Navigation was the US Army Corps of Engineers’ earliest Civil Works mission, dating to Federal laws in 1824 authorizing and funding USACE to improve safety on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and several ports. USACE provides safe, reliable, efficient, and environmentally sustainable waterborne transportation systems (channels, harbors, and waterways) for movement of commerce, national security needs, and recreation.

Walla Walla District staff designed, built and operate some of the highest lift locks in the world, with an average lift of more than 100 feet. Our navigation locks on the Snake and Columbia rivers help provide a navigable waterway 465 miles inland from Astoria, Oregon, to Lewiston, Idaho. The District’s five navigation locks passed a total of 15,325,690 tons of cargo and commodities in 2020. McNary alone accounted for 4,691,390 tons of this total.  Approximately 81.7% of this total tonnage was wheat and rye products, and 4.1% was a total combination of fuel for vehicles and fuel oil for home heating. Wood and fertilizer products constituted most of the remaining tonnage.

Locking Hours for Recreational Vessels

Summer Locking Hours:
Upstream              Downstream

9:00 a.m.                     9:30 a.m.

12:00 p.m.                   12:30 p.m.

3:00 p.m.                     3:30 p.m.

6:00 p.m.                     6:30 p.m.

9:00 p.m.                     9:30 p.m.

Winter Locking:
Recreational vessel lockages will be made during daylight hours only, upon request.
McNary, River Mile Columbia 292
Ice Harbor, Snake River Mile 9.7
Lower Monumental, Snake River Mile 41.6
Little Goose, Snake River Mile 70.3
Lower Granite, Snake River Mile 107.5

One day at the McNary Navigation Lock

NWW Navigation Lock Dimensions

Project Usable Length Usable Width Max Lift Normal Height Restriction* To Bottom of: At Tailwater Elevation:
McNary 650 ft 84 ft 83 ft N/A** N/A N/A
Ice Harbor 650 ft 84 ft 103 ft 67 ft Lift Gate 342 ft MSL
Lower Monumental 650 ft 84 ft 103 ft 65 ft
440 ft MSL
Little Goose 650 ft 84 ft 101 ft N/A** N/A N/A
Lower Granite 650 ft 84 ft 105 ft 100 ft Bridge 635 ft MSL

* This is the max clearance height available at normal tailwater elevation

** This project has a bascule bridge which is lifted during a lockage