Hells Canyon Wilderness

Wallowa Whitman National Forest, Near Baker City, Oregon

Hells Canyon Wilderness does not offer reservations through Recreation.gov. Please take a look at the area details below for more information about visiting this location. Enjoy your visit!


The Hells Canyon Wilderness is composed of 217,927 acres of high mountain peaks, ominous canyon rim-rocks, breathtaking vistas, and quieting solitude.

Established in 1975 as part of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Act (P.L. 94-199) the wilderness is split by the Snake River into two distinct areas – one in Oregon and the smaller portion in Idaho. Although the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has the lead stewardship responsibility, the wilderness also includes lands from the Payette National Forest, Nez Perce National Forest, and Bureau of Land Management.

At lower elevations on the Idaho side, dry, barren, steep slopes break over into the Snake River canyon. In the high country are the towering peaks, rock-faced slopes, and alpine lakes of the Seven Devils Mountain Range - said to be named for a vision of seven dancing devils that appeared to an Indian lost in the area. The legend fits. Here, splendid mountain peaks rise well over 9,000 feet, and bear names like She Devil, He Devil, Ogre, Goblin, Devil's Throne, Mt. Belial and Twin Imps.

On both the Oregon and Idaho sides the higher elevation areas are characteristic of rocky slopes and grasslands laced with 'stringer canyons' and groves composed of Douglas fir and ponderosa pine. The lower elevations are dominated by grassland benches with steep canyons and ravines dissecting the isolated Oregon-side. Species of interest are Rocky Mountain elk, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, mule deer, and chukar.

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