Tom McCall Nature Conservancy Preserve At Rowena

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Twin Tunnels – Mosier

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The Dalles Dam (Seufert Park)

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The Dalles Discovery Center

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Mouth of the Deschutes River

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The Dalles Riverfront Park and Trail

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Mayer State Park

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Celilo Park Recreation Area

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Mosier Waterfront Park

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Memaloose State Park

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Seasons

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Location

Nature Conservancy Website

Check Preserve Visitation Guidelines for special regulations for accessing the Preserve

From I-84 in the Columbia River Gorge take either the Mosier exit (five miles E of Hood River) or the Rowena exit (eight miles W of The Dalles). From Mosier, go E on the Old Scenic Highway (US 30). This entire road can be very scenic and birdy. Don’t hesitate to take side roads like Marsh Cuttoff, Canyon Way, State and Dell Roads and do some exploring. Beyond milepost 6, the preserve is on both sides of the highway. Park at the Rowena Crest viewpoint or at the trailhead on Highway 30. There are two trails on the preserve. The one mile plateau trail begins at the interpretive sign at the entrance to the preserve. It crosses the plateau to cliff edges and encircles a permanent pond. The three mile McCall Point trail, open May through November, begins from the S side of the turnaround and gains 1,000 feet in elevation. At the top, visitors are rewarded with expansive views of the Columbia Gorge and Cascade mountain peaks. The preserve is often windy, and visitors should beware of ticks, rattlesnakes and poison oak. Spring wildflowers are most abundant in April and May.

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Habitat and Birds

More than 300 plant species, including grass widows, brodiaea , prairie stars, shooting stars, balsamroot, lupine and Indian paintbrush thrive here. The preserve is so diverse partly because it lies in the transition zone between the moist, heavily-forested west side of the Cascades and the drier bunchgrass prairies of the east. The plateau hosts one of the most spectacular displays of wildflowers in Oregon. Beginning in late February and running through early summer, the ground is carpeted in a sea of color as one species after another blooms and fades. Both amateur and professional botanists from all over the northwest come each year to marvel at the beauty. A recent summer day trip here included sightings of Western Kingbird, Bushtit, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Chipping Sparrow, American Goldfinch, Mountain Bluebird & Violet-green Swallow. Both Prairie and Peregrine Falcons, Horned Larks, Western Bluebirds and White Breasted Nuthatches are also possible.

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