Hours of Operation
Open Daily: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Closed: New Years Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day
- Adults – $10
- Seniors (60 Plus) – $8
- Students – $8
- Children (6-12) – $6
- Family Rate (4) – $30
- CGIC Museum Members – FREE
- World Forestry Center Members – FREE
- NARM Members – FREE
The Museum is handicapped accessible. Wheelchairs are available at no charge for visitors. Call in advance if assistance is required: There are two elevators, one at either end of the building.
No lighting device is to be used with still or video cameras. Sorry, no pets allowed, although service dogs are welcome. The Museum is a smoke-free environment.
Mission StatementLocated in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum brings to life the human stories and natural history of one of our nation’s most compelling landscapes. The mission of the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum is to share the story of Skamania County and the Columbia River Gorge. The Skamania County Historical Society will assemble, collect, preserve, exhibit and make available for future generations any and all historical data, information and artifacts, obtained for the education and enjoyment of Skamania County and Columbia River Gorge residents and visitors. We invite you to come experience 15,000 years of history.
The Legend Of Tsagaglalal
The logo for the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center is the petroglyph, “Tsagaglalal” or “She Who Watches.” Tsagaglalal is located on a cliff overlooking the Columbia River at Columbia Hills State Park (formerly known as Horse Thief State Park) in Washington. It is one of the best examples of aboriginal art in the United States.
There are several versions of this legend, but the one told to the Museum by the Wishram people is as follows:
A woman was chief of all who lived in this region. That was a long time before Coyote came up the river and changed things, and the people were not yet real people. After a time Coyote, in his travels, came to this place and asked the inhabitants if they were living well or ill. They sent him to their chief, who lived up in the rocks, where she could look down on the village and know what was going on.
Coyote climbed up to the house on the rocks and asked, “What kind of living do you give these people? Do you treat them well or are you one of those evil women?”
“I am teaching them to live well and build good houses,” she said.
When she expressed her desire to be able to do this forever, he said, “Soon the world will change and women will no longer be chiefs.”
Being the trickster that he was, Coyote changed her into a rock with the command, “You shall stay here and watch over the people and the river forever.”
People know that “Tsagaglalal” sees all things for whenever they are looking at her, those large eyes are watching them.
On June 14, 1987, Nelson Moses, a spokesman for the Wishram band of the Yakama Nation, dedicated “Tsagaglalal’s” spirit to the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Musuem project. The brief but solemn ceremony was held on site in front of “Tsagaglalal.” It was performed in the Indian language based on the ancient bell ritual of the Washat religion, granting permission for “Her” stylized image to be use as a logo.
This legend applies to the mission of the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum, in that, “She is watching over the people and the river,” as we will strive to carefully watch over and be good stewards of the history of Skamania County and the Gorge.
Carved in stone and observing the Gorge for centuries from a basalt cliff on the Gorge’s Washington State side, “Tsagaglalal” has inspired the many citizens who persisted in making their dream of the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum a reality.
The Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum is affiliated with several prominent chambers, institutions and other museums.
American Association for State and Local History
American Association of Museums
Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association
City of Stevenson
Columbia River Gorge Visitors Association
Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation
Oregon Archaeological Society
Oregon Historical Society
Portland Oregon Visitors Association
Skamania County Government
Skamania County Chamber of Commerce
Washington Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation
Washington Museum Association
Washington State Historical Society
Maryhill Museum of Art
Take I-84 East, to Exit 44- Cascade Locks. Follow the signs to cross the toll bridge, Bridge of the Gods. Turn right onto SR-14 East. After 1 ½ miles, turn left onto Rock Creek Dr. Proceed 1 block. Turn right into entrance.
Take SR-14 East for 45 ½ miles. Turn left onto Rock Creek Dr.Proceed 1 block, turn right into entrance.
West bound/ Easter Oregon
Take I-84 West to Exit 44. Follow signs through Cascade Locks to toll bridge. Cross the Bridge of the Gods. Turn right or east onto SR-14. After1 ½ miles, turn left onto Rock Creek Dr. Proceed 1 block. Turn right into entrance.
West bound/ Eastern Washington
Take SR-14 West through Stevenson, WA. Turn right onto Rock Creek Drive. Proceed east one block. Turn right into entrance.
Call us at (509) 427-8211 toll-free at (800) 991-2338.