Columbia Hills Historical State Park

Columbia River Gorge

Some of the most famous remaining pictographs (painted figures) along the Columbia River are at this Washington state park, site of a Native American village that was flooded by the Dalles dam. The pictograph area can be visited only on a free, ranger-guided tour at 10am on Friday and Saturday from April to October; reservations are required.

The park's petroglyphs (carved figures) can be seen any time from April to October without a tour.

Rock climbers practice their moves on the basalt walls of Horsethief Butte, just east of the park entrance, and this section of the Columbia River is a good place for beginner windsurfers to catch some wind without strong river currents. The park also offers fishing and swimming in Horsethief Lake, as well as camping and hiking.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Columbia River Gorge attractions

1. The Dalles Dam & Lock

2.56 MILES

The Dalles Dam, built in 1957, produces enough electricity to power 800,000 homes. Access to this power came at a price, however. The dam's reservoir,…

2. National Neon Sign Museum

4.87 MILES

Housed in the magnificent, late-1800s Elks building, this fun, 'flashy' and educational museum is a fantastic new addition to The Dalles. You'll start…

3. Columbia Gorge Discovery Center

5.09 MILES

This excellent museum covers the history of the gorge, from its creation by cataclysmic floods to the hardships pioneers had traversing it, to early…

4. Fort Dalles Museum

5.58 MILES

This museum was once part of an 1856 fort and is Oregon's oldest history museum. It's a fascinating place full of historical items; highlights include an…

5. Rowena Crest

9.71 MILES

On top of Rowena Crest are spectacular views and vast meadows now preserved as a wildflower sanctuary. Governor Tom McCall Reserve, on Rowena Plateau, is…

6. Deschutes River State Recreation Area

9.82 MILES

The Deschutes River, Oregon's second largest, cuts through central Oregon and meets the Columbia at this fine state park, 15 miles east of The Dalles…

7. Maryhill Museum of Art

11.89 MILES

If you've ever wondered about that expression, 'What in Sam Hill?,' here's your answer: this museum in a hilltop mansion was founded by Sam Hill (1857…

8. Stonehenge Memorial

14.92 MILES

Not one for small gestures, businessman Sam Hill built a full-scale replica of Salisbury Plain's Stonehenge on the cliffs above the Columbia River…