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Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum

Certificate of Excellence
History museums, Museums
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Address: 5000 Discovery Drive, The Dalles, OR 97058
Phone Number: +1 541-296-8600
Website
Today
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Description: The 48,200 sq. ft. facility won an American Institute of Architects Honor...
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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Top Rated
$215*
and up
Columbia Gorge Adventure from Portland

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 127 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 78
    Excellent
  • 34
    Very good
  • 11
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
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    Terrible
Most recent review
Worth a stop

Spend a couple of hours on your way through town. If you are unfamiliar with the history of the area, it is a good introduction. Nice trails to wander around on. Raptor shows... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed February 4, 2015
OutdoorBoomer
,
Kennewick, Washington
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127 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Kennewick, Washington
Top Contributor
368 reviews 368 reviews
86 attraction reviews
124 helpful votes 124 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2015

Spend a couple of hours on your way through town. If you are unfamiliar with the history of the area, it is a good introduction. Nice trails to wander around on. Raptor shows on weekends. Snacks available. Nice facility. Could use some better lighting on some displays. Most of the displays are interpretive rather than artifacts.

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Edmonds, Washington
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2015

We were in town for some family events and wanted to get out and try a few things in the area. This is one of the best musems I have ever been too. I nrmally do not like this tyoe of thing, find it boring but they have done a great job here, lots of things like coffee/lunch and shoping... More 

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2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2015

Enjoyed the many exhibits they had, especially the special Smithsonian temporary exhibit on the Bracero Program. Spent 2 hours exploring the Lewis and Clark exhibit, watching the live raptor show, appreciating the Native American exhibit, learning more about the local history of The Dalles area and having fun at the photo booths. This museum is situated by the River Front... More 

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Vancouver, Washington
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
7 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2015

We have driven by this facility many, many times. Today we made a special day trip from Vancouver, WA in our Nissan Leaf just to see this museum. We charged our car in Cascade Locks and at The Dalles Fred Meyers. We also took the I-84 exit at Moser which worked out great for extending our range despite getting high... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
CGDC_WCHM, Public Relations Manager at Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum, responded to this review

Thank you for making a special trip down the gorge to visit us! We appreciate your positive and thorough review of our museum (and love your title)! We look forward to seeing you again very soon. Best, Kristen May Director of Visitor Services More 

La Grande, Oregon
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
7 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
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
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 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
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 helpful votes 10 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
8 helpful votes 8 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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