Located in The Dalles, OR the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center is the official interpretive center for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. This 26,100 square foot exhibit wing holds interpretive displays which describe the tremendous volcanic upheavals and raging floods that created the Gorge, explanations of why ice ages occur, how the mighty Columbia River sculpted the ecology of the region for a unique and spectacular diversity of vegetation and wildlife. Native American cultures are represented along with more recent Euro-American activities.
The Discovery Center, parking, and interpretive trails are fully accessible. The interpretive programs are also designed for visitors of all abilites. The Discovery Center also serves as the trailhead for the fully accessible, 8 foot wide, paved, rolling Riverfront Trail.
From Hood River, OR: Travel east on Interstate 84 approximately 19 miles to Chenoweth exit #82. Turn right at the stop sign at the end of the off ramp and right again at the next stop sign onto Highway 30/ Mosier-The Dalles Highway. Travel west approximately 2 miles on this frontage road until the intersection with Discovery Drive. Take a right on Discovery Drive and follow it until you reach the parking area for the center.
From The Dalles, OR: Travel west on West 6th Street until it takes a slight left and turns into1st Avenue. 1st Avenue becomes Highway 30/Mosier-The Dalles Highway. Continue to travel west on this Highway until it intersects with Discovery Drive. Take a right on Discovery Drive and follow it until you reach the parking area for the center.
Benson Bridge Closure
Early in the morning on Thursday January 9, 2014, a large rock fell from the surrounding cliffs at Multnomah Falls and damaged the historic pedestrian Benson Bridge. The bridge sustained damage to a 4x4 foot section of the pedestrian bridge and associated railings. Due to damage on the bridge, Benson Bridge is closed at Multnomah Falls for safety reasons indefinitely until repairs can be made.
The trail leading to the bridge is closed at both sections of the bridge until a design and repairs can be completed. It is anticipated that the bridge closure will last several months.
Visitors will be able to hike the Larch Mountain trail #441 up to Benson Bridge, which will still allow visitors good views of the iconic falls. All other trails in the area will remain open. However, the popular Wahkeena to Multnomah Falls loop and the Horsetail Falls to Multnomah Falls loop will not be passable due to the closure.