Great Snake River, Kimeonim, Kimooenim, Kooskooskee River, Lewis Fork, Lewis River, Lewis and Clark's River, Louis River, Mad River, Sahaptin, Saptin River, Shawpatin, Sho-sho-nepah, Shoshone River, South Fork Snake River, South Fork of Snake River, South Fork of the Snake River, Yam-pah-pa
Origin Of Name:
Named in 1805 by Lewis and Clark from the Snake or Shoshone Indians who dwelt in its valley. (Chittenden, 1895) "Lewis River, the Lewis and Clark expedition, 1803-1806, gave this name to what is known as Snake River. (Elliott Coues, History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Map.) David Thompson, 1811-1812, shows "Lewis's River" as a branch of the "Komoenim River," his name for Snake River. (David Thompson's Narrative, The Champlain Society edition, Map.) The Wilkes Expedition, 1841, shows the main river as "Saptin or Lewis River," one branch of which is called "North Branch or Salmon River" and another, "South Branch or Snake River." (United States Exploring Expedition, Hydrography, or Volume XXIII, Atlas, Map 67.) This honor for the explorer has disappeared from the recent maps. One recent author (1918) says the name Lewis ought at least be retained for the name of Salmon River in Idaho. (John E. Rees, Idaho, Chronology, Nomenclature, Bibliography, page 88.)" Name possibly derived from an S-shaped (snake) sign which the Shoshone Indians made with their hands to mimic swimming salmon. (Decisions, 1912)
Edmond S. Meany. "Origin of Washington Geographic Names" in The Washington Historical Quarterly, 1920. Volume 11, p. 117.; Dee Linford. "The Accursed Mad River Snake River" in Wyoming Stream Names. Second Edition. Wyoming Game and Fish Department Cheyenne: Wyoming Game and Fish Department, 1975.