Hells Canyon National Recreation Area

Quick Facts

Hells Canyon National Recreation Area

Oregon

(541) 523-6391

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Hells Canyon, North America's deepest river gorge, encompasses a vast and remote region with dramatic changes in elevation, terrain, climate and vegetation. Carved by the great Snake River, Hells Canyon plunges more than a mile below Oregon's west rim, and 8,000 feet below snowcapped He Devil Peak of Idaho's Seven Devils Mountains. There are no roads across Hells Canyon's 10-mile wide expanse, and only three roads that lead to the Snake River between Hells Canyon Dam and the Oregon-Washington boundary. Hells Canyon was designated a national recreation area in 1975.

Hells Canyon National Recreation Area is part of the Wallowa-Whitman, Nez Perce, and Payette National Forests. Congress directed the Forest Service to manage this area for many activities. In addition to recreation, you may see other examples of "Caring for the Land and Serving People," including removal of dead or diseased trees to improve forest health, or activities to enhance range conditions for both wildlife and livestock.

Map of Hells Canyon NRA

Latitude, Longitude: 45.616920, -116.496620

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Activities

  • Boating

    Boating permitted in Hells Canyon. Some recreation sites provide boat ramps.

  • Bicycling

    Mountain biking permitted in Hells Canyon National Forest

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    The Hells Canyon All American Road travels through one of the most scenic parts of the HCNRA with scenic overlooks into Hells Canyon. The scenic byway connects with a series of roads inside and outside the Forest boundary connecting some of the most scenic elements of the Northeast Oregon region.

  • Camping

    Camping permitted. Check with headquarters for availability and closures.

  • Fishing

    Fishing permitted. Follow all State and National regulations.

  • Hiking

    Almost 900 miles of trails are available in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. Several companies are producing up-to-date, detailed hiking maps of the Hells Canyon Wilderness. They are available through recreational and sporting goods stores in the towns of Wallowa, Enterprise, and Joseph. You can also purchase a map of this wilderness from the Forest Service offices throughout the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, or from the Wallowa Mountains Visitor Center.

  • Historic Sites

    Discover rural life in America with vibrant turn-of-the-century historic districts. Explore the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center at Flagstaff Hill, near Baker City. Marvel at bronze sculptures at foundries in Joseph. Step aboard a jet boat at Lewiston or at Hells Canyon Dam. Begin your trip into the Seven Devils Mountains from Riggins. Area outfitters offer a variety of services. Local and state tourism offices can help you with your travel plans.

  • Horseback Riding

    Horseback riding trails available.

  • Picnicking

    Picnicking permitted.

  • RVing

    Camping permitted. Check with headquarters for availability and closures.

Seasonality/Weather

Travel conditions on National Forest roads change with the seasons. These changes can occur very rapidly. Check with the local Ranger District office for current road conditions in the National Forest.

Directions

Driving

From Portland, OR: Drive east on I-84 to Baker City, Oregon (approx 6 hours) to reach the recreation area.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(541) 523-6391

Links