Hells Canyon Wilderness

A view of a river running through the Hells Canyon Wilderness

Bisected by the Snake River into two distinct areas, the Hells Canyon Wilderness straddles the Idaho and Oregon state boundary. It was classified wilderness in 1975, with the establishment of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. The energetic hiker could climb 9,300 foot alpine peaks, then descend 7,000 feet to desert terrain. It's all part of this 214,944 acre wilderness.

The upper portion of this wilderness has definite alpine characteristics; the middle section has forests of larch, lodgepole pine and fir, while the lower elevations feature rocky, steep slopes breaking into the Snake River and the major tributaries of Sheep, Granite, and Deep Creeks.

Farming, ranching, and mining occurred here in the late 19th and 20th centuries. One feature on the Idaho side is the Seven Devils Mountain Range, supposedly named for a vision that appeared to an Indian lost in the area. The mountains bear the names of "He Devil," "She Devil," and "The Twin Imps." Some of the nearby towns are Riggins and Lewiston, Idaho, and Imnaha, Oregon.