Snake River

Pittsburg Landing
Gorp.com

Everything about the Snake River in Hells Canyon is big. Big river, big waves, big views, big cliffs. The canyon is the deepest gorge in North America, several thousand feet than the Grand Canyon. Idaho's Seven Devils Mountains tower on one side; Oregon's Wallowas on the other. Rapids such as Granite and Wild Sheep get class III-IV ratings largely because of their size. There are two ways to ride the river and see the canyon. Jet boats offer sightseeing cruises both from Lewiston at the northern end and from Hells Canyon dam at the southern end. Rafts and dories float through the central 34-mile "Wild and Scenic" section of the river. Visitors often combine the two by float boating down the river and jet boating back to their starting point. Hells Canyon trips include fascinating stops at historic sites. The Nez Perce, Shoshone-Bannock and Northern Paiute Indians left rust-colored pictographs on walls and rocks throughout the canyon. The Kirkwood Ranch has been restored in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area to help visitors learn about early ranching and homesteading in the canyon. Hells Canyon is a green oasis full of wildlife and wild flowers in April and May. Hiking is spectacular along trails located on both sides of the river. Hot summer weather in June, July and August invite daytime water play and beach campsites under the stars.

Camping is permitted at the following sites:
Near Cambridge: BROWNLEE (11 Spaces)
COPPERFIELD PARK (62 Spaces)
HELLS CANYON PARK (23 Spaces)
McCORMICK PARK (34 Spaces)
BIG FLAT (13 Spaces)
CABIN CREEK (12 Spaces)
EVERGREEN (12 Spaces)
HUCKLEBERRY (7 Spaces)
LAFFERTY (8 Spaces).

LOCATION: Hells Canyon Dam-Pittsburg Landing
RECREATION: Boating, Fishing, Rafting, Kayaking, Jet Boats
FISHING: Steelhead, Rainbow Trout, Chinook Salmon, Sturgeon, Smallmouth Bass, Channel Catfish
PUT-IN: Hells Canyon Dam
TAKE-OUT: Pittsburg Landing
PERIOD RUNNABLE: Year-Round
DIFFICULTY: Class III-IV
LENGTH OF TYPICAL TRIP: 1-5 Day Trip
PERMIT NEEDED: Mem Day-Sept. 10
REGULATIONS: All boaters need permit. 30 people limit.
LENGTH OF SHUTTLE: 200-300 Miles
OPTIMAL FLOW: 20000
SIZE: 71.5 miles


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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