Points of Interest
Idaho Rafting Guides and Outfitters Listed by River:
Pick an activity and pick a season. Just about every type of backcountry recreation is legendary in Hells Canyon, from fly-fishing to river-rafting, and mountain biking to hiking. Llama, horse, mule and the good old, conventional trek-by-foot trips offer unlimited opportunities for experiencing Eastern Oregon's most remote countryside.
The Snake River is famous for its fishing opportunities, which include smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, catfish and white sturgeon (which are catch and release). Fall and winter yield good opportunities for steelhead fishing.
The Hells Canyon National Recreation Area has numerous trails to enjoy either by foot or by mountain bike, but bikers should keep in mind that this isn't your nearby suburban park setting. Trails can be steep and cliffs are unprotected, so mountain bikers should be experienced with this type of terrain.
Winter offers the seclusion and quiet setting of an un-crowded paradise; indeed, most people don't hurry to Hells Canyon during the winter months. Eastern Oregon snowfall can be abundant and conditions can be icy. But the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest (which includes Hells Canyon) is a great place to enjoy some Nordic skiing. Nearby Wallowa Lake offers ice fishing and alpine skiing as well. Surrounding towns in the Wallowa Valley offer dining and lodging, although visitors should carry back-up provisions and cold weather clothing at all times of the year. High-altitude weather is fickle and changes at a moment's notice.
Without question, one of the best ways to see the canyon is in the company of an experienced outfitter. Llama treks offer a unique perspective on Hell's Canyon mile-deep beauty, as well as the insight and experience of someone who has already been there. Trail and river guides can offer a faster way to finding that "perfect location" to fish, photograph or just admire the breathtaking scenery.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
Snake River of Hells Canyon by Johnny Carrey, John Carrey and Cort Conley. Organized by miles headed downriver from Hells Canyon dam, this is a colorful chronicle of canyon history. A must read for anyone visiting Hells Canyon, whether by boat, on horseback or a foot. Order now...
Hiking Hells Canyon & Idaho's Seven Devils Mountains (Regional Hiking Series) by Fred Barstad. Use this guide for up-to-date trail information, accurate directions to popular as well as less-traveled trails, difficulty ratings for each hike, detailed trail maps, and zero-impact camping tips. Order now...
Hiking Idaho's Seven Devils (The Complete Guide to Every Trail, Lake & Peak) by Gary D. Jones. The complete guide to every trail, lake and peak in Idaho's Seven Devils Wilderness. Includes photos, map and mileage chart plus chapters on trails and backcountry routes, information on fishing, history, geology and mining areas. Order now...
Island and Rapids: A Geological Story of Hells Canyon by Tracy Vallier. This book, written by a world-class scientist tells the geologic history of the deepest gorge in North America. Also included is a mile by mile guide to the Canyon's features as well as photographs. Order now...
Idaho the Whitewater State by Grant Amaral (Author), Laura Andrews (Editor, Illustrator), Doug Ammons (Designer, Editor), Mary Williams (Author). The complete guidebook to the rivers of Idaho. Containing over 100 different runs, 100 maps, 16 color and 52 black and white photos, The Whitewater State is the best-selling Idaho guidebook. Order now...
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