Windsurfing in The Dalles, Oregon
W E L C O M E     T O

Known as the end of the Oregon Trail, The Dalles was where pioneers loaded their wagons onto rafts or barges and floated down the Columbia to the mouth of the Willamette River, then upriver to Oregon City. The Barlow Trail was constructed later to permit an overland crossing.

The Dalles was the site of Fort Dalles. Established in 1850 to protect immigrants after the Whitman massacre, it was the only military post between the Pacific Coast and Wyoming. The only building left of Fort Dalles is the Surgeon's Quarters, which has been incorporated into the Fort Dalles Museum. Fort Dalles Museum features a collection of military artifacts, household goods and old medical equipment. It's a favorite stop on The Dalles Old Town walking tour. Oregon's oldest bookstore, Klindt's (315 E 2nd St), is also part of the tour. Established in 1870, it contains the original wood floors, and oak and plate glass display cases, as well as a selection of books well worth browsing.

Sorosis Park is a 15 acre park located high above The Dalles on the cliffs. It's worth visiting just for the view of the river, the town and the mountains. Park facilities include picnic tables, a playground, rose gardens and tennis courts.

Recreation in The Dalles area includes windsurfing, fishing and camping. The Dalles has a reputation for being the best place to learn windsurfing. A favorite windsurfing starting point is Celio Park, nine miles east of The Dalles. Anglers can try for walleye and sturgeon in the Columbia River. Campers can cross the river to the Washington side and visit Horsethief State Park, the site of some of the most famous pictographs along the Columbia River. The park includes Horsethief Lake, where visitors can fish, swim or picnic.

Pulpit Rock, once used as gathering place for missionaries to preach, stands in the middle of 12th Street in The Dalles. A photo of the rock taken in the early 1900s is shown in the OSU Digital Collections Library

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    The Dalles Dam is operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The dam is one of the largest hydroelectric power plants in the country, providing enough electricity to serve over a million homes, which is equivalent to two cities the size of Portland, Oregon. In addition to providing a source for inexpensive hydropower, The Dalles Dam provides a reliable water source for navigation, irrigation, flood mitigation, and recreation.

    The Dalles Dam Visitor Center, located off Hwy 84, Exit 87 on Brett Clodfelter Way, highlights local history and culture. It is open seasonally from May 1st to September 30th, 9:00 am to 5:00 p.m. daily. The visitor center offers tours of the dam, displays and exhibits, and a view of migrating fish in the fish ladder. Additional features include access to the eastern end of The Dalles Riverfront Trail, picnic facilities, an historic rose garden, and excellent views of scenic Mt. Hood.

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  • Area Map
  • Attraction - Art Center
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