Hells Canyon National Recreation Area contains the deepest river gorge in North America, along with over 650,000 acres of adjacent land. Scenic vistas that rival any on the continent can be found here, as well as world-class whitewater rafting, vast reaches of remote wilderness for hikers or horseback riders, and diverse and abundant wildlife. Three rivers within the recreation area are nationally designated Wild and Scenic.
Carved by the great Snake River, Hells Canyon plunges more than a mile below Oregon's east rim, and 8,000 feet below snowcapped He Devil Peak of Idaho's Seven Devils Mountains. There are no bridges across Hells Canyon's 10-mile wide expanse, and access to the river floor is impossible by car.
The town of White Bird, Idaho located off of Hwy 95 offers the fastiest and easiest access to the heart of Hells Canyon. Since the city of White Bird sits near the Salmon River and close to the Snake River by way of Pittsburg Landing, there is an abundance of opportunity for river adventures, and recreational outdoor activities. It is also possible (and often positively exciting) to reach Hells Canyon NRA from the Oregon side via rough road from the remote town of Imnaha, northeast of Joseph, and catch spectacular views at least from the Wallowa Mountain Loop Road, which runs from Joseph past the southern end of Hells Canyon for a finish in Halfway (which is this case is all the way).
The scenery has attracted people to Hells Canyon throughout human history. Rustic homesteads with abandoned fields, old mining sites, and Indian pictographs and petroglyphs are scattered throughout the canyon, many visible from raft or powerboat trips which run through the canyon gorge.
Hells Canyon National Recreation Area hugs the borders of northeastern Oregon and western Idaho. To learn more about this area, please select an area of interest from the navigation bar on the left.