Points of Interest
Idaho Rafting Guides and Outfitters Listed by River:
Hells Canyon National Recreation Area's most popular drive is the Byway, an exhilarating panorama of extremes ranging from lush farmland and quaint towns to jaw-dropping vistas that seem to stretch forever. The 225-mile drive begins at La Grande, the intersection of Highways 84 and 82. Heading east on Highway 82, the byway meanders through the Wallowa Valley, a smattering of small towns that have existed since the late 1800s. At Highway 39 it enters the NRA at Salt Creek Summit, passing over Imnaha River and descending to Virtue Flat before concluding at Baker City. Visitors can take Highway 84 north to return to where they started.
Deer Creek Road, or Forest Road 493(take Idaho Highway 95 south from Whitebird to marker 222) on the northeast corner of the NRA, leads to Pittsburg Landing, a popular access point for the Snake River.
FR 39 and FR 3965 will take you to the breathtaking vistas of Hells Canyon Overlook, a 5,400 overlook of Seven Devils Mountains, and Hells Canyon.
FR 46, which cuts through the northwest corner of the scenic area, leads to Buckhorn Lookout and several remote camping areas, from the town of Enterprise (41 miles). Stopping points along this road provide spectacular views of the Wallowa Canyon and Hells Canyon.
FR 517 leads to Heavens Gates Overlook, arguably the best viewpoint for Hells Canyon, from the Idaho town of Riggins. The steep and winding road takes several hours to ascend.
Back roads are best traversed by 4x4, but most can be accessed by high-clearance cars during good summer weather (June-October). Vehicles towing trailers should be cautious when traversing back roads. Some back roads are narrow and involve steep, unprotected cliff areas. Roads at higher elevations may be icy or difficult during weather.
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...
River: Reflections of Hells Canyon by Betsy McGreer. Journey into Hells
Canyon with poet/photographer Betsy McGreer. Enjoy the four seasons-night &
day-as never before. Their healing powers will touch your heart and soul as
Betsy's words and images display Nature's strength and tranquility at Stoney
Point Lodge, along the Snake River in Idaho.
Includes over 50 full-color photographs of wonder and awe. 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...
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...
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