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Sitting on the Northern banks of the Columbia River, Columbia Hills State Park is also referred to as Columbia Hills Historical State Park. This 3,338-acre the riverside park encompasses the 90-acre Horsethief Lake, 12 miles of trails and a variety of outdoor recreation. The park is ideal for horseback riding, biking, and rock climbing. The park is located just 14 minutes from Lyle and a few miles from Goldendale. Columbia Hills State Park was established in 2003 by merging Horsethief State Park and Dalles Mountain Ranch.
Columbia Hills State Park is a home to Native American Petroglyphs dating back to 1957. These historic petroglyphs and pictographs were salvaged from being submerged in Columbia River Gorge area following the construction of Dalles Dam. As a result, they were taken from their original site and moved to their current location where they are well-preserved. Looking to plan a more comprehensive tour of Columbia Hills State Park? Book an RV rental near Klickitat County and make lasting memories at the park.
Whatever you desire in the great outdoors, you are bound to find it in Columbia Hills State Park. Rock climbing is one of the most favorite recreations for Dalles campers and outdoor lovers who find their way in the park. Even the novice climbers can easily conquer the basalt outcroppings and buttes. Atop of these geological formations, rock climbers can enjoy awesome views of Columbia River wading 500 feet below and Mt Hood. Horsethief Butte is popular with rock climbers.
Explore more of this state park by hiking through the pines, maples and oak trees. When you camp at Columbia Hills State Park, you will find out that there are several trails for all levels of hiking ability. Lining the trails are balsamroot, lupines, and during the spring the hills are clothed with wildflowers. Horsethief Butte Trail and Gentle-grade Trail are perfect for those interested in ancient rock carvings. The She Who Watches Pictograph Trail and Dalles Mountain Ranch Loop Hike is great for watching pictographs. For history buffs interested in learning more about the petroglyphs the park organizes guided tour of the petroglyphs along the Temani Pesh-wa Interpretive trail on weekends. Be careful when hiking rattlesnakes are common in the park.
Should you plan on bringing your motorhome rental to Columbia Hills State Park in April through October, remember to bring your fishing gear. The 90-acre Horsethief Lake is a popular freshwater fishing joint. Anglers at this lake cast their lures for crappies, trout, and catfish. Walleye, perch, and bluegill are common species found in the lake.
Nestled on the western shores of Horsethief Lake, Columbia Hills State Park offers a small pet-friendly campground. The sites offer electric and water hookups. There are very few campsites for RVs so don’t forget to make a reservation.
Amenities offered include restrooms, a fire ring, and picnic tables. There is a dump station close to the entrance. Some sites can fit trailers of up to 60 feet. It can get windy so pack accordingly.
When you camp in an RV near Columbia Hills State Park, you will be happy to know that there is an abundance of scenic areas surrounding the park, museums, and state parks within a short driving distance. Approximately 13 miles away lies Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum. This lovely history museum displays informative exhibits highlighting the geological, ecological, and cultural history of the Columbia River area. For those who want to combine the museum with hiking, there is a nice riverfront trail.
If you are looking for a place to stretch your legs and get some exercise, make your way to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in Dalles, OR near the Washington-Oregon border. Besides viewing this amazing canyon and the surrounding Cascade Mountains, visitors will get to see spectacular waterfalls and plenty of wildflowers. Hiking and photography are the most popular activities here.
While in the area, consider visiting the Maryhill Museum of Art. Dedicated to arts, this museum houses Rodin sculptures, beadwork, Romanian artifacts, paintings, and American Indian art. Rowena Crest Viewpoint is another interesting local highlight to put in your itinerary. Packed with picturesque views of the Columbia River Gorge, this is a nice stopover for those with an RV exploring the area. If you need to interact more with nature hike through the surrounding Tom McCall Nature Preserve.
To see more of Columbia Gorge Area leave your RV rental at Columbia Hills State Park and head to Doug’s Beach State Park. Visitors can engage in picnicking, swimming, and fishing.