Columbia Hills Historical State Park puts the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area at your fingertips.
Rock climbing, swimming and spring hikes through vast fields of balsamroot flowers make for an action-packed stay, not to mention the nearby attractions of Goldendale Observatory and Maryhill Museum.
Columbia Hills is home to Horsethief Butte, a favorite among climbers of all abilities. Horsethief Lake caters to water-lovers, with a watercraft launch and pedal boat and stand up paddleboard rentals. To the north of Highway 14, the Dalles Mountain Ranch Area, a historic homestead ranch, features miles of multi-use trails that crisscross the Columbia Hills with astounding views of Mount Adams and Mount Hood.
A group of significant Native American pictographs and petroglyphs is open for viewing on regularly scheduled guided ranger tours. Among these features is the world-famous Tsagaglalal, (She Who Watches).
There are opportunities to relax at Columbia Hills, but with so much to see and do in the park and the Gorge, you may not sit still on this visit.
Columbia Hills Historical State Park is a 3,637-acre camping park with shoreline on the Columbia River. Horsethief Butte dominates the skyline like an ancient castle. Horsethief Lake is about 90 acres in size, an impoundment of the Columbia River. The lake was flooded into existence by the reservoir created by The Dalles Dam.
PICNIC & DAY-USE FACILITIES
There are 35 unsheltered picnic tables located around the day-use area. Nine braziers are available. Facilities are first come, first served.
12.4 miles of hiking trails
WATER ACTIVITIES & FEATURES
Boat ramps (2)
OTHER ACTIVITIES & FEATURES
Located in Klickitat County on Horsethief Lake, Columbia Hills has two boat ramps and offers paddle boat rentals. Motorized boats are permitted on the lake, but the county has posted a speed limit of 5 mph for the entire lake. Launching a boat at a state park requires one of the following:
An annual launch permit (Natural Investment Permit; or
An annual Discover Pass and a daily launch permit; or
A one-day Discover Pass and a daily launch permit.
The park has four standard campsites, eight partial-hookup sites, four standard "walk-in" sites, a tee-pee, two platform tent sites, one dump station and one restroom. Maximum site length is 60 feet (limited availability). In addition, there are two primitive hiker / bicycle sites. Be aware that it can be very windy in the Columbia River Gorge, and be prepared for such conditions.
Check-in time is 2:30 p.m.
Check-out time is 1 p.m.