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Columbia Hills State Park

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  1. Amphitheater
  2. Bird Watching
  3. Boat Ramp
  4. Boating (non-motorized)
  5. Fishing
  6. Hiking Trails
  7. Horseshoe Pits
  8. Interpretive Opportunities
  9. Rock Climbing
  10. Sailboarding
  11. Swimming
  12. Wildlife Viewing

Environmental Features

The Butte and the surrounding Columbia River channel were carved out of basalt rock by floods following the last ice age. For information on the floods, visit Sun Lakes State Park and the Dry Falls Interpretive Center.

The basalt rock resulted from a series of lava flows which emerged from cracks in the earth's crust and blanketed the entire eastern Washington/Oregon region long before the coming of ice-age floods.

When viewing the cliffs along the river, notice the stratigraphy highlighted by benches rising up the cliffs. Each of these benches, or layers, represents a different lava flow. Some lava flows were hundreds of feet thick in places.

The park contains Native American pictographs (paintings) and petroglyphs (carvings). Some of the oldest pictographs in the Northwest are found in this park. Artifacts associated with local tribes can be seen at the nearby Maryhill Museum of Art and the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center.

Archeological sites and artifacts are protected by both federal and state laws, and their disturbance and/or removal is illegal and carries severe penalties.

Plant Life

  • Lupines
  • Maple
  • Moss / Lichens
  • Oak
  • Poison Oak
  • Ponderosa Pine
  • Poplar
  • Thistle

Wildlife Features


  • Chukars
  • Crows / Ravens
  • Doves / Pigeons
  • Ducks
  • Eagles
  • Geese
  • Gulls
  • Hawks
  • Herons
  • Hummingbirds
  • Jays
  • Ospreys
  • Owls
  • Pheasants
  • Quail
  • Woodpeckers
  • Wrens


  • Bobcats
  • Coyotes
  • Deer
  • Elk
  • Foxes
  • Marmots
  • Raccoons
  • Skunks

Marine Life

  • Bass
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Perch
  • Trout
  • Walleye
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