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Trip PlannerUSA  /  Oregon  /  The Dalles

The Dalles

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Specialty Museums · Bodies of Water · Military Museums
The Dalles is the county seat and largest city of Wasco County, Oregon, United States. The population was 13,620 at the 2010 census, and is the largest city on the Oregon side along the Columbia River outside of the Portland Metropolitan area. It is known as "the Coos Bay of the Columbia."HistoryThe site of what is now the city of The Dalles was a major Indian trading center for at least 10,000 years. The general area is one of the continent's most significant archaeological regions. Lewis and Clark camped near Mill Creek on October 25–27, 1805, and recorded the Indian name for the creek as Quenett.EtymologyThe name of the city comes from the French word dalle (meaning either "sluice" akin to English "dale" and German Tal, "valley") or "flagstone" and referring to the columnar basalt rocks carved by the river, in voyageur French used to refer to rapids), which was used by the French-Canadian employees of the North West Company to refer to the rapids of the Columbia River between the present-day city and Celilo Falls. Also in the same area was the Petite Dalles or Little Dalles, or Short Narrows.
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