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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
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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 135 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 81
    Excellent
  • 38
    Very good
  • 12
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Very well-organized and fascinating historical museum

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... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed April 13, 2015
corkiek
,
Glen Ellen
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135 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Glen Ellen
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
75 attraction reviews
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2015 NEW

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.

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Twin Falls
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2015

This was very interesting. We learned a great deal. We loved the eagles! The grandkids thought it as very interesting because we saw and learned a lot!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
The Dalles
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2015

we have 3 kids and with trying to keep them calm walking through the hole museum. lots of history but needs hands on for kids. still very good

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Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
38 attraction reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2015

This is a wonderful learning center. The displays are varied and interesting ranging from reader boards, animal display in realistic settings, dioramas, false front buildings and status displays all intended to convey a feeling of what it was like to travel west in the early 1800's.. This is good fare for family and adults. See both wings as the information... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Grangeville, Idaho
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
22 attraction reviews
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2015

I recently stopped at the Discovery Center with my grandson while driving through The Dalles. It was a great way to take a break from the driving. Because it is a museum and there are things that shouldn't be touched or climbed on, I wouldn't recommend it for really young children, however my grandson is almost 6 and he had... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
The Dalles, Oregon
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2015

Had the opportunity to stop in and check out the place. Hadn't been in for about a year. The displays were amazing, just as I remembered. Things change around in the different exhibits, but the things are very interesting and I always leave having learning something new. My only issues is that the staff are not very helpful, and at... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2015

This is the place to learn about the Columbia Gorge and it's history back to the Ice Age. Lewis and Clark exhibit and the raptor tour were the highlights. Easy to spend a few hours and get lost in the history and exhibits of The Dalles history.

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Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
11 attraction reviews
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2015

A really great little museum on the edge of The Dalles - lots of Oregon Trail history, as well as a well crafted series of exhibits regarding the native Americans of the area.

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Kennewick, Washington
Top Contributor
369 reviews 369 reviews
86 attraction reviews
134 helpful votes 134 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Edmonds, Washington
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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