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Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum

5000 Discovery Drive, The Dalles, OR 97058
+1 541-296-8600
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Top Rated
$215*
and up
Columbia Gorge Adventure from Portland
87%
Ranked #1 of 15 Attractions in The Dalles
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: History Museums, Museums
Owner description: The 48,200 sq. ft. facility won an American Institute of Architects...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: History Museums, Museums
Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Owner description: 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.
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123 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
La Grande, Oregon
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2014

I traveled this Museum last spring with my son's 5th grade class. I have passed by this Museum many time and we have not taken the time to stop. It was well worth the visit. Lots of history of the gorge and some interactive exhibits. There are also some interpretive trails. We did not have the time to go on... More 

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Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2014

The museum is well planned, easy to get around, and a fun excursion. Should be on your "things to do" when in the area.

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Portland, Oregon
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2014

Lots to see here. Local history and the Oregon Trail and Lewis and Clark exhibits. Also live Bird of Prey and other talks.

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Portland, OR
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
7 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2014

It was raining when we arrived in Hood River so we headed to Columbia Gorge Discovery Center to spend some time indoors with our 9 year old. The center wasn't busy so we spent a lot of time visiting the exhibits, participating in the activities in the Kid center and visiting the eagles thanks to the National Park Ranger that... More 

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Broomfield, Colorado
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2014 via mobile

The presentation and information is great. I suggest anyone who is not familiar with the gorge to get this lesson. Well worth it.

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Shelton, Washington, USA
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2014

Various exhibit rooms all different but part of the area's history. Well presented with various activities.

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Fremont, California
Top Contributor
1,785 reviews 1,785 reviews
1,116 attraction reviews
1,050 helpful votes 1,050 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2014

Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Wasco County Historical Museum is an excellent museum. I enjoyed visiting it. The exhibits are very interesting. I also enjoyed very much seeing the movies here; the one on the Eastern Oregon flood was amazing and well worth watching. They have a very nice presentation room where they show the movies as well as do... More 

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CGDC_WCHM, Guest Relations Manager at Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum, responded to this review

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum! Your feedback is invaluable and appreciated. Hope to see you again soon! More 

Huddersfield
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
16 attraction reviews
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2014 via mobile

We spent two hours here and it gave us a good idea about what the area is about especially watching the video about Clark and Lewis. They were the explorers sent out by Roosevelt to map the region and generally report on wild life, plants and tribes. The museum was also nice and cool as it was in the 90's... More 

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Allen Park
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2014

Good overview of the area. The museum gave a good description of the area and what things you could do..

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Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
148 reviews 148 reviews
25 attraction reviews
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2014 via mobile

The museum is good and has many interesting features but I have to agree with earlier post it's a little disjointed and jumps around. That said there are many interesting things to see and watch, there is an interesting film on how the gorge was formed and also the native Americans fishing. The birds of prey presentation was great and... More 

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