The stars seem to shine brighter at this campground on the east end of the Columbia River Gorge, 11 miles west of The Dalles. Campsites look over the river and the park’s namesake, Memaloose Island, a place sacred to the indigenous people of the Columbia River Gorge. They would lay the bones of their dead on open pyres on the island.
Also buried there is an early settler and town promoter of The Dalles, Senator Victor Trevitt. A granite monument visible from Memaloose campground marks his grave.
Today, the park is a gateway to exploring The Dalles and the east end of the Gorge. Visitors will enjoy spring wildflowers and the cooling shade of the maple, willow and cottonwood trees. On summer nights, the park’s grassy meadows are the perfect spot to observe the nightly celestial performance.
On the Columbia River Highway (Hwy 30), Memaloose Overlook provides a viewpoint of Memaloose Island. While traveling the historic route, be sure to stop at Rowena Crest for spectacular views of the east Gorge that rival Crown Point. Each spring, the Rowena Plateau bursts into bloom with native lupine, balsamroot and other wildflowers. Access hiking trails in and around the adjacent Tom McCall Nature Preserve.
For Columbia River access and excellent windsurfing, visit Mayer State Park. A tree-lined lake with a boat ramp is the perfect spot to paddle or fish.
From Mosier, walk or bike through the historic Twin Tunnels along a 5-mile paved segment of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail that connects to Hood River. For information, see our Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail bicycle and hiking map.
According to a 2012 survey of park visitors:
89% of our customers describe being "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with their overall experience at Memaloose State Park.
75% of our customers reported that they were either "very likely" or "likely" to return to Memaloose State Park in the future.
One customer commented, "We had a very good time at Memaloose State Park. We went to Memaloose State Park after spending a month on the road. We stayed in several campgrounds in California, which do not get even close to what was offered to us in Oregon. Not only at Memaloose, but in every campground visited within the State. Congratulations for the world class camping experience provided. We are now back in Brazil, but we will definitely come back to visit in the future. Once again we had a wonderful time. Thanks."
Memaloose is located in directly off I-84 in Mosier Oregon 97040. There is no physical address for the park.
To get there:
Westbound I-84 get off on exit 73, go through the rest stop and the park is just west of the rest stop.
Eastbound I-84, get off at exit 76, and turn around to go westbound on I-84 and get off at exit 73 and follow the instructions above.
Campground is closed November 1 through Mid March
The campground is open mid March through October 31
Please call 503-695-2261 for specific park rules
No metal detecting is allowed in Gorge Oregon State Parks
This park requires a Special Use Permit for special events or activities. Please open the Special Use Permit application to see examples of events that need a permit. If you have questions about whether you need a special use permit for your activity and to receive instructions on how to submit the application, please call 503-695-2261.
The original park tract was 2.64 acres given to the state in 1925 by Roy D. and Bernice M. Chatfield. Situated on what was originally the old Columbia River Highway, the park was called Memaloose Island Overlook. With the reconstruction of the highway, additional private lands were purchased in 1952 and 1953. Land not needed for highway purposes was transferred to the Parks and Recreation Division. The park is named for a nearby island in the Columbia River which was a traditional Indian burial ground. In Chinook language, the word "memaloose" is associated with burial ritual. The most prominent feature on the island is a monument to Victor Trevitt, settler of The Dalles and friend of the Indians who died in 1883 and was buried on Memaloose Island in accordance with his wishes.