Hells Canyon Wilderness

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Hells Canyon Wilderness

If you love the great outdoors, then you must make time to explore Hells Canyon Wilderness – a nationally designated wilderness that extends across the Oregon-Idaho border.

  • Nearly 215,000 acres of remote wilderness straddling the Oregon-Idaho border.
  • Excellent for fishing, hunting, backpacking, whitewater rafting, and horseback riding. 
  • Nearly 360 miles of trails to explore.

Overview

Hells Canyon Wilderness is nearly 215,000 acres of spectacular vistas, towering peaks, sparkling alpine lakes, and unique canyon rim rock formations. Sprawling across the border of northeastern Oregon and western Idaho, it is the perfect place to visit for tranquil solitude and breathtaking scenery. With dramatic fluctuations in elevation, you can see a variety of wildlife and vegetation. Winding through the canyon floor are the mighty waters of the Snake River.

Location & Information

Hells Canyon Wilderness Area is located on the Oregon-Idaho border just east of Grangeville. Most of this remote wilderness is on the Oregon side. The area is open year round, although weather conditions may limit road access at times during the winter and early spring.

To get there from McCall, head north on ID-55 to New Meadows, then continue north on ID-95 to Lucile. Head east on Cow Creek Rd to NF-420, where you’ll turn right and head about 7 more miles.

Contact information

Oregon side - Wallowa Mountains Office & Visitor Center, 88401 Hwy 82, Enterprise, OR 97828 Phone: 541-426-5546
Idaho side – Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, PO Boxe 832, Riggins, ID 83549 Phone: 208-628-3916
Website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/wallowa-whitman/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5238987  

Activities

With nearly 360 miles of trails winding through the wilderness, it’s a paradise for hiking and backpacking in the summer and early fall, as well as exploring the area on horseback. With plenty of elk, chukar, and other wild game, hunting is very popular here. Avid anglers love to fish for steelhead trout, sturgeon, bass and salmon. There are plenty of sites to set up camp during your stay. The Snake River is excellent for jet boating and whitewater rafting.

Fun Facts

Indian lore influenced the names of many mountains in the area. The Seven Devils Mountains received their name from the legend of a lost Indian who saw seven dancing devils. Individual peaks include “He Devil” and “The Twin Imps”.

Trailheads on the Idaho side include Pittsburg Landing, Dug Bar, Windy Saddle, and Black Lake.

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