Hells Canyon National Recreation Area Airstrips

Airplane landing on a grassy backcountry airstrip at Pittsburg

 

The Hells Canyon National Recreation Area offers several backcountry airstrips along the Snake River and in the uplands.  Authorized use of the airstrips are managed under the direction from the 2003 Hells Canyon National Recreation Area Comprehensive Management Plan and/or the Wild and Scenic Snake River Recreation Management Plan (1994 revised in 1999).

Permits

Public Use - Self-issued permits are required for all private aircraft at airstrips open to the public where a permit drop-box is available.

Commercial Use  - The Hells Canyon and Snake River management plans allow for both long term and temporary aviation services to operate in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. The long term commercial special use permit is issued for 150 service days. An additional 150 temporary service days are also available on a 'first come-first serve' basis out of a pool of service days for local communities. These communitiesinclude: Lewiston/Clarskton area - 50 service days, Grangeville/Riggins/McCall/Boise area - 70 service days, and La Grande/Baker City/Pendelton area - 30 service days. Regularly schedule landings at the backcountry airstrips are prohibited.

To obtain a temporary special use permit, please contact the  Hells Canyon National Recreation Office in Joseph, Oregon or Clarkston, Washington.

Authorized Use *

Snake River airstrips

Airstrip Authorized Use
 Big Bar (ID)  Open to private, commercial and administrative use year-round
 Cache Creek (OR)  Open year-round to private and administrative use only (Commercial use not authorized)
 Dug Bar (OR)  Open to private, commercial and administrative use year-round
 Pittsburg (OR)  Open to private, commercial and administrative use year-round
 Salmon Bar (OR)  Open to private, commercial and administrative use year-round
 Sluice Creek (OR)  Closed to all aircraft uses *
 Temperance Creek (OR)  Only open to aircraft use in conjunction with the ranch special use permit

Hells Canyon upland airstrips

Airstrip Authorized Use
 Lord Flat (OR)  Open to private, commercial and administrative use year-round
 Memaloose (OR)  Open to private, commercial and administrative use year-round

* With the exception of administrative and emergency use, all other commercial aircraft landings and/or operations at airstrips is prohibited year-round.

Use off of Authorized Airstrips and in the Snake River

Federal regulations (36 Code of Federal Regulations 292.44) prohibit the use of aircraft off of designated Forest Service airstrips in both the Oregon and Idaho portions of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area unless authorized by the authorized officer.

Use of float plane landings in theWild and Scenic Snake River from the Hells Canyon dam to the Oregon-Washington state line insalso prohibited. This prohibition is cited in the 1994 (revised 1999) Wild and Scenic Snake River Recreation Management Plan as follows;

  • Aircraft Use -Recreational aircraft (fixed wing and rotary) landings are limited to designated  public airstrips in the river corrdior, exclusive of private lands. (page 12)
  • Valid Motorized, Nonmotorized Craft -  Nonvalid (Motorized and Nonmotorized Craft: ..."Nonvlaid motorized rivercraft shall include water-skis, air boats, motorized surf boards, hover craft, winged watercraft, any powerboats not equipped with a water-cooled exhaust, amphibious craft, mini-submarines, powerboats under 12 feet in length.."




https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/wallowa-whitman/specialplaces/?cid=stelprdb5364489