The Dalles Dam

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Dalles Dam
Epa-archives the dalles dam-cropped.jpg
From the Washington side
Official name The Dalles Lock and Dam
Location Klickitat County, Washington / Wasco County, Oregon, USA
Coordinates 45°36′44″N 121°08′04″W / 45.61222°N 121.13444°W / 45.61222; -121.13444 (The Dalles Dam)
Operator(s) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Operator)
Bonneville Power Administration (Marketer)
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Concrete gravity, run-of-the-river
Height 260 feet (79 m)
Length 8,875 feet (2,705 m)
Spillway type Service, gate-controlled
Creates Lake Celilo
Total capacity 330,000 acre·ft (0.41 km3)
Power station
Turbines 22
Installed capacity 1,779.8 MW
Annual generation 6,180 GWh[1]
Vice-President Richard Nixon speaking at The Dalles Dam dedication in 1959.
Newsreel footage of native fishers at Celilo Falls in 1956, shortly before the site was submerged by the Dalles Dam (35 sec.) (media help)

The Dalles Dam is a concrete-gravity run-of-the-river dam spanning the Columbia River, two-miles (3 km) east of the city of The Dalles, Oregon, United States.[2] It joins Wasco County, Oregon with Klickitat County, Washington, 192 miles (309 km) upriver from the mouth of the Columbia near Astoria, Oregon. The closest towns on the Washington side are Dallesport and Wishram.

The Army Corps of Engineers commenced work on the dam in 1952 and completed it five years later. Slackwater created by the dam submerged Celilo Falls, the economic and cultural hub of Native Americans in the region and the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in North America.[3] On March 10, 1957, hundreds of observers looked on as the rising waters rapidly silenced the falls, submerged fishing platforms, and consumed the village of Celilo.

The reservoir behind the dam is named Lake Celilo and runs 24 miles (39 km) up the river channel, to the foot of John Day Dam. The dam is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the power is marketed by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). It is part of an extensive system of dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

The Dalles Dam Visitor Center is located at Seufert Park on the Oregon shore, and was built in 1981. Visitors used to be able to ride a tour train, which has been closed since autumn 2001. The closure is due to post-September 11 concerns, the deteriorating conditions of the tracks, and a small derailment of the train. The Columbia Hills State Park is nearby.


Tributaries of the Columbia River, showing hydroelectric dams



  1. ^
  2. ^ "The Columbia River System Inside Story". pp. 14–15. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  3. ^ Dietrich, William (1995). Northwest Passage: The Great Columbia River. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. p. 52. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°36′44″N 121°08′04″W / 45.612343°N 121.134514°W / 45.612343; -121.134514