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Hells Canyon Travel Guide

Recreational Areas

Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. This is the site of one of the largest elk herds in the United States, plus 422 other species, including bald eagles, bighorn sheep, mule deer, white-tailed deer, black bears, bobcats, cougars, beavers, otters, and rattlesnakes. The peregrine falcon has also been reintroduced here. Part of the area was designated as Hells Canyon Wilderness, in parts of Oregon and Idaho, with the establishment of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area in 1975. Additional acres were added as part of the Oregon Wilderness Act of 1984, and the recreation area currently extends across more than 652,000 wild and rugged acres. Nine hundred miles of trails wind through the wilderness area, closed to all mechanized travel. If you want to visit the wilderness it must be on foot, mountain bike, or horseback. Three of its rivers (the Snake, Imnaha, and Rapid) have been designated as Wild and Scenic. Environmental groups have proposed the creation of Hells Canyon National Park to better manage the area's critical habitat. You can access the canyon from several points—see the website for an overview map. Wallowa Mountains Office, 201 E. 2nd St., Joseph, OR, 97846. 541/426–5546. www.fs.usda.gov/wallowa-whitman.

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