Columbia Hills State Park
Hwy 14, watch for signs about 1 miles E of Hwy 195
This state park along the Columbia River straddles Highway 14 east of Dallesport.
One of the highlights of the secton of the park below Highway 14 is a collection of petroglyphs that were salvaged from along the Columbia River before water levels rose behind Dalles Dam. This was once the site of Nix lui dix, a Native American trading center on the banks of the Columbia just below what was Celilo Falls. Lewis & Clark stayed here both on their way out to the Pacific Ocean and on their way back. Dalles Dam also put the Nix lui dix site underwater. This section of the park also features Horsethief Butte, Horsethief Lake, a campground, rock climbing and limited hiking.
The hills above Highway 14 are home to the abandoned Dallas Mountain Ranch and the hut of early pioneer Henry Brune. This is high desert, and the windswept hills have few trees, making Columbia Hills State Park a popular destination for paragliding. Hiking, birding and mountain biking are other activities.
Upper Wall Group E Petroglyphs (P14A0277)
A number of petroglyph panels were salvaged before the lake behind Dalles Dam filled up this part of the Columbia River valley. Several are on display along a walkway that includes a number of markers that describe them and their origins.
An intact panel survives in its original location at the end of a short trail from the parking area. Unfortunately, due to vandalism access to this panel is only available by guided tours. The tours are free but require reservations.
Horsethief Butte and Horsethief Lake (P14A0317)
Dalles Mountain Ranch (P14A0323)
The road that passes the abandoned buildings of Dalles Mountain Ranch offers sweeping views of Columbia Hills.
While you're in the area, check out these sights:
- Highway 14 Drive Along The Columbia River, Maryhill, Washington
- Columbia Gorge, Vancouver, Washington