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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 155 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 96
    Excellent
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    Very good
  • 12
    Average
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    Terrible
Excellent History of the Gorge

The Columbia River Discovery Center reveals the evolution and history of the gorge in an engaging way. From the river "trail" in the floor of the main lobby to the various... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed July 4, 2015
MidwestMumbi
,
Saint Paul, Minnesota
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155 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
89 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2015 NEW

The Columbia River Discovery Center reveals the evolution and history of the gorge in an engaging way. From the river "trail" in the floor of the main lobby to the various exhibits, you learn how the gorge was formed and populated. Excellent exhibits and a very educational experience. The museum size is manageable and can be done in a few... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2015 NEW

There was a short presentation on three different raptors which was great because we were able to get really close to the owl and hawk. The museum in general was well done with a lot of information.

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The Dalles, Oregon
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2015 NEW

very nice museum, great for kids, lots to do, inside and out. Check out birds of prey show. Beautiful setting, lots of exhibits to look over

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Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
121 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2015

When you first walk in, it seems empty. But there are doors to the sides leading to an incredible variety of experiences - I was surprised to encounter a live owl. There are two eagles who live there as well. We could have spent hours there.

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Vancouver, Washington
Level Contributor
85 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2015

Much better then I expected. One half is about the Columbia River gorge the other is the was on county history museum.

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Chelsea, MI
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2015

Nicely laid out from prehistoric times to historical Indian culture in this area to how pioneers settled into this area. Very informative with relics from the past, excellently written signage, short films, and examples of items used in past times. The place was quiet and we meandered around for about 2 hours. Kudos!

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Wenatchee, Washington
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2015

The property itself is educational and well suited for children. It has several nature and historical trails. There are teepees outside. Inside it is modern and very nice with good bathroom facilities that are very clean. The museum is excellent with well explained displays of native American life, pioneer life, and early settlement life. I found it very educational and... More 

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Alameda, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2015

Very nice museum, light airy and well laid out. The employees were helpful and pleasant. If it hadn't been for several groups of very irritating pre-teens(ie: running around, screaming at each other, climbing on the displays and such), whose parents did absolutely nothing to contain them, it might have been a highlight of the trip.

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Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2015

Allow about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The exhibits are very interesting and we were fortunately there for a class on birds of prey which also had some rescue birds. Highly recommend the visit

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Sweet Home, Oregon
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2015

My Husband and I went here on our way through during our honeymoon. We both love history and had an amazing time! I would love to see them expand and add to the exhibits. It wouldn't take as much time for most people. I like to read so I take my time and absorb as much as possible. I would... More 

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Additional Information about Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum

Address: 5000 Discovery Drive, The Dalles, OR 97058
Phone Number: +1 541-296-8600
Location: United States  >  Oregon (OR)  >  The Dalles
Open Hours:
Sunday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Monday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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