Overworked? Tried? Stressed out? Leave behind your fenced-in views and the fast-paced life and come explore Hells Canyon. A ten-mile wide canyon, it is located in the US along the border of western Idaho and eastern Oregon.
North America’s deepest river gorge at 2436 m, Hells Canyon beckons to you to a slower era and wild places. There’s so much to see and do here from dipping yourself in the clean cooling water of the Snake river to scaling glorious mountaintops and then again passing through lush greenery on your way to the valley floor. Stop for a quick lunch with a panoramic view of the wild and picturesque river; travel along a canyon road with a cattle drive. Inhale the scent of pine on the fresh mountain air while admiring the backdrop of the snow-tipped Wallowa Mountains. If that’s not enough, feast your eyes on mind-blowing views of grassy open ridges and craggy basalt cliffs. Hear the wind whispering to you as it rushes through the forest. Close your eyes and listen to the exquisite birds calling to you.
The best way to explore this heaven is to take the 218 mile long Hells Canyon scenic byway. The byway winds itself through eleven communities. Every community is unique and offers a spectacular array of dining, shopping and accommodation. You would probably need an entire day to explore all the eleven communities. Each one is filled with history, culture, fine art galleries and various bronze foundries. Some of the major communities have major discount markets, which are the best places to shop from.
The byway itself has plenty of accommodation facilities from award-winning Bed & Breakfast Inns to budget stays to camping outdoors. Dining options range from North-western cuisine to fast food to barbeque and roasted sausages over an open fire.
One of the best places to visit and stay in Hells Canyon is the Lewis-Clark Valley. This peaceful and charming getaway is filled with friendly locals, rich history, festivals, cultural events and plentiful outdoor activities. If you visit between September to March, you can try Steelhead fishing on the Snake, Clearwater and Salmon rivers. You must try the funky, affordable fishing excursions and guided jet boat tours. For those looking to play a round of golf, the Lewis-Clark Valley boasts 4 world class golf courses, available almost all through the year. Other than this, you can enjoy hiking trips along scenic areas, diving, paintball and even an indoor skating rink. The Nez Perce County Fair is one of the best attractions to visit during the fall. Localites compete in various categories ranging from flowers to foul and livestock. The baking competitions are fun to watch with all the local women bringing out their best. Lewis-Clark Valley is a gateway to the world renowned Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. Run by the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, every tourist must visit this exquisite place at least once. With over 652,488 acres to explore and hundreds of adventure sports to try from, the recreation area is rich in beauty, artefacts, natural history and adventure.
I stayed at the Best Western RiverTree Inn. It was an excellent place located in Clarkston and well within my limited budget. The loft-style guest rooms are quite close to the major attraction locales. Rates begin from USD 60 per night.
There are several dining options around, almost all of which have standard rates. The more popular Applebee’s and Burger King are also available.