Ripsy Walkabout travel blog

My route through the extreme eastern edge of Washington. Check out the...

Hell's Canyon

The Snake River running through Hell's Canyon

Another View


After leaving Idaho I skimmed the eastern edge of Washington on my journey into Oregon and the Hell's Canyon National Recreation Area.

Hell's Canyon straddles Oregon and Idaho with the Snake River cutting through the canyon and forming the border of the two states. My visit to this area turned out to be one of the biggest surprises of my trip because I had honestly never heard of it until I was in Idaho. When you see the size of the canyon it's hard to believe that it isn't better know.

There are some serious stretches of white water along the Snake and a number of different outfitters offer rafting trips but I decided to skip anything like that. It sounds like a great adventure but they are anything but cheap.

The Canyon is really in a remote area. There is not a lot of road access in and the forest roads are really tough. Based on a Forest Service brochure I decided to take a 24 mile drive on a forest road leading to a supposedly excellent view of the river below. I went about two or three miles and turned around. It was the biggest washboard road I've ever been on. If I would have continued every bolt in my vehicle would have worked itself loose. I breathed a big sigh of relief when I got back on a paved road--and this is coming from a guy who loves the idea of driving on gravel roads in Northern Wisconsin.

I did spend the night camping on the banks of the Snake which was sort of cool.

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