Bonneville Lock and Dam—Washington Shore Visitor Complex is 1 mi. e. on SR 14, then 1 mi. s. and e., following signs. At the north end of Bonneville Dam, the complex features the Second Powerhouse Gallery, where windows overlook giant turbines and generators that hum around the clock (from the orientation building, take the enclosed walkway that crosses high above the fish ladder). Gallery exhibits depict the construction of the powerhouse and explain power production, while an adjacent theater screens short films that include an 11-minute video about the dam.
In the Underwater Fish Viewing building next to the dam's fish ladder, exhibits trace the area's fishing history and the use of fish wheels on the Columbia River, a practice outlawed by Oregon in 1926 and Washington in 1934. Six large viewing windows on the lower level permit visitors to observe adult fish migrating through the ladder, which occurs from mid-April to mid-October (peak times are May-June and August-September). Interpretive signs describe species, life cycles, ladders and fish counting.
Note: Public access to the dam can also be reached from the Oregon side off I-84, exit 40.
Guided tours are available. Picnicking is permitted.
Daily 9-5. Free guided tours of the complex and Second Powerhouse are given daily at 10, 1:30 and 3:30, mid-June to early Sept.; 10:30, 1:30 and 3:30, rest of year. Closed Jan. 1, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Allow 1 hour minimum.