is the Harvest Moon Cruise.
Orofino is the land of all seasons and has something year round for everyone.