General Info: Hells Gate State Park is a perfect introduction to both Idaho’s Lewis and Clark country and to Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America. The park covers 960 acres and sits at an elevation of 733 ft. Here you’ll enjoy great fishing and boating on the Snake River just south of Lewiston, Idaho.
Hours and Fees: The park is open year-round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily entrance (day use) costs $4 per vehicle. For visitor information call the park office at (208) 799-5015.
Activities: Take a jet boat tour from the park docks into Hells Canyon to explore this magnificent gorge that’s deeper than even the Grand Canyon.
The park features docks, launch ramps, boat fuel and boat rental at the riverside Hells Gate Marina. The steelhead season usually runs through fall and winter, while spring and summer bring chances to reel in smallmouth bass, catfish, trout and sturgeon. Of course the Snake River is also open to swimming for a chance to cool off from the summer heat.
Nature trails meandering through the park invite you to take a hike or go for a bike ride. These trails are a great way to spot some of the park’s “native” residents: quail, geese, cottontail rabbits, and deer, to name a few. The park also hosts a volleyball area and playground to keep the whole family entertained. Don’t miss the park’s Lewis and Clark Discovery Center for indoor and outdoor displays, as well as a film describing the expedition’s journey through Idaho.
You’ll enjoy a variety of shopping and dining opportunities in the nearby town of Lewiston, just 4 miles north on Snake River Avenue. From there you can travel the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway along part of the route taken by Lewis & Clark’s expedition 200 years ago.
Pets: Your leashed pets are welcome to stay with you while you visit Hells Gate State Park. For the sake of all visitors, please control your pet and properly dispose of all droppings.
Camping Info: The park campground features 64 mostly shaded, paved RV campsites with water and electrical hookups (30/50 amps). Back-in sites measure 50×60 ft. while pull-thru sites measure 36×72 ft. Each site includes a picnic table and BBQ. Firewood can be purchased at the camp store and a dump station is also available. Restrooms with showers are centrally located. This pet-friendly campground features handicap accessible facilities and is open year-round. The nightly camping rate is $20 plus Idaho state sales tax.
If you’re from the Gem State or have visited Hells Gate State Park in the past, please chime in with your stories and tips! Your insights can help others have a fantastic trip.