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Hells Canyon: North America’s Deepest River Canyon

Written by Oregon Media

Hells Canyon: North America’s Deepest River Canyon

Dramatic and Deep Define Hells Canyon

Snake River Discover some of Baker County’s most spectacular scenery along the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway. The route between Baker City, with its popular Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, and Hells Canyon meanders through rolling farmlands—showcasing sweeping views of the Wallowa and Elkhorn mountains—and follows the winding Powder River before reaching the bottom of Hells Canyon. After a day on the Snake River, head back to Halfway and into the Wallowa Mountains. Along the way, enjoy Halfway Whimsical artists’ co-op and, of course, a jet boat tour or rafting trip along the Snake River. The small towns of Halfway and Richland offer a variety of lodging choices, restaurants, and other amenities, in addition to hosting numerous festivals including the Hells Canyon Jr. Rodeo, Eagle Valley Days, PineFest and the Richland Brownlee Panfishing tournament.

On a Boat

Explore the deepest river gorge in America with the experts at Hells Canyon Adventures, who have been at this for more than forty years. Wet and wild jet boat tour options range from daylong family-geared trips to fast-paced thirty-minute jaunts. Rather paddle? Jump onboard a whitewater tour with Hells Canyon Outfitters.

Pack In

Wallowa Llamas, out of Baker County, hosts guided tours into the state’s largest wilderness area, the Eagle Cap, complete with amenities trekked in by the ever-helpful llama so you can hike unencumbered. To access the wilds on horseback, start with a cabin stay at Cornucopia Lodge and book a trip through their pack station.

Fishing with a view

Enjoy a day of fishing at the bottom of the deepest river gorge in North America with spectacular views like this, just below the Hells Canyon Dam on the Snake River.