Bonneville Dam & Fish Hatchery

Bonneville Dam Fish Ladder

Fish Ladder at Bonneville Dam
Image by Colleen Benelli Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Bonneville Dam is a marvel of American engineering and a testament to President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and makes for an impressive day trip.  A great outing for families, the Bonneville Dam is 56 miles from Whispering Woods, at Exit 40 along I-84, making it yet another fantastic location that can be visited and enjoyed.

If you are looking for a seriously impressive place to take your family while vacationing in the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood area, you should definitely consider this attraction.  The Bonneville Dam is nothing short of a technological marvel.  While other dams such as the Hoover Dam get more press, the Bonneville Dam is definitely worth a visit.

Bonneville Dam’s First Powerhouse was constructed between 1934 and 1937 and was dedicated by Franklin Roosevelt in September 1937.  The Second Powerhouse was constructed between 1974 and 1981.  The size and scope of the project is amazing.  For example, over 3,000 workers were employed as part of the New Deal to build the First Powerhouse during the Great Depression.  Likewise, the Army Corps of Engineers played a pivotal role in the process.

Today, Bonneville Dam produces over 1 million kilowatts of electric output.  But for many who visit the Dam, it is likely to be the size that leaves the greatest and most lasting impact.  Also, you can see the fish ladders, where several types of fish are viewable including, steelhead trout and salmon.

The gates to the dam  are open year-round from 9 am-5 pm. For more information, visit the Bonneville Dam website.

Also, be sure to visit the Bonneville Fish Hatchery, located at the same freeway exit. You can view many types of fish such as sturgeon and trout at various cycles of life, including incubating eggs to adult fish found in the various ponds. Be sure to say hi to Herman the Sturgeon and his lady friend. Herman is over 10 feet long and more than 70 years old. Also, stop by the visitor center to ask questions and possibly a behind the scenes tour.

Bonneville Dam in the Columbia River Gorge

Bonneville Dam in the Columbia River Gorge
Image by Tracey Adams Licensed under CC BY 2.0

The fish hatchery is open year round.

Nov 1st to March 1st: 7 am to 5 pm
March 1st to Oct 31st: 7 am to 8 pm

For more information, visit Bonneville Fish Hatchery .

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