The Columbia Gorge and Mt. Hood Area Sights

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Bonneville Dam Review

This is the first federal dam to span the Columbia, and was dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937. Its generators (visible from a balcony on a self-guided tour or up close during thrice-daily guided tours in summer) have a capacity of more than a million kilowatts, enough to supply power to more than 200,000 single-family homes. There is a modern visitor center on Bradford Island, complete with underwater windows where gaggles of kids watch migrating salmon and steelhead as they struggle up fish ladders. The best viewing times are between April and October. In recent years the dwindling runs of wild Columbia salmon have made the dam a subject of much environmental controversy.

    Contact Information

  • Address: from I–84 take Exit 40, head northeast, and follow signs 1 mile to visitor center Cascade Locks, OR 97014
  • Phone: 541/374–8820
  • Cost: Free
  • Hours: Visitor center daily 9–5; tours mid-June–Aug., daily at 11, 1, and 3; Sept.–early June, weekends only
  • Website:
  • Location: Cascade Locks
Updated: 03-20-2013

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