Located on the site of a former Native American village, Columbia Hills State Park is a 3,300-acre camping park in the long, rolling hills of the Columbia River Gorge, with nearly two miles of freshwater shoreline on the Columbia River. This made it the perfect stopping point for the Lewis and Clark expedition on their way to the coast.
Horsethief Butte dominates the skyline, standing over the lake like an ancient castle. The lake itself is enormous, flooded into existence by the construction of The Dalles Dam was constructed. Lupine and balsamroot bloom in mid-April, making spectacular fields of purple and gold. Songbirds flit about, while larger birds of prey — like eagles and falcons — soar on air currents high above your head.
The commission combined the park with Dalles Mountain Ranch and renamed the area Columbia Hills State Park in 2003. Now, in addition to the more than 12 miles of hiking trails in the area, visitors can enjoy swimming, freshwater fishing, bird watching and wildlife viewing, sailboarding, and playing horseshoes. Rock climbers also frequent this park.