Recently when ogling the map of Oregon, I noticed this big green swatch called Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. I went, “Huh?”
With a quick Google search I learned that we Northwesterners are sitting on an amazing and mostly undiscovered gi-normous playground. I am determined to saddle up my little Mazda this spring or fall and head to Hells Canyon. I suspect it’s too all-fired hot in the summer.
Deepest Canyon in North America
Hells Canyon is North America’s deepest river gorge. It is considerably deeper than the Grand Canyon, plunging more than a mile below to the Snake River on Oregon’s west rim, and 8,000 feet below snowcapped He Devil Peak of Idaho’s Seven Devils Mountains. There are no roads across Hells Canyon’s 10-mile wide expanse, and only three roads that lead to the Snake River between Hells Canyon Dam and the Oregon-Washington boundary.
Where is Hells Canyon?
There is no recognized geographic place called Hells Canyon. According to R.G. Bailey’s book, Hells Canyon, the canyon starts 90 miles south of Lewiston, Idaho and Extends 40 miles further south to appoint near Oxbow, Oregon.
How deep is the canyon?
He Devil Mountain is 9,393 feet above sea level. The canyon plunges 7,913 feet, and 1 ½ miles from its summit to the mouth of Granite Creek, 6 miles away, at 1,480 feet.