The Dalles is a large town on the Columbia River in northern Oregon, just over an hour's drive from Portland. Before The Dalles was a major city and the seat of Wasco County, it was a massive trading center for indigenous people for 10,000 years. This historically significant stretch of land was one of the most important regional trading hubs on the entire continent at one point in time. The interesting name of the city is said to come from the French word “dalle,” describing the flagstones or slabs of rock that create rapids in the mighty Columbia River.
When you book an RV in The Dalles, you'll be in a largely versatile and gorgeous city with stunning views of the river. Interstate 84 provides easy access to and from town, so you will have no trouble setting out on an epic road trip to survey the sights and sounds of scenic Oregon when you rent an RV in The Dalles. Aside from the picturesque, panoramic views from the hills, there are tons of cultural institutions, museums, small businesses, and delightful restaurants where you can spend the day or grab a bite to eat. This charming small city is almost perfect in every way, so start planning your next vacation in this inviting destination as soon as you can. If you are visiting in April, be sure to catch the annual Northwest Cherry Festival.
The Great Outdoors
One of the main reasons The Dalles is a prime destination for visitors each year is the appeal of the surrounding natural areas and the Columbia River Gorge. Deschutes River State Recreation Area is located east of town at the confluence of the Deschutes and Columbia Rivers. There are plenty of RV camping spaces for an RV rental from The Dalles as well as a real covered wagon that guests can rent and stay in for an authentic Oregon Trail experience. The grassy hills above the river are great for hunting when the season is right, and fishing in the river is popular too.
Doug’s Beach State Park is a well-known destination for kiteboarding and windsurfing due to the high-velocity winds on the Columbia River. This riverfront park on the Washington side of the Columbia River is named for a windsurfing pioneer who passionately worked to bring attention to the sport he loved. There is an assortment of campsites near the water where you can park your The Dalles RV rental while you relax and enjoy a tranquil atmosphere. Mayer State Park is located right across the river from Doug’s Beach State Park, giving you yet another place to unwind in nature. This unique park features stretches of an abandoned highway once meant to be linked to Interstate 84. There are miles of hiking trails and dirt roads to explore when you bring your motorhome rental from The Dalles to Mayer State Park, and plenty of panoramic viewpoints high atop the rocky cliffs that line the river.
Chief among Oregon’s natural areas, Mount Hood National Forest is one of the best known and most beloved wilderness parks in the country. This incredible forest operates more like a national park than a national forest and brings in four and a half million people per year. On top of that, the forest is home to Mount Hood, the highest point in all of Oregon, and one of the most beautiful stratovolcanoes imaginable. You can climb and conquer this massive peak or explore the hidden valleys, wildflower laden subalpine meadows, or old-growth pine forests that shield the mountain from the outside world. You can also consider the forest’s many camping options; there are a variety of campgrounds where you can park the camper rental from The Dalles.
The Dalles is quite a camping-friendly area, so finding a safe and comfortable place to stay overnight when you rent an RV should be an absolute breeze. Bridge RV Park & Campground has spacious campsites and is easily accessed. There are restrooms, laundry facilities, wireless internet, and TV available to guests.
Peach Beach RV Park is located right on the Columbia River, with stunning views and hundreds of acres of woods to explore. There are peaceful beaches perfect for lounging in the sunshine and a natural swimming lagoon next to the river.
The Deschutes River State Recreation Area, Doug’s Beach State Park, and Mayer State Park all have camping accommodations available, so check one of these lovely natural gems out when you feel like replacing the conveniences of upscale RV resorts for a more rustic, natural setting.
As luck would have it, The Dalles is a regional powerhouse as far as industry, culture, and tourism is concerned, so a visit to this charming city will yield a variety of attractions to keep you engaged and happy during your trip. Places like the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum will help pass the time while you learn a few things about the surrounding area. This interpretive center enlightens visitors with information about the natural history, the mix of native cultures, and the wildlife of the gorge, with gift shops, exhibits, and guided tours designed to educate.
The Fort Dalles Museum is another fabulous resource for those hoping to learn about Oregon’s fascinating and complex history, especially when you consider that the museum is the oldest operating museum in all of Oregon. This former United States Army outpost has a fantastic collection of artifacts including weapons, arrowheads, clothing, tools, and other items from hundreds or even thousands of years in the past.
The Dalles Dam is an enormous feat of engineering that is used to control the flow of the Columbia River while producing electricity for the entire region. This towering structure has its own visitor center, gift shop, and an open-air train on top that allows passengers to photograph and take in the jaw-dropping views from the top of the dam.