Hells Canyon National Recreation Area

Open grassy ridge with Snake River in background

Welcome to the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area managed by the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

Hugging the borders of northeastern Oregon and western Idaho, this national showcase holds 652,488 acres of beauty and adventure, where you can let your senses run as wild as the landscape. The deepest river gorge in North America. Scenic vistas that rival any on the continent. World-class whitewater boating. Spectacular mountain peaks. Vast reaches of remote wilderness for hiking or horseback riding. Diverse and abundant wildlife. Artifacts from prehistoric tribes and rustic remains of early miners and settlers...Hells Canyon National Recreation Area truly offers something for everyone, and much to remember. We know you will enjoy Hells Canyon National Recreation Area as a very special place, whether you choose to explore by road, trail, or boat.

To help you get an overview of the area, take a Look into Hells Canyon National Recreation Area , or download the pocket guide or an overview map.

Fast Facts and Trivia about Hells Canyon

Questions about how Hells Canyon got it's name, why is it the deepest gorge in North America and other bits of information can be found on the Fast Facts page.

Field Ranger - Valuing People and Place

Since 2010, the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area has been a part of the Pacific Northwest Region's Valuing People and Places field ranger program.

Hells Canyon Wilderness

Located in both and Oregon and Idaho, the Hells Canyon Wilderness is composed of 216, 981 acres of high mountain peaks, ominous canyon rim-rocks, breathtaking vistas, and quieting solitude...more

Wild and Scenic Snake River

Running through the middle of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area between Oregon and Idaho, the mighty Snake River winds its way through Hells Canyon, the deepest river-carved gorge in North America...more

Recreation Opportunities

Due to the size of the Hells Canyon, the recreation sites and activities have been divided up based on their location. Check out one of the areas below to help you plan your visit.

Backcountry Airstrips and Aircraft Use

There are several active backcountry airstrips along the Snake River and in the Hells Canyon uplands available for both commercial and public use...more

2003 Comprehensive Management Plan

The Hells Canyon National Recreation Area Comprehensive Management Plan was completed in July 2003 and is the main management document directing short term and long term action...more



Historic Files

View Part 2 of this video here!