Beautiful Birds & Gorgeous Views
Living with the spectacular Columbia River in our midst means wonderful birding opportunities at any point along the river. There are many easy access points to the river both in The Dalles and in the surrounding areas.
The Dalles Dam/Seufert Park
Around New Year’s Day, this is a great spot to see Bald Eagles congregating on the trees next to The Dalles Dam. Other common birds: Osprey, Various Gulls, Double-crested Cormorants.
Directions: I84: Exit 87. Turn east on Bret Clodfelter Way just before The Dalles bridge.
The usual waterfowl can be seen here, but a trip eastward from the end of the parking lot will put one through a wonderful riparian area. A rare sighting of a Northern Waterthrush was recently reported to have been seen here.
Directions: I84: Exit 85 Drive north, turn right into the park.
This is an amazing stretch of the trail with a huge variety of birds as the trail follows Chenoweth Creek for about a quarter of a mile. There is a group of large wooden pylons in the river here; there is almost always a Great Blue Heron sitting on it. It has been reported that our guests have seen mink crossing the trail here. Common Flickers, Spotted Towhees, Herons, Osprey, and a variety of sparrows are common here.
Directions: Drive west from the downtown area to Webber Street. Turn north, cross the tracks; the road becomes River Road. Turn right on Klindt Drive. Continue to a sign that reads, “Riverfront Trail Parking and Access.” Park here. Walk on Riverfront trail westward to the Home At Last Humane Society animal shelter.
This handicap accessible paved trail winds through the museum grounds and overlooks the stunning Columbia River Gorge where you can rest and observe birds, barges, and trains. This trail is completely free and open to the public.
Directions: I84: Exit 82 After exiting; turn south for a few hundred yards. At the “T” turn right (west) and continue for a few miles until you see the sign for the Discovery Center. Follow it and park in the free lot. Follow the trail behind the Discovery center. There is a beautiful pond that often has a few Mallards in it.
Mayer State Park
This park is about 7 miles west of The Dalles and boasts gorgeous views of the Columbia River. Plenty of waterfowl at the river. Other common birds include Lewis’ Woodpeckers, Violet-green Swallows, Vaux swifts, White-crowned sparrows, warblers and Red-winged Blackbirds.
Directions: I84: Exit 76. After exiting, drive north toward the river, turn left into Mayer State Park. Drive to the paved parking lot to park. Lots of waterfowl north of the parking lot area. Walk westward on the paved road. It will pass a large pond, and then turn north to the Columbia River. At the river, the trail turns to the west and loops back around. Stay on the wide trail as several branches are tempting to travel, but there is a massive amount of poison oak in the area.
This is a cultural park in Klickitat County, Washington just on the other side of the Columbia River, right next to The Dalles Lock and Dam. Bald eagles can often be seen in the tall poplar trees in winter. In spring and summer, spot Western Kingbirds, Northern Orioles, Western Meadowlarks, Belted Kingfishers, Great Blue and Green Herons, and various ducks.
Directions: Cross The Dalles bridge into Washington. Take the second right. It is a sharp 120-degree turn into Hess Park.
Festival Park to the Dock
Located in historic downtown The Dalles, this new boat dock is an amazing place to view waterfowl. Some of our guests have even reported seeing river otters! A few hundred yards to the West, Rock Fort is the very location where Lewis and Clark are believed to made camp.
Directions: Travel into downtown The Dalles until you reach Union street. Turn north, cross the railroad tracks and park in Lewis & Clark festival park. Walk the short distance to the new boat dock to view waterfowl.
Home At Last
This trail follows the Chenoweth Creek which is home to a great variety of birds and even some red foxes. Don’t miss the huge Osprey nest on a pole to the west at the first turn in the trail.
Directions: I-84: Exit 82. After exiting, turn left onto River Rd. Home At Last Humane Society will be on your left. Just west of this animal shelter is a gravel lot where you can park. Head west on the trail from here.
From this park, you have a bird’s eye view of the historic bend of the Columbia River, the rooftops of historic downtown The Dalles, and the rushing white water of the Dalles Dam in the east. It is common to see Western Bluebirds, Common Flickers, Lewis’ Woodpeckers, Ringneck Pheasants, Red-Tailed Hawks, Turkey Vultures, and American Kestrels.
Directions: From Union Street, you will take a right on 14th, then a left on Lincoln Street which will become West Scenic Drive. The park will be on your right. From the parking lot, walk southward around the park until you come to dirt trails that travel up the hill behind the park.
Rowena Crest/Tom McCall Wildlife Preserve
Enjoy this spectacular vista and watch various swallows as they swoop to catch insects. Red-tailed Hawks, Turkey Vultures, Horned Larks, Western Meadowlarks, & American Kestrels are also very common to this area. Warning: Rattlesnakes have been spotted here.
Directions: I84: Exit 76. Travel southward and turn west onto Hwy. 30, the old Columbia River highway. Drive through the famous Rowena Loops (lots of car commercials filmed here) until you reach the top and turn into the lookout area. On the west end of the road is a small parking area where you can hike into the Tom McCall Wildlife Preserve. Continue westward on the trail to the first small kolk lake, usually inhabited by Red-winged Blackbirds and Mallard ducks. The trail loops around the pond (lots of poison oak here).