The multimedia, interactive museum inspires appreciation and stewardship of the natural and cultural treasures of the Gorge and Wasco County. Exhibits focus on the volcanic upheaval and raging floods that created the Gorge, the unique flora and fauna of the region, and eleven thousand years of cultural history. Collections include hundreds of American Indian baskets from throughout the Pacific Northwest, photo archives (partially available on-line), and local genealogical files available in the William G. Dick Library. In addition to touring the many fascinating exhibits, visitors can spend time viewing films in the theater located on site. If you plan to spend the day at the Discovery Center and Museum, you can relax during a lunch or coffee break at the Basalt Rock Cafe.
The grounds have been painstakingly restored with native vegetation, serving to promote soil and water conservation, and appreciation for the natural landscape. From early spring to late fall, they are graced with ninety blooming native plant species that are adapted to the dry, windblown environment of the eastern end of the gorge. A wildflower database helps visitors identify plants and the interpretive trail focuses on the variety of vegetation and wildlife supported by the habitat along the banks of the Columbia River. You will see willows, cottonwoods, sedges and cattails, as well as numerous varieties of grasses, wildflowers, and other plants native to the Gorge. Songbirds, water fowl, reptiles, amphibians, foxes, and raccoons are some examples of the wildlife that lives here. The handicap accessible trails offer incredible views of the Columbia River and Klickitat Hills.