The Gorge’s natural resources have attracted humans for over 13,000 years and we believe that all people, from residents to national and international visitors to our region, deserve to learn about why.
The Dalles is the site of the oldest continuously populated place in the western hemisphere, with Celilo Falls serving as a major trade center for a thousand-mile radius. People and Columbian mammoths lived together here during the last of the Ice Age Floods that deposited the soil for today’s robust and diverse agricultural communities.
The geologic story of the Gorge unfurled over millennia like nowhere else on earth and created the conditions for unique animal and plant habitats, including many endemic plants, and formed the only navigable waterway through the Cascade Range.
Major themes in US history thus played out in this place, including the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the fur trade era, Oregon Trail, Frontier Military history, inland railroad baron wars, and so much more.
The Gorge is a magnet for life, a melting pot of one-of-a-kind plant, animal, and human communities. The Discovery Center inspires appreciation and stewardship of the Gorge’s natural and cultural resources to ensure the preservation of this special place for generations to come. We look forward to sharing this special place with you.
Open 9:00 am – 5:00 pm daily.
5000 Discovery Drive
The Dalles, Oregon 97058