Snake River National Recreation Trail, Hells Canyon ID

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Snake River Trail

The 45.5 mile Snake River Trail is known for excellent fishing, exquisite wildflowers, abundant wildlife, and some of the most spectacular views in Hells Canyon. Read More

  • 45.5 miles one way (typically 3-5 days) 
  • Moderately difficult with over 2000 feet in elevation gain 
  • Trailhead: Dug Bar


The Snake River Trail is one of Hells Canyon’s most popular trails for those who love to hike, ride horses, or fish. A lengthy trail at 45.5 miles one way, there are various loop options you can take as well. The trail is superb for viewing native wildlife, as well as the majestic Snake’s whitewater rapids. Although Snake River Trail is usually open all year long, it is especially popular in the fall.


Starting from Joseph, Oregon, take Hwy 350 about 30 miles to Imnaha, then turn left on County Road 735. This becomes Forest Road 4260, which is a narrow and steep dirt road. The trailhead is 27 miles ahead. The road is fine for passenger cars when dry, but can be dangerous when wet. Vehicles with high clearance are not recommended.


  • Distance: 45.5 miles one way 
  • Average Time of Hike: 3-5 days one way 
  • Elevation Gain: 2,045 feet 
  • Difficulty: Moderate 
  • Trail Type: one way 
  • Trailhead: The trail starts at Dug Bar

Plan & Prepare

Open campfires are not permitted in many places, so be sure to include a fire pan with your camping gear. Wear good hiking shoes and dress for varied weather and temperatures, even during the summer.

If you plan to ride horses or mules, be sure they are experienced since parts of the trail are tricky for stock to navigate.

This part of the country is known for rattlesnakes and poison ivy, so use caution and be sure to bring an appropriate first aid kit. Check thoroughly for ticks daily and upon return. Insect repellant is also recommended during the warmer months.

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