Bonneville Lock & Dam

Bonneville Lock & Dam, Cascade Locks: Address, Phone Number, Bonneville Lock & Dam Reviews: 4.5/5

Bonneville Lock & Dam
4.5
About
Spans the Columbia River and links Oregon and Washington.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Top ways to experience Bonneville Lock & Dam
Popular mentions

4.5
625 reviews
Excellent
379
Very good
209
Average
31
Poor
6
Terrible
0

FlyBalletGuy
New York City, NY101 contributions
Jul 2021
I approached this from the Washington side, and it was an enjoyable stop of about 45 minutes. It's a good place to take kids; there are a lot of informative exhibits and cool things to look at, particularly the turbine room and the fish viewing room. If you're photographing, the views of the river from immediately in or near the building are not that good (the windows were dirty when I was there); they're prettier from a few spots on the the long driveway in. Free admission never hurts.
Written July 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Charles S
Northamptonshire, UK852 contributions
Sep 2019
This impressive dam was originally opened in 1937 in the Columbia river gorge to provide electrical power generation. The reservoir formed behind the dam is Lake Bonneville. Building this structure had an effect on fish migration along the river, therefore the dam features 'fish ladders' to help salmon and steelhead get past the dam on their journey upstream to spawn. This is a popular attraction for visitors during the spawning season. Amazingly California sea lions may also be seen as they are also attracted to the large number of fish. Knowledgable staff are on site to answer questions and provide useful information.
Written March 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

April S
8 contributions
Oct 2021 • Friends
I loved walking through the fish hatcheries and seeing the big sturgeon. Being able to feed the fish was a cool experience and the kids loved it. The scenery was beautiful too. It was cool watching the fish trying to swim up stream. To see what the fish go through is cool.
Written October 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Pappy McPoyle
1 contribution
Sep 2021 • Friends
Very glad we stopped by here on our trip thru WA/OR. I wasn't too excited to visit beforehand, but it is quite an impressive structure! They have an underwater viewing area where you can see several type of fish making their way up the 'fish ladder'. Literally 3-foot salmon just a few feet away from the windows (depending on time of year, I suppose). Plus a fish hatchery that was as visually appealing as any Botanical Garden. Definitely worth a stop if it's on your route. We spent nearly 2 hours at the dam, in total.. but it can certainly be enjoyed in much less time.

All the park workers were extremely friendly and happy to assist and answer any and all questions. Certainly a unique experience.
Written December 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Trav_LN_now
Crystal Lake, IL545 contributions
May 2021
The dam itself is worth a visit. The engineering that go into a dam and locks is fascinating. Security is tight when you enter, but once you get to the visitors center there are people there to answer any questions you have about the area. They also have a nice little gift shop area with some unique offerings. The dam is huge, and they have the largest fish ladder that I have seen so far. No cost to enter, and there are nice restrooms available. Well worth a stop.
Written May 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kevin B
Mount Juliet, TN1,769 contributions
Jul 2019
This is a very interesting place to visit and you can learn a lot by coming here. The staff are very informative and kind and I'm glad that it's part of the National Park System. The fish ladders were so interesting to see after reading about them for years and it was very fun to visit here on our road trip.
Written February 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jack
Ashland, VA32 contributions
Sep 2021
It was a great surprise from the Oregon side. The visitor center was good, the access to the fish ladders was quite fun - lots of opportunities for pictures. Picnic areas as part of the complex. Google maps did one of those things where it wanted to route us across the river to Washington, until 20 feet from the closed gate. easy u-turn. you get to go through a rather surprising security check on the way in. got delayed a bit on the way out with apparently a vessel locking through.
Written October 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Carl Di Stefano
27 contributions
Apr 2020
We were there in April 2019 which is not good fish time but still a fascinating place.
Really enjoyed the trip. We did not do the tour but walked around ourselves. saw heaps and there was so much to learn form material provided. I bought some great souvenirs at gift shop that were uniquely educational about the area. i learnt so much here.
The fish ladder impressive and the sturgeon were enormous
Written July 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

eurasian73
Europe594 contributions
May 2013 • Friends
Driving along side the river enjoying the scenery and then it hits you like the cement wall that it is.
The Dam is an impressive manmade creation. Find out more at the visitor center.
Not impressive is the motto "fixing nature's mistakes" spotted somewhere nearby.

So we stopped by and it looked like a good place to also enjoy sea lions and bird watching.
That is was until we heard shooting and explosions. Looking into it, the very creatures we came to see (like many other people), were being shot at and hazed. We asked... apparently because they eat fish... Hmmmm

The visitor center has information about the concern for the fish, and then it also call the sea lions "predators". That's what they eat! Disappointed from the misguiding information.
There are far better ways to manage wildlife and co-exist.

There are no rubbish bins around the park area (and it shows). There are, however, several collection points for fishing line... which are obviously not used. There is tons of left over fishing line by the edge of the water.

On the pro side, the Park Rangers are friendly and the toilets are clean with plenty of toilet paper. Thankfully, we did get to watch the beautiful sea lions play in the surf of the spillway, swim and rest in the calmer water, and even saw a bald eagle catch a fish... obviously the eagle did not know how risky it was, since it could have been shot at for doing what it does.

The benefits of the dam to humans are appreciated, and the effects on nature and wildlife are underestimated and not really publicized... On top of that, wildlife which is native to the place gets shot at? Poor... very poor...
Written May 11, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

stevene254
Garner, NC212 contributions
Dec 2019
We wanted to do some sight seeing in Oregon while were visting Washington and came across this as were driving up the Columbia Gorge Highway. It is a US Corp of Engineers park part of the National Parks system so they have the Passport stamp. The visitors center is very interesting with lots of interactive displays of how and why the dam and locks work and are needed for the area. There is also a generator room tour that we just did not have time to participate in but would be well worth the time if you have it. If we ever come back we will schedule a couple of days to spend more time in these venues. This is well worth the side trip.
Written December 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 607
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing