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The Boathouse Blog

Happy 40th Birthday Hells Canyon National Recreation Area

Happy 40th Hells Canyon National Recreation Area (HCNRA)! Honestly, you don’t look a day over 120 million. In tribute to this amazing canyon we get to bring visitors to each summer, we thought we would list some fun facts about the region:

* U.S. Congress established the HCNRA on December 31, 1975
* The recreation area was established to protect the historic and archaeological values
of the Hells Canyon area and the area of the Snake River between Hells Canyon Dam and
the Oregon-Washington border.
* 215,000 acres (900 km2) of the recreation area are designated the Hells Canyon
* The HCNRA encompasses 652,488 acres (2,640.53 km2)
* Nearly 900 miles (1,400 km) of hiking trails exist in the recreation area
* Within the HCNRA is Hells Canyon Archeological District, a 12,000-acre (4,900 ha)
historic district that is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The
district includes 536 contributing sites, 23 contributing buildings, and 58 other
contributing structures.
* The largest portion of the HCNRA lies within Wallowa County, Oregon

Below is a chart showing the depth difference between Hells Canyon and the Grand Canyon.


Sunrise in the canyon
Sunset at Eureka Bar, confluence of the Snake and Imnaha Rivers.
Farm fresh eggs (we have our own chickens, so we know they're fresh!), fresh breads, and seasonal fruits are always on the menu.
Inflatable kayaks are on every trip
Nez Perce pictograph sites are abundant in the canyon. We stop to visit them throughout the trip.
Tomato and blue cheese bruschetta
World-class whitewater (Class III & IV). That's an 18 foot raft.
Hells Canyon, the deepest river canyon in North America
One of the many campsites in the canyon
Trails are abundant throughout the canyon and there are many hiking opportunities.
White Sturgeon, indigenous to the Snake River watershed, can grow up to 20 feet in length.
Black Bear are among the myriad of wildlife we see in the canyon.
Wild caught Salmon cooked on a cedar plank, one of our specialties.
View from Hells Canyon Dam, the launch site.