Places to Visit: Hells Canyon

Sun Valley Idaho
> Getting Here
> Hells Canyon

Hells Canyon

For those coming from Washington or Oregon, Hell's Canyon National Recreation Area is a perfect stop on your way to Sun Valley, Idaho.

Read More

  • Roughly seven hours northwest of Sun Valley is the Hells Canyon Recreation Area.
  • There is no fee or cost associated with the general use of the Hells Canyon area.
  • With 215,000 acres of wilderness there are a wide array of great recreational activities.


Established in 1975, HCNRA encompasses 215,000 acres of wilderness. You'll find incredible vistas, amazing canyons, and endless outdoor adventure. Many people don't know that Hells Canyon is North America's deepest river gorge, even deeper than the Grand Canyon. Carved by the Snake River, Hells Canyon is over a mile deep near Oregon's west rim, and about 8,000 feet below He Devil Peak, which is a part of Idaho's Seven Devils Mountains. The canyon is about 10 miles wide, and although there are no roads crossing the canyon, there are over 900 miles of trails in the National Recreation Area. Because of its dramatic range of elevation, Hells Canyon is an area with a variety of landscapes and ecosystems.


Hells Canyon is a National Recreation Area and as such is open year round.


There is no fee or cost associated with the general use of the Hells Canyon area. However, there may be fees or costs required at some campgrounds, day- use areas and for boating on the rivers. Other fees may be incurred if you hire an outfitter or want to fish in the many waters.

Hells Canyon NRA Offices

  • Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Headquarters
    1550 Dewey Avenue
    P.O. Box 907
    Baker City, OR 97814
    Phone: (541) 523-6391
  • Hells Canyon National Recreation Area Headquarters/Wallowa Mountains Visitor Center
    88401 Hwy 82
    Box A
    Enterprise, OR 97828
    Phone: (541) 426-5546
  • Hells Canyon National Recreation Area - Snake River Office
    2535 Riverside Drive
    P.O. Box 699
    Clarkston, WA 99403
  • General HCNRA Information: (509) 758-0616
    Non-Commercial Float Information/Reservations: (509) 758-1957
    Non-Commercial Powerboat Information/Reservations: (509) 758-0270
  • Hells Canyon National Recreation Area - Idaho Office
    1339 South Highway 95
    Riggins, Idaho 83549
    Phone: (208) 628-3916


The HCNRA includes 215,000 acres of wilderness. There are three Wild and Scenic Rivers in the Hells Canyon area - the Snake, Imnaha and Rapid rivers.  Almost 900 miles of trails are available in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and other uses. Thirty-six sites with varying levels of development are available for camping and day use in both Oregon and Idaho.

Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy the opportunity to spot creatures both great and small-from the tiny pika to cougars, bobcats, bears, elk, deer, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep-who claim homes in Hells Canyon's lush forests and craggy ridges. Many species of fish thrive in the waters of the Snake River.

Getting Here

Roughly seven hours northwest of Sun Valley is the Hells Canyon Recreation Area. It is a spectacular drive through the Sawtooth National Forest and rimming the Frank Church Wilderness Area. Depending on the season, the route to take is different. We suggest that you check the routes and the road conditions prior to planning your trip from Sun Valley to Hells Canyon.