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Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum

5000 Discovery Dr, The Dalles, OR 97058-9755
+1 541-296-8600
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Private Tour: Columbia River Gorge Day Trip from Portland
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The 48,200 sq. ft. facility won an American Institute of Architects Honor Award for its appealing design. The Center is situated on a 54-acre point of land adjacent to the Columbia River and the Historic Columbia River Highway. The site provides walking trails, a pond, and scenic overlooks. Its location in The Dalles, Oregon is an ecosystem transition zone, facilitating the interpretation of both the rain forest west of the Cascade Mountains and the arid region to the east. Live raptor education programs engage all ages in issues related to habitat preservation. The area includes one of the oldest continuously occupied areas in North America (over 11,000 years), immediate proximity to one of the largest rivers on the continent, and access to the Lewis and Clark and Oregon Trails. The multimedia, interactive museum inspires appreciation and stewardship of the natural and cultural treasures of the Gorge and Wasco County. Exhibits focus on the volcanic upheaval and raging floods that created the Gorge, the unique flora and fauna of the region, and eleven thousand years of cultural history. Collections include hundreds of American Indian baskets from throughout the Pacific Northwest, photo archives (partially available on-line), and local genealogical files available in the William G. Dick Library. In addition to touring the many fascinating exhibits, visitors can spend time viewing films in the theater located on site. If you plan to spend the day at the Discovery Center and Museum, you can relax during a lunch or coffee break at the Basalt Rock Cafe.
  • Excellent65%
  • Very good29%
  • Average4%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“ice age” (17 reviews)
“live birds” (7 reviews)
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Hours Today: 09:00 - 17:00
5000 Discovery Dr, The Dalles, OR 97058-9755
+1 541-296-8600
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Reviews (307)
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1 - 10 of 307 reviews

Reviewed 4 days ago

I drove from Portland and spent a few hours looking at the exhibits. I found the museum one of the best. It was well organized with great displays.

Thank Karen H
Reviewed 5 days ago

A superb survey of local people and their contributions to the frontier. Excellent exhibits and books and maps for sale.

Thank aphrab
Reviewed 1 week ago

After spending the night in The Dalles on the banks of the Columbia River, we decided to visit the Columbia River Gorge Discovery Center and Museum located just west of the city proper. The center is built on the bluffs overlooking the gorge along an...More

Thank SonnyJackson69
Reviewed 1 week ago

We spent a couple of hours here as we traveled west along the Columbia river. It gave my family a great overview of what we were about to see as we headed west along the river both from a geological and historical perspective. The raptor...More

Thank Cactuscajun
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

There are so many tremendous museums, visitor centers, and exhibits along the Columbia river that one could spend an entire vacation seeing every one. This is right at the top of the must see stops. It is just to the west of the Dalles, and...More

Thank abearfellow
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The displays are very professional and on topic. Learned a lot about the area. I would recommend this for couples and families.áa

Thank Ron G
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

One nice part of this visit is the live raptors that are exhibited. The live birds of prey are shown by a docent who handles them with a shielded glove. Additionally, one docent showed us two live bald eagles who were spared their demise after...More

Thank MaltaBound
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We actually went TWICE there was so much to see! Lots of good activities for children but much for grown-ups too. We were fascinated by the video of the Native lady processing acorns. Enjoyed the gift shop too.

Thank R00catt
Reviewed 11 June 2017 via mobile

Spent a couple of hours here and much enjoyed it. There are some good background films about the river and the local Indians. The exhibits are very well presented and it has a good feel for kids. Definitely worth a visit

Thank Blcheshire
Reviewed 10 June 2017 via mobile

I am currently reading Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose so it is very exciting to see the things I am reading about-- Lewis and Clark's' travel cargo, the items they gifted, and many Indian artifacts. Enjoyed the raptors as we entered as well as other...More

Thank Janice P
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Questions & Answers
1 July 2017|
Answer Show all 6 answers
Response from mltippett | Reviewed this property |
At least a couple hours
23 April 2016|
Answer Show all 3 answers
Response from Anna P | Reviewed this property |
Just the drive on the Historic Groge Hwy is spectacular. There are some view points along the way and many waterfalls. The most spectular is of course Multnomah falls.The restaurant there has pretty good food too. Dont miss... More
23 April 2016|
Answer Show all 6 answers
Response from Rbrt_J | Reviewed this property |
We had two hours to spend there and felt satisfied, but could have spent up to another hour had the time been available.