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“The only place kids can say "dam" and get away with it”

Bonneville Lock & Dam
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Spans the Columbia River and links Oregon and Washington.
Reviewed December 8, 2014

A self guided tour showing the power of water and how it is used to make electricity. There is a short video presentation it this little inside amphitheater and some exhibits that are very engaging. The site of all the turbines and the power they represent is awesome. Downstairs is the glass windows showing the fish ladder and seeing all these huge fish swimming upstream to go back to there spawning grounds is humbling. There is exhibits down there of native american artifacts and artwork. Spoke with the employee that counts fish and she gave us a insight into her job as well as the fish she counts as they swim by.

Thank themoons2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"fish ladder"
in 152 reviews
"visitor center"
in 64 reviews
"power plant"
in 34 reviews
"power house"
in 24 reviews
in 124 reviews
"fish hatchery"
in 66 reviews
"columbia river"
in 55 reviews
"guided tour"
in 19 reviews
"free tour"
in 17 reviews
"army corps of engineers"
in 12 reviews
"sea lions"
in 8 reviews
"an engineering marvel"
in 11 reviews
"fish counter"
in 10 reviews
"watching the fish swim"
in 10 reviews
"fish viewing area"
in 10 reviews
"bonneville lock"
in 19 reviews
"the lower level"
in 9 reviews

378 - 382 of 552 reviews

Reviewed November 25, 2014

This review is from a visit to the south side of the dam. If you were to assume that Bonneville Dam is one of those things a tourist should just snap a photo of before hurrying on down the road, you'd be wrong. The fish ladders are interesting, and you can watch fish navigating them from a viewing area in the basement of the visitor center. The adjacent fish hatchery is also worth spending some time visiting, so plan this as a major stop on your vacation trip along the river.

Thank AnnArborMiBob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2014

We really loved seeing the steelhead swim up the ladders in the Visitor Center of the second power plant on the Washington State side of the Dam. The film there explained how the Columbia River became the river 15,000 years ago. There is also a clear explanation about how the Army Corp of Engineers relocated the town of North Bonneville. And of course, there is a great view and explanation of the turbines at work. This was the second dam installed on the Columbia River in 1974.
On the other side of the river in Oregon, there is an historic area with museum but...closed for the season. There is a wonderful sturgeon Hatchery here with a live 450 lb sturgeon that is 70 years old along with other fish. On the Oregon side,there is also another dam visitor center. This original first dam was built in 1937. There are also locks on this side of the river. NThis is a wonderful place to bring children of all ages!

Thank travelingrm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2014

I was shocked to be driving so close to the dam. This free tour showed how electricity is produced and how it works around mother nature's salmon. The walk and talk tour was about 20 minutes. After that you can go on your own to explore (within the marked boundary). This is a must stop. You can even be a "fish counter" no joke.

Thank Art555555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 23, 2014

Passed by here numerous times but this was my first visit. You have to be impressed by the shear size of this dam and the amount of water that passes through it each day. The Corps of Engineer staff were very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. There are great views from the top deck and you get a 360 degree panorama. It is unfortunate that because of the 9/11 attack parts of this massive structure are now off limits to the public. Watching the fish swim through the fish ladders is impressive as was their size. The dam is only half of the stop. The other half is the visit to the fish hatchery and to the sturgeon ponds. Millions and millions of salmon and trout are raised there every year and released into the river. In my opinion a wise use of our tax dollars and a great educational opportunity for every member of the family.

Thank JimH85641
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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