The Dalles Things to Do

  • Surgeons Quarters
    Surgeons Quarters
    by GuthrieColin
  • Right Elevation
    Right Elevation
    by GuthrieColin
  • Left Elevation
    Left Elevation
    by GuthrieColin

Most Recent Things to Do in The Dalles

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    Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum / Wasco

    by glabah Written Dec 20, 2014

    It isn't too surprising that The Dalles would have its own historical museum, as most communities have their own historical society that curates and displays items from the history of that community.

    However, the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum / Wasco County Museum is an interesting case of what this can become when funds are adequate.

    There was a desire to create a set of museum displays that give more information about the significance of the Columbia River Gorge. At the same time Wasco County wanted to have their own historical museum for the community and area of Wasco county.

    After quite a lot of effort a joint building was opened in 1997, with the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center on one side of the building and the Wasco County Historical Museum on the other side of the building.

    The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center covers the history of the Columbia Gorge, from the earliest rock strata to the present. This includes brief looks at the ice age (and thus the Columbian Mammoth reproduction), the First Nations people including some very good examples of artwork creation, and all the way up to the modern era. As the Columbia Gorge is an important transportation link this features prominently. Lewis and Clark are given their place, as are some of the special plants and animals found in the Columbia Gorge. Even the future is covered as there is a small display talking about stewardship of the area.

    The Wasco County Historical Museum covers the area around The Dalles specifically, including items of significance to the economy and history of The Dalles. First Nations, fish, Barlow Road, and current agriculture all have their place here.

    The two museums are separated by a large room called the "River Gallery", which features a model of the Columbia River down the center of the room. This room, and several smaller side galleries, are used for various displays.

    There is a children's room towards the back of the Wasco County Historical Museum area.

    The museum is open from 9 to 5 on most days.

    Standard admissions price is $9, but several discounts are offered to students, seniors, etc.

    Columbian Mammoth in Ice Age display Columbia River Transportation has Long History River Gallery in Middle of Museum, River is Stone Wasco County History on Display Children's Activity Room
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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  • WulfstanTraveller's Profile Photo

    Downtown

    by WulfstanTraveller Written Oct 3, 2010

    The Dalles has a fairly large, attractive downtown with some interesting buildings. Although quiet and not very lively, it is still alive and functioning with plenty of various stores and restaurants. It is also interesting for the largely abandoned, boarded-up area along the railroad tracks.

    Abandoned building next to railroad tracks Abandoned building next to railroad tracks
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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  • GuthrieColin's Profile Photo

    Historic Fort Dalles

    by GuthrieColin Updated May 25, 2009

    The Historic Fort Dalles Surgeons Quarters are the only remaining building of 4 original structures built in the 1850’s. Designed by Louis Scholl, the buildings were based on the designs found in Andrew Jackson Downing’s “The Architecture of Country Houses.” The Gothic themed building cost $5,000 to build and was criticized by government inspectors as being very costly and expensive to maintain.
    Other buildings on the fort were destroyed predominantly by fires which were likely caused by the poor quality of mortar used in the chimneys. After 1876 the fort was disbanded and in 1905 the surgeons quarters was restored by local pioneer’s and turned into a museum. It has served that purpose ever since making it one of the longest continuously operating museum in the region.

    Surgeons Quarters Right Elevation Left Elevation Upstairs 'Gothic' Windows
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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    The Dalles Dam

    by RickinDutch Written Jun 10, 2008

    Second dam upriver from Portland (Bonneville is the first), The Dalles Dam was built in the 40's for a variety of reasons. At the time the main issue was navigating the Columbia. With the dam in place the locks provided access to the newly created lake behind it and overcame a series of rapids and waterfalls that were quite hazardous. Now, it is the 22 generators that are of primary importance. The provide affordable electrical power to the region.

    The dam is 1.5 miles long and L shaped. The visitors center is quite good with helpful and friendly staff. The train that derailed in 2005 is still out of service so you can't get much closer. Their film with the history of the dam is informative. When not showing the film they show live video feed of the fish ramps and it is great to see those large salmon heading upstream.

    A short walk down across the fields gets you to the river with good views of the dam.

    The Dalles Dam

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    Historic Highway

    by Camping_Girl Written Jun 15, 2006

    The Columbia River Gorge is an amazing area. Waterfalls are everywhere, visible from the old highway. The Historic highway snakes along parallel to the freeway, and what a relaxing road to travel. It's a great alternative to the freeway. Allow a full day to give you plenty of time for stops and pictures.

    This is the road that you can see the famous Multnomah Falls from. Also Latourell Falls. Crown Point Vista House is also beautiful.

    We spent an entire day travelling this road - it's definitely not for those in a hurry! But if you have time to slow down and smell the roses, this road will reward you royally.

    Multnomah Falls, Historic Columbia River Highway Crown Point Vista House
    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

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  • WulfstanTraveller's Profile Photo

    The Dalles Dam

    by WulfstanTraveller Written Oct 3, 2010

    One of several dams across the Columbia River is at The Dalles. There is also a bridge across the river from the Dalles to Washington.

    Nearby, there are some old abandoned wooden shacks, as well.

    Ruined shacks near The Dalles Dam
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip

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The Dalles Things to Do

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