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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.
  • Excellent64%
  • Very good30%
  • 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 (316)
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1 - 10 of 316 reviews

Reviewed 3 days ago

The museum had some very interesting and detailed displays about the various peoples who have lived in this area, including good information on how they lived. I enjoyed details like the exhibit on what cargo Lewis and Clark had to take with them to survive...More

Thank MartyW60
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

The Discovery Center provides a complete background of the area. Leaving, we felt we better understood the history and development of the Columbia River Gorge.

Thank Scott B
Reviewed 1 week ago

We purchased a Groupon for an inexpensive visit to Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum and felt it was well worth our time. The museum is well organized and covers several periods starting with the ice age. The museum featured many artifacts from the early...More

Thank ttollef
Reviewed 1 week ago

we basically went late afternoon, early evening, really for a walk. Gorgeous setting, highly recommended, with the river and Washington State right there.

Thank chimayred
Reviewed 1 week ago

We were on a Lewis and Clark discovery trip, but found displays on Indians, pioneers and the old west, as well. This L & C display was unique in that it displayed medical and equipment information. Raptor talk was also very fun to see.

Thank jcjb997
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Highly recommend going to this museum, especially on a hot or very cold day! Friends and family will enjoy their visit.

Thank Natasha M
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

It's not a very large Museum, so I was somewhat surprised to find such a variety of interesting displays. Much about pioneer days, The Dalles area and county history, local Native American influence, and the Lewis and Clark expedition. There are also some buildings, horse...More

Thank LW26102
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I was in town researching my Oregon pioneer ancestors and specifically visited here to access the library. It is simply outstanding and the volunteers who staff it are superb. I didn't know what to expect otherwise. I was surprised at how good the raptor show...More

Thank NoStoppinUs
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Purchased a Groupon for family-great deal! This discovery center and museum is great fun but very quiet and slow for a Sunday. The raptors are awesome to see and close up-handler very knowledgeable and a great teacher. Staff are friendly. Cafe closed on Sunday. A...More

Thank Fabvagtrp
Reviewed 4 weeks 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
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Questions & Answers
30 June 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from mltippett | Reviewed this property |
At least a couple hours
22 April 2016|
AnswerShow 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
22 April 2016|
AnswerShow 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.