Scenic USA - Oregon

Hells Canyon

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Hells Canyon at Copper Creek - Homestead, Oregon

Photo by Jim Stiles
Jim Stiles Photography

   Hells Canyon, carved by the powerful Snake River, holds the record as the deepest canyon in North America. Out-measuring the depths of the Grand Canyon, the deepest section of Hells Canyon drops 7,913 feet from He Devil Mountain in the Seven Devils Range. This awe inspiring canyon creates almost half the border between the states of Oregon and Idaho. Here, 67 miles of the Snake River is surrounded by Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. And nearly half the Snake has been designated as a Wild and Scenic River. However, the river corridor, including a quarter mile swath of shoreline on each side, is exempt from wilderness rules. Other exceptions allow power boat tours access to the river.
   This tranquil view on the western rim captures a quiet Snake River long before river traffic begins to echo from the canyon walls. Here at the Copper Creek site, nearby the Hells Canyon Reservoir, steep ridges and cliffs have been tempered by a millennium of erosion. One of a dozen trails, Copper Creek Trail #1890 leads out into the wilderness for more amazing Hells Canyon views.

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