Boater's Guide Map 10 Feature Descriptions
*Identifies major rapids of Class III and above.
North of Map 10
Note: The sites below are north of the maps included in this book. They are boat launching locations between Heller Bar and the Lewiston/Clarkston Valley. We have listed them here to aid you in planning your trip.
137.2 Red Wolf Marina/Hells Canyon Resort
Private marina, boat launching facilities, Clarkston, Washington.
139.4 Green Belt Ramp
Public boat ramp at the US Army Corps of Engineers office near the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers in Clarkston, Washington.
140.6 Southway Ramp
US Army Corps of Engineers public boat launching facilities, Lewiston, Idaho.
142.4 Swallows Park
US Army Corps of Engineers public boat launching facilities and restrooms, on Washington side. USDA Forest Service, HCNRA Snake River Office is located at the south end of Swallows Park on Highway 129 (Riverside Drive).
143.4 Hells Gate State Park
Idaho state park marina, gas, boat launching facilities, restrooms.
145.4 Chief Looking Glass Park
Asotin, WA city park with boat launch/landing facilities, restroorns.
157.6 Couse Creek
Primitive boat launch on Washington side.
165.0 Billy Creek
Administrative site owned by Idaho Fish and Game Department on Idaho side. Primitive boat launch on Washington side.
Map 10 Features
168.4 Heller Bar Boat Ramp
Public boat launch and landing area owned by the State of Washington and operated by the Bureau of Land Management. Toilets, parking.
168.7 Mouth of Grande Ronde River
The Grande Ronde, meaning "large valley," was named by French Canadian trappers. The large valley referred to is many miles upriver near La Grande, Oregon.
166.6 Historical Note: Rogersburg
Rogersburg, Washington, just upstream from the Grande Ronde River, was founded by the Rogers brothers, who had filed mining claims on the bar. They laid out the townsite and planned to sell lots, but were not very successful because, until 1937, there was no road access to the site.
170.0 Geology Note - Lime Hill (Oregon). Limestone Point (Idaho)
This limestone point was estimated to contain over 500 acres of exceptionally pure cement materials - an important ingredient in the construction of dams. However, transportation problems made quarrying unprofitable. Near here, a fault separates 220 million year old limestone from 1 5 million year old basalt. Geologists call this type of gap in the geological strata an unconformity.
172.8 Historical Note: Wild Goose Rapids and proposed China Garden Dam
The steamboat Lewiston was dispatched to pick up ore at the Great Eastern Mine (at Big Bar). The boat couldn't get through this rapid, hence the trip was a "wild goose chase." There is a steamboat lining ring in the rock at the head of the rapid on the Washington side. Downstream from this rapid is the site of the 168' high China Garden Dam, proposed in the 1950s.
172.8 *Wild Goose Rapids
Class II, Class III at high flows.
175.0 Historical Note: Granite Slabs
The large blocks of granite stacked on the Idaho shore were quarried by Arthur Garlinghouse of Lewiston in the early 1900s. They were intended to be hauled to town by steamboat and used as window ledges and door sills at Lewiston Normal School (now Lewis-Clark State College).
176.0 China Garden Creek
Formerly known as the Madden Ranch, this area is currently owned by The Nature Conservancy.
176.0 OR/WA State Line
The state line is also the northern boundary of the HCNRA.
176.3 Historical Note. Stone House
About 300 yards from the river on the Idaho side there's an interesting stone house. Homesteaders in Hells Canyon sometimes built such cabins because wood was scarce.
176.8 Lower Cache Creek
Beach, no water or shade, small low-water site; small group.
177.0 Cache Creek Ranch (Administrative Site)
Northern entry to HCNRA-permit station, staffed year round. Visitor information and interpretive exhibits. Communications available-report fires and emergencies here. Day use only: shade, picnic tables, toilets. The large orchard provides fruit for visitors and attracts wildlife.
177.0 Historical Note: Cache Creek Ranch
Named by A.C. Smith who, while traveling to the 1876 treaty council at Lapwai, Idaho, found caches left by Indians on a bar near the creek's mouth. By 1913, Guy Huffman had homesteaded here. He partnered with his brother-in-law, Jay Dobbin until the 1930s, when Guy sold out. Cache Creek was part of the 10,000-acre Snake River holdings of the Dobbin and Huffman Sheep Co. They ran about 28,000 sheep.
177.7 Upper Cache Creek
Good landing, sandy beach, pack to bench from river; large group.