Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum

Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum, The Dalles: Hours, Address, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum

Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum
4.5
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
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
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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Popular mentions

4.5
400 reviews
Excellent
266
Very good
112
Average
17
Poor
4
Terrible
1

DoloresJacoby.Let’sTravel.98368
West Palm Beach, FL9,968 contributions
Fabulous Award Winning Architecture
Jun. 2021 • Couples
The museum is such a worthwhile visit! From the moment you hit the parking lot you begin to appreciate the amazing architecture. The lobby entrance is fantastic. A bird of prey show and talk occurred at the far end of the lobby. Exhibitions are great and allow you ample time to explore at your own pace. Lovely gift shop and don’t miss walking the grounds.
Written June 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jim B
Grapeview, WA1,113 contributions
A Good Overview of Columbia River History
May 2021 • Couples
This museum does a good job of presenting a history of the Columbia River Gorge, from the geology to the people who have settled here over the many generations.

It covers the Native Americans who were here originally, to the settlement of American immigrants, to the railroad era, to the automobile era with the highways that were developed.

They also have a section on the Lewis & Clark expedition through this area.

They also have raptors to educate you on birds of prey and their prevalence in this area.
Written May 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

SwissMissSpokaneWA
Spokane WA77 contributions
Very nice museum!
Mar. 2021
This is a great museum. Half covers the Gorge and its geology, etc. The other half covers the history of the area, including Native people and the settlers. We spent about 2 hours here. Very enjoyable!
Written April 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

deebk
Kent, WA487 contributions
Don’t miss this
Apr. 2021 • Couples
If you see just one thing in The Dalles let it be this. So we’ll done and so much information and history displayed in such an engaging way - for all ages!!
Really worth a stop!
Written April 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Bear_over_mountain
Oregon City, OR25 contributions
Discovering Oregon during an Evacuation
Sep. 2020
During our unexpected visit to The Dalles because we evacuated from Oregon City during the fires, we found The Discovery Center entertained and educated us about Oregon History. Because we had lots of time, and the museum was not at all crowded, we had plenty of opportunity to get fully immersed in the details of the exhibits. My favorite was the video film that showed how the native tribes would prepare acorns from harvest through grinding, and leeching thru sand to cook an acorn porridge. Due to the poor outdoor air quality Due to fires during our visit, the birds usually on exhibit, were not available. This is a museum you MUST see if you are traveling thru The Dalles. It is a great break for children and adults of all ages. I highly recommend a visit to the Discovery Center.
Written September 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Heather H
21 contributions
Only open on Weekends
Sep. 2020 • Friends
Tried to enjoy the museum but it's only open on the weekends. Tried to do the Pioneer Walk but it only had numbers posted without a map (maybe inside?), it's interesting but not informative. Final straw, I had been enjoying looking at the osprey. A woman came into the osprey room, collected the bird and started walking to the indoor captivity room. I asked, "can I take a picture?" She didn't say anything and kept on walking. Poor representative of the Discovery Center. Really disappointed.
Written September 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Smietanka D
The Dalles, OR27 contributions
Vacation
Aug. 2020 • Couples
Beautiful columbia gorge highway great place to visit wonderful scenic road. Winery on the way with delicious wine and nice people
Written August 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Dave B
Beaverton, OR176 contributions
Nice
Jul. 2020 • Couples
Nice, spacious museum drawing attention to the Columbia River and its history and peoples. It's presented as a timeline, so follow the right route.
Written July 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Logan C
4 contributions
Father/daughter
Jul. 2020 • Family
My kids loved the museum! Especially the mammoth and then the mock town and buildings...like the old west.
Written July 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Margaret R
Austin, TX41 contributions
Great Space, Full of Interesting Stuff
Mar. 2020
Did you know that Lewis and Clark's Corp of Explorers ate almost 200 dogs? Towards the end of their trip, tribes weren't willing to trade the salmon but shared out of their dog supplies. The exhibit focused on what was carried by the explorers for trade and what they gave in friendship. Since they made camp over 600 places, there was lots of opportunities for meeting the locals.
The museum had a variety of exhibits, including the geology pointing to the origin of the Bridge of the Gods, a mythological place in many tribal stories. Enjoyed the visit!
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum

Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
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We recommend booking Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 1 Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum tours on Tripadvisor