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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.


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.

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!

Living Here

Review demographics and financial details for Wasco County, Oregon.

View The Dalles' full profile on the Oregon Prospector website


Apartment Rental: $550/month (avg.)
Single Family House Rental: $730-$1,187/month
Median Home Price: $178,600
Residential Tax Rate: varies, $15-21.00 per $1,000 assessed value
Residential Electric Rates:

Residential Phone & Internet Services:


Mid-Columbia Medical Center (MCMC) is the region’s largest hospital, serving emergency needs and complete diagnostic care with private practitioners and specialists. MCMC is a Planetree affiliate hospital – the first in the nation to adopt this patient-centered care system throughout its entire operation. As such, MCMC attracts professional visitations from around the world. MCMC also operates the state-of-the-art Celilo Cancer Center and the Water’s Edge Health and Wellness Center (open in Spring 2010).


The Dalles area is served by the North Wasco County School District 21 as well as the Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC). CGCC works with local companies to provide customized training programs to help employees become more capable and efficient. Three private Christian schools also serve the area, St. Mary’s Academy, Sonrise Academy and Columbia Lutheran School.

National Scenic Area

The Dalles is situated within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, an area known around the world for its seemingly limitless recreation activities and astounding scenic beauty. The Gorge is much more than a summer-only recreation paradise. Hiking, biking, windsurfing, skiing, and fishing can be done year round and mild summer weather allows the entire family to enjoy outdoor activities.

Weather in The Dalles

In the Spring, The Dalles has warm days and cool evenings interspersed with occasional rainfall. Summer temperatures rise steadily through August but humidity remains low. Clear, blue skies and cool, starry evenings persist through autumn, with intermittent rain beginning later in the season. In the winter, several feet of snow fall on Mt. Hood but the lower elevations in the Gorge stay mostly dry.

Interactive Climate chart

Source: U.S. Climate Data

Average PRECIPITATION by year
AreaAve. Yr. Percip
The Dalles14.52″
Los Angeles18.67″
San Francisco23.64″
Averages by Season
SeasonAverage PrecipAvg. SnowfallAvg. Daily Hi TempAvg. Daily Low Temp