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10 Fun Facts about Hells Canyon


1. It’s the deepest canyon in North America

True. It’s deeper than the Grand Canyon by almost 2,000 feet. The Snake River lies 7,993 feet below the peaks of the Seven Devils Mountains on the Idaho side and the Blue Mountains on the Oregon side

2. The Snake River runs north through Hells Canyon

It seems weird that a river runs north but it actually happens all the time. The Nile, Red River and Florida’s St. John’s River all flow northeast to name a few.

3. It’s on the border between Idaho and Oregon

In fact, the Snake River make-up over half the border between the two states.

4. Hells Canyon got its name from the earliest white explorers.

Many tried to tame the Snake River with boats and ferry, but hardly any were successful. The name “Hells Canyon” first appears in a book from 1895 and it’s been known at such ever since. If you’ve ever seen its dark canyon walls, the name Hells Canyon should be no surprise.

5. No roads cross Hells Canyon

And only 3 roads reach the Snake River from Hells Canyon Dam to the Oregon and Washington border. It makes for quiet and peaceful Hells Canyon rafting. No cars or trucks in sight or earshot.

6. The Snake River’s headwaters start near Yellowstone National Park

And it travels 1,078 miles across southern Idaho, to the Oregon-Idaho border, through Hells Canyon, combines with the Salmon River, and finally converges with the Columbia River in Washington.

7. Hells Canyon is 10 miles wide as it’s widest point

And on average about 5,500 feet deep.

8. The Snake River has carved out Hells Canyon for more than 6 million years.

The river’s now flowing 7,993 feet below the mountain tops of the Blue Mountains in Oregon and Seven Devils Mountain in Idaho.

9. The protected area around Hells Canyon called The Hells Canyon National Recreation Area

And has nearly 900 miles of hiking trails, some right along the Snake River.

10. There are remnants of people living in the canyon 7,100 years ago, but it’s possible that human lived there 15,000 years ago.

Petroglyphs, arrow heads, and pit houses are just some of the remnants still found in Hells Canyon.

3 people pose under red pictographs of and eye shape and a rake shape in hells canyon on a snake river rafting trip

Interested in seeing Hells Canyon for yourself? A Hells Canyon Rafting Trip is the perfect way to see the canyon. Check out here for more information.

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