Life in The Dalles


The Dalles has a unique history and heritage that dates back over 10,000 years. Once one of the largest population centers in the Pacific Northwest, The Dalles continues to be the economic hub for the Mid-Columbia region. Lewis and Clark camped in The Dalles in both 1805 and 1806 with their expeditions paving the way for the overland Oregon Trail in 1843. At The Dalles, Oregon Trail emigrants made the fateful decision of whether to take the treacherous Columbia River or the mountainous Barlow Road on the last and most daunting leg of their trek to the rich farmland of the Willamette Valley.

The Dalles is located within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, carved by the Missoula Floods during the last ice age over 15,000 years ago. Populated by numerous Native American tribes The Dalles was a gathering place for natives to peacefully trade, fish, and socialize. In the early 1800’s they were joined by fur traders, boatmen, and missionaries. Settlers came next to build the neighborhoods and business districts of The Dalles.



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The Dalles also boasts many recreational opportunities. Bicycling, fishing, rock climbing, hiking, swimming, boating, rafting, windsurfing, and kiteboarding are just a few of the outdoor options at our doorstep!



The Dalles remains the trading hub for the region. Development has largely been dependent upon transportation and access to markets both west and east of The Dalles. Agriculture has been the backbone of industry with sweet cherries, grains, and apples leading the way. Manufacturing has also served as a dominant industry with a strong presence still evident today. As manufacturing began to leave America’s shores, The Dalles had the vision and foresight to diversify it’s economy. With the Port of The Dalles in the lead, the community set out to develop industrial land to grow and recruit businesses to supplant the departure of heavy manufacturing. Success is evident through the more than 50 businesses and 1,500 jobs located at the Port of The Dalles Industrial Area, including Google and PowderPure.