Discover Hells Canyon, North America’s deepest river gorge. That’s right, not the Grand Canyon, Hells Canyon! This Lewis Clark Valley destination has all the elements of an epic adventure. Intriguing history, spectacular scenery, plenty of adrenaline-filled activities to choose from, as well as opportunities to relax and reflect. You can experience a family-friendly adventure this summer whether you’re keeping an eye on the budget or want to make up for a few years of missing a vacation.
Your summer getaway can be a unique way to broaden the minds of the entire family. The Lewis Clark Valley has plenty of opportunities for making your summer vacation entertaining and educational. And, if you’re trying to check states off your list, you get three-for-one, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.
Hells Canyon, a Northwest Natural Attraction
The family adventure of a lifetime begins in Hells Canyon. It’s known for its dramatic and varied terrain. The wild and scenic Snake River winds its way through the rugged canyon walls and mile-high snow-capped peaks of the Seven Devils mountain range. Often, big horn sheep, bear, eagles and other wildlife can be seen along the river’s edge or up on the rocks.
The easiest way to access Hells Canyon is by jet boat or float boat. Professional guides offer half-day to multi-day adventures. A jet boat tour gives you the opportunity to experience the grandeur of the canyon from a safe and comfortable seat while you listen to your guide tell tales that date back more than 12,000 years in ancient rock carvings, or petroglyphs. Your tour stops in at Kirkwood Historical Ranch for a chance to see artifacts from prehistoric tribes and rustic remains of the daily life of early miners and settlers. If a bit more adventure is your calling, make sure to sit in the back of the boat, but beware… you may get wet!
White sandy beaches along the route offer a refreshing break and Instagram-worthy, family-fun moments to splash and play in the water.
Adventurers will definitely want to check out the float boat option. Some of the best whitewater rafting in the nation can be found here. After a day of rapids, sun, and fun, your guides welcome you to a beach where your tent is set up and a gourmet meal awaits. It truly is the adventure of a lifetime.
Hear the Echoes of Our Indigenous Nimiipuu People
The Nez Perce or Nimiipuu are the original inhabitants of the area. Experience a guided narrative through their homeland and witness oral tribal history, passed down from generation to generation. Hear the singing and drumming of tribal members. Tribal tourism offers part-day to multi-day adventures, jet boat tours, rafting trips and riding sessions with the sacred Appaloosa horses.