When you visit The Dalles, Oregon you are heading to a very cool small town situated in a beautiful area. The Columbia River flows right by and there are a lot of ways to get out and enjoy the water both from the shore and out on the surface of it.
The Dalles also has a lot to offer within it too with some great museums, a fun 10 mile long trail, some unique shops, tasty places to eat, and more. One of the great parts about going to visit The Dalles though is that you are real close to some out of town attractions in all directions.
Here are five great attractions all within an easy drive of The Dalles, Oregon:
Deschutes River State Recreation Area
A wonderful place to head to for camping, theDeschutes River State Recreation Area is also great for a day trip or even a quick roadside stop for anyone wanting time in the outdoors. Some of the activities available there include hiking, rafting, fishing, kayaking, inner-tubing, horseback riding, and mountain biking. A quick hike up Atiyeh Deschutes River Trail can be a lot of fun and offers some nice views of the canyon there and even some opportunities to get your feet, or even more, wet which can feel real nice in the heat of summer. Keep your eyes open too as there are wide variety of birds and other animals to see there. A great time can be had at the Deschutes River State Recreation Area.
Maryhill Museum and Stonehenge
On the Washington side of the Columbia River there are two unique attractions worth driving to. The Maryhill Museum is located high on a bluff overlooking the river and the surrounding area. Inside this historic home turned museum is one of the nicest collections of art in the region. You’ll also be able to learn about the history of the house and what life was like during the early days of development there. You can even stroll the grounds outdoors and see impressive landscaping and more pieces of art. Near the Maryhill Museum is an interesting replica of Stonehenge that was built in 1918 as a World War I memorial to fallen soldiers. It’s pretty impressive, offers some great photography opportunities, and is definitely something you’ll remember seeing for a very long time based solely on the fact that it just seems so out of place on the sagebrush covered hillside.
Historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway
Built between 1913 and 1922, the Historic Columbia River Highway was the first planned scenic roadway in the entire United States. It’s since been placed on several historic preservation lists and continues to be one of the most visited scenic byways in the country. The official route of the Historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway extends from The Dalles in the east to Troutdale in the west, a length of just over 75 miles. Along the way you’ll pass through several small communities, past some nice historical sites, and have the chance to see quite a few waterfalls. It really is something very special, especially to those who enjoy a good road trip.
Multnomah Falls is located on the western end of the Columbia River Gorge, opposite from The Dalles, but is well worth the drive. This waterfall is visible from the freeway, but pulling off in the parking lot and walking up to the historic Multnomah Falls Lodge is very impressive. There is a lower viewpoint that provides some great photo taking opportunities. Hike up to the bridge above though and get an amazing view up at the falls, out at the main basin the water tumbles into, and then down towards the lodge and the Columbia River beyond. The trail also continues on up to the top of the falls for those wanting a little more advanced hike.
Columbia River Dams
The dams of the Columbia River aid the people in a number of ways including everything from the shipping of agricultural crops to the production of electricity. Visiting several of these dams can be educational and interesting too. It can also be very easy when staying at The Dalles. The Dalles Dam is located right there in town, to the east are John Day Dam and McNary Dam, and to the west is Bonneville Dam. Different dams come with different things to do like fish viewing, guided tours, picnic areas, museum exhibits, and scenic viewpoints.
Spend the Night in The Dalles Area
If you’re looking for an awesome place to stay in The Dalles, check out this waterfront vacation rental located just outside of town: