State Park

Near The Dalles, Oregon, United States

Park Overview

Located on the east end of the Gorge near The Dalles, Mayer State Park has access to windsurfing on the windy Columbia as well as boating and swimming in a sheltered cove. From I-84 exit 74, you have three areas to explore.

East Mayer a famous spot for windsurfing and kite boarding. Spectators can watch from picnic tables. A vault toilet is at the north end.

Straight ahead is Mid Mayer, an amazing spot for picnicking, swimming, and fishing. Several picnic tables are shaded by large ponderosa pines, with barbecue grills nearby. A rock and sand-covered spit slows the Columbia River’s current, making this an ideal spot for stand-up paddle boards, kayaking, or swimming.

West Mayer features a sheltered cove, perfect for picnicking, fishing, swimming and boating. Water levels fluctuate regularly, due to the park’s proximity to Dalles Dam.

Know Before You Go

  • A life jacket loaner station is at Mid Mayer, with life jackets of various sizes available. Be aware of swift currents and hidden obstructions beneath the surface. Wearing a life jacket, and making sure it fits properly, saves lives. 
  • Boaters: check ahead for obstructions on the Oregon State Marine Board's Reported Obstructions and Alerts page.
  • The rustic boat ramp at West Mayer needs improvement and can damage boats when low water exposes sharp rebar. Check the U.S. Geological Survey for water levels. 


mdi-alert-outline General Advisory
mdi-alert-outline General Advisory
mdi-white-balance-sunny Open for day use year round mdi-currency-usd
Day-use parking permit required
(purchase 1-day permit on site)
Day-use parking permit
(1-day purchased on-site)
Buy annual permit
mdi-cellphone Call for info: 800-551-6949
Call park: 541-478-3008, 503-695-2261
Current Conditions Directions Feedback

Amenities & Features


mdi-help-circle-outline What's Allowed

Can I fly my drone in the park?

Please call 503-695-2261 for specific park rules

Can I metal detect?

No metal detecting is allowed in Gorge Oregon State Parks

For more questions, review our statewide FAQ


The original property for the park, 260 acres, was obtained by a gift from Mark A. Mayer of Mosier in 1924. This property included the Columbia River overlook and the Rowena Loops on the old Columbia River Highway (U. S. 30). From 1956 onward, after the highway was relocated and improved to freeway standards, the purchase of additional park land along the Columbia River and highway right-of-way was negotiated. Various parcels were transferred from the Highway Division to State Parks when they were not needed for highway purposes. The Union Pacific Railroad also passes through the park. Partly forested with ponderosa pine, oak, Douglas fir and maple, much of the land is a rocky river bluff with limited soil. Near the river, there are day-use facilities for swimming and boat access. An outstanding attraction of the park is the view obtained by taking the old highway to the Mayer overlook. The vista is a magnificent panorama of the Columbia River Valley eastward toward The Dalles. In 1946, State Parks Superintendent Sam Boardman recommended keeping the park a wilderness area and asked that the maintenance department remove the sand bunker below the overlook. Adjoining the overlook section of Mayer Park is the Tom McCall Preserve for plants and wildlife. It is named for McCall (1913-1977), who concluded his second term as Governor of Oregon in 1975. The preserve was created between 1978 and 1986 and is owned by The Nature Conservancy.

Brochures and Maps

mdi-file-pdf-box Columbia Gorge Visitor Guide