Bonneville Dam: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

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Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!

Sea to Summit Tour►

The Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River is managed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The surrounding Columbia River Gorge NSA , falls under the administration of the US Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. When in Oregon, we toured the gorge with Sea to Summit tours. We met our guide Shahn by Pioneer Square in Portland and loaded into a comfortable minibus for our full day tour.


Shahn drove us along the Historic Columbia River Highway, stopping at numerous waterfalls and other picturesque places. The tour culminated with a stop at the Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood. Shahn kept us entertained during drive time and at each stop with the history and anecdotes about the places we saw. We never would have fit all of this into one day if we’d tried to do it on our own, and my husband would have been cranky from all the driving and trying to find parking. I highly recommend seeing the area with Sea to Summit.

Bonneville Lock and Dam►

The Bonneville Dam sits near the site of historic locks installed on the Columbia River in 1896. The government installed a more modern dam and locks system during the Great Depression under the New Deal. The dam generates electricity while the locks allow ships to get around the dam. Fish ladders provide a way for salmon and steelhead to get upstream.

The visitor center has some interesting displays and an underwater viewing area of the salmon bypassing the dam via the salmon ladder. We stood outside for a while watching the salmon jump up the ladder (and the birds of prey swooping in for an easy lunch.)

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Columbia River Gorge Posts►


Location: 40700 Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett, OR 97019
Designation: National Register of Historic Places
Date designated/established: Built 1916, NRHP 1974
Date of my visit: August 27, 2016

10 thoughts on “Bonneville Dam: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

  1. Kings On the Road

    We love watching salmon. When we see the massive numbers swimming upriver to spawn we realize how sustainable the fishery is.

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