Hells Canyon
Access Points

Due to the impressive height of this 6,000+ foot-high canyon, access to the Snake River is limited inside the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. Paved and unpaved boat launches can be found at limited points along the canyon. There are a number of landing points along the river for disembarking, although many of these locations are not accessible by road. Limited road access within the NRA makes it difficult to launch from locations other than designated launch sites. Swift currents in certain parts of this Class III/IV river can create perilous conditions for swimming.

Dug Bar Landing, at the northern end of the NRA, at river mile 196.6, marks the site of the famous crossing that was made by the Nez Perce in the spring of 1877, while fleeing capture by the U.S. Calvary. The bar has an unimproved boat launch and is accessible by high clearance 4x4 vehicles. There is toilet but no water access.

Pittsburg Landing (r.m. 216.3) is a popular paved launch site south of Dug Bar. The landing (famous for nearby Native American petroglyphs) is accessible by Forest Road 493. The Snake River National Recreation Trail links the landing point with Granite Creek and trail #112, 27 miles south of Pittsburg Landing.

The Hells Canyon Boat Ramp, at r.m. 227, can be reached by paved road on Forest Road 454. It is also the access point to the Stud Creek Trail.

There are also a number of points south of the NRA that afford good access to the calmer waters of Oxbow and Brownlee Reservoirs, south of the NRA. Boat ramps, swimming areas and trails are accessible at several points along the shoreline.

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