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Fort Dalles Oregon Fort Dalles Oregon Rock Fort The Dalles Oregon columbia gorge discovery center
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Location: On Interstate 84 and Oregon Hwy 30, 75 miles east of Portland. Population: 13,620. Visitor Information: www.historicthedalles.org
Fort Dalles Oregon


The Dalles has been known as such since the early 1800s when fur traders became active on the Columbia River. The name derives from a French word referring to a long series of major rapids, the largest located near the present day city. In use for at least 10,000 years as a major trading center, the area is also one of the most archeologically significant on the continent. Located at the eastern end of the 85-mile long Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains within sight of the volcanic peaks of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams, The Dalles also marks the termination of the overland Oregon Trail. The Lewis and Clark Expedition spent several days at this location in the natural protection of Rock Fort Camp in 1805 and 06.

Fort Dalles was established in 1850 and was important militarily as the only fort between Fort Vancouver and Fort Walla Walla. Opening in 1905, The Fort Dalles Museum is one of Oregon’s oldest, offering unique collections of pioneer and military artifacts at one of the Old West’s most pivotal locales. 


The acclaimed Columbia Gorge Discovery Center showcases the area’s unique geology, flora, fauna and human history. The popular Ice Age exhibit features a life-size 13-foot Columbian mammoth towering over visitors. Other highlights include their raptor interpretive program, interactive Lewis and Clark cargo exhibits and a nature walk through 50 acres of richly diverse habitat.

Carved by the massive, churning waters released when ice dams on glacial Lake Missoula broke repeatedly in the last Ice Age, the Columbia River Gorge is a natural wonder of deep basalt cliffs, featuring over 75 waterfalls on the Oregon side of the river. Visitors enjoy spectacular scenery, outdoor adventure, all manner of water sports, river cruises, music, wineries, luxurious spas and more.


In 2016, The Dalles hosts the 39th annual Northwest Cherry Festival on April 22-24th. The Historic Columbia River Highway, the first scenic byway built in the United States, celebrates the centennial anniversary of its dedication on June 7 with a parade of vintage cars from Vista House to Multnomah Falls (west of The Dalles).  There will also be an antique auto tour on July 23 from Troutdale to The Dalles. 







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