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Cool Things in The Dalles

Cool Things in The Dalles
by Dennis Y. of

Heard about the marvels of the Columbia Gorge? Want to see for yourself? From Portland, to paraphrase Horace Greeley (or John Soule), we say, "Go East young man." As you travel the Gorge, every mile offers new views of wonder. Each turn seems to present spectacular views and panoramas, none so dramatic as the wide-open vista that presents itself as you come into The Dalles.

The Dalles itself offers a wide-open choice of activities to capture your attention.

Coming into The Dalles presents fun opportunities for the whole family. Continuing the "Go East" theme, the first treat you’ll come to (besides the many businesses and restaurants) is a skateboard park for the kid in all of us. Whether you’re an active skater or an avid spectator, The Dalles will satisfy your need. The Dalles Skate Park is a hard-worked dream come true of the Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation, who owns and manages it. The project took four years and cost $250,000 and is housed at Thompson Park. The park opened on June 18, 2011 and operates from dawn to dusk.

Continuing East, in the center of town at City Park (5th and Union street) is the Farmer’s Market. When the Market started in 2004 it was first housed at The Dalles Civic Auditorium. Now it has completed three years at it's current location. The Market features a host of local produce, fruits, flowers, honey and eggs and attracts up to 500 visitors each day. The Farmers market is open early June through early October, Wednesday evenings and Saturdays.


Next up, The Dalles boasts several ball parks that provide family entertainment from March through July. The Clinton Street Ballpark is known as one of the finest fields in the state and features full nighttime lighting and grandstand bleacher seating. The Sixteenth Street Softball Park also sports nighttime lighting and bleacher seating and is one of the best high school parks in Oregon. Sorosis Park, which sits above the city, is home to the Girl’s Softball Team. Little League baseball action can be found at Kramer Park on Walnut Street, between W 6th and W 7th Streets.

For fishermen, the Columbia River means world-famous fishing. The river offers a variety of species in an exciting setting. You can find Salmon, Steelhead, Small and Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Crappie, Bluegill, Catfish, Northern Pike, Peamouth Minnows, Shad and Sturgeon fishing. Locals say you’ll always catch something and you’ll enjoy the abundant birdlife and river traffic as you fish. Record fish have been caught. Bring your own gear or hire one of many fishing guides or tour companies. American Indians, from several local tribes, have fishing stations near The Dalles Dam.

Our Eastward journey ends as large and expansive as it started with the majestic The Dalles Dam and Visitor Center. The Dam was completed in 1957 and is operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. The Dam is one of a system of dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The Visitor Center (open May 1 to September 30) is located at Seufert Park on the Oregon shore, and was built in 1981. At the Visitor Center, you can learn about hydro-power, navigation, recreation and fish passage. Power generated by the Dam is marketed by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). Lake Celilo, the reservoir behind the dam, runs 24 miles (39 km) upriver to the foot of John Day Dam.

You’ll find your time well spent as you follow the advice to, "Head East."

"For the Tourist"

Restaurants in The Dalles - We list all of the tasty places to eat in town as well as where you can find Wifi Hotspots! All offer e-coupons which you can redeemed by showing on your mobile device when it's time to pay the bill!

Lodging - Whether you're looking for a hotel, motel, campground, rv park, vacation rental or bed and breakfast, we've got you covered! We list pet friendly establishments as well!

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Camping - Detailed list of campgrounds where you can pitch a tent and enjoy the beautiful Columbia River Gorge!

Cycling - List of popular routes where you can get on your bike, start pedaling and nail down a good workout!

Hiking - List of all the cool hikes you can take including popular walking trails.

Fishing - Bait that hook, cast out and reel in a big one at one of the many fishing holes on our list! We also note establishments where you can obtain a daily or seasonal fishing license.

Hunting - Few realize that this city has some of the best hunting in the state. We reveal all the great places to lock and load including where you can pick up a license!

Lakes - Whether you're going for a swim or looking to catch tonight's dinner, The Dalles has you covered!

Rivers - The MIGHTY COLUMBIA dominates this town's list of rivers. List includes boat ramps!


Historic Sites