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Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum

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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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 144 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 88
    Excellent
  • 40
    Very good
  • 12
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Wide ranging and informative

We got here just after 4 and were offered free entry since it was close to the 5pm closing time. An hour was a huge rush. Probably need 90 minutes at least. Lots to learn... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 21, 2015
chitownsam
,
Chicago, Illinois
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144 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
472 reviews 472 reviews
211 attraction reviews
171 helpful votes 171 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2015 NEW

We got here just after 4 and were offered free entry since it was close to the 5pm closing time. An hour was a huge rush. Probably need 90 minutes at least. Lots to learn about history of the gorge. Our favorite part was extensive details on Lewis & Clark expedition. Lots of other information about settlers and area history.

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St Petersburg, FL
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
35 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2015 NEW

We enjoyed learning about the amazing geology of the gorge, how it was created and developed. They also had a presentation about raptors, which was interesting. There is a beautiful, easily accessible trail that runs along the back of the center, overlooking the gorge. If you want a beautiful nature walk without dealing with rocks, roots, steps, etc., this is... More 

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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015 NEW

This outstanding museum is a great introduction to the geological, natural, and human history of the Columbia River Gorge. From basalt flows and volcanic action to the cataclysmic floods that scoured out the gorge, well-designed displays explain the evolution of what we see today in the towering cliffs in this scenic area. There are amazing images of the giant prehistoric... More 

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Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
273 reviews 273 reviews
86 attraction reviews
180 helpful votes 180 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2015

A very well organized centre, with exhibits chronicling the history of the early peoples, the exploration and development of the Columbia R. system, the great floods from Glacial lake Missoula, and history of The Dalles. There are short ( 10-15 min) films that run non stop also. A cafeteria is on site too.

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Vancouver, Washington
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
29 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2015

Last weekend we joined a group of volunteers from "Friends of Multnomah Falls" and visited the CGDC & Museum. When people pop into the Multnomah Falls Visitor's Center, they often ask us ... "What is there to see at the east end of the Gorge ? Now, we have an answer... the Discovery Center & Museum. It is an easy... More 

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Monroe Twp., NJ
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
44 attraction reviews
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2015

One of the most informative and nicely laid out museums that I have ever visited! It is great for all ages!! I recommend it highly.

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HONOLULU
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
17 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2015

I really liked the Lewis and Clark displays. We got there a bit early so were able to enjoy a quite atmosphere in the museum.

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Oregon
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2015

My two sons and I (age 5 and 2) spent almost 3 hours enjoying this space. The museum had a fun scavenger hunt activity that they really enjoyed, and there was even a special kids' room. The fun didn't stop inside either. There were plenty of outdoor things to enjoy too like exploring the old homesteads, the water feature, and... More 

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Union, Oregon
Top Contributor
262 reviews 262 reviews
116 attraction reviews
109 helpful votes 109 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2015

Very beautiful museum. We took about 2 hours to see everything. They have a great bird show. You can get up close and personal with hawks, owls and falcons. They also have an bald eagle show. Definitely worth a stop.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Glen Ellen
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
76 attraction reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2015

This actually has ecology, geoligical history, anthropology, Native American and recent (last 200 years) historical perspective. We learned so much in various "rooms". We only had one hour and fifteen minutes, so we could have stayed and learned even more. Very well-done displays, images, and exhibits. We really enjoyed our time here.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2

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