Hells Canyon

(nr Homestead OR)
The Snake River in Hells Canyon was calling. I had heard that America’s deepest river gorge was spectacular. So, I rushed to see it because the road into the forest was closing for construction.

River snaking through canyon

Snake River in Hells Canyon

River at bottom of canyon walls

Snake River below the Dam

The view to see was supposed to be at Hells Canyon Dam. It was late in the evening, so I worried about the light. The Snake River was supposed to be wild in the canyon. However, someone forgot to tell me that the rapids were well below the dam.

A one lane road went across the dam, and then down a steep slope before wandering along the river; I stopped short. If I continued, I would not make the forest before dark. I decided to turn around, since there was supposed to be a fantastic view from the top.

Tree over canyon view

Hells Canyon Overlook

Flowers in a field with pines

Wildflowers at the Overlook

Three days boondocking near Hells Canyon Overlook didn’t get me the photos I wanted. After a little research, I discovered that the best view into the canyon was at a different viewpoint. It was 15 miles on a steep and narrow gravel road meant for 4-wheel drives… Foiled again!

However, I did get to see the Imnaha River on my way to the next boondock camp. It was nice; but, Big Sheep Creek was more exciting.

River and bushes

Imnaha River

Stream with foaming water and rocks

Big Sheep Creek Rapids

(Joseph OR)
Went into Joseph, a nice artsy town with galleries, a foundry and a monument to Chief Joseph. Had lunch at a local grill and shared stories with another full-timer who had the vagabond spirit. Then back into the mountains for some more camping.

Statue with mountain backdrop

Sculpture in town of Joseph

Field with towering mountains

Wallowa Mountains

Spent a few more days boondocking in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Then visited Wallowa Lake, with the mountains behind it, and Iwetemlaykin, a former camping area of the Nez Perce.

Lake with mountains beyond

Wallowa Lake

Field, tree, distant mountains

Iwetemlaykin of Nez Perce

(Minam OR)
I dry camped near the confluence of the Minam and Wallowa Rivers. A small state campground next to the Wallowa River was nothing special, and was too expensive for my taste. Hiking into the forest and down river found me some decent photos.

River with evening sun on hills

Wallowa River

RV hidden in the forest

Tardis in Umatilla NF

(nr Elgin OR)
Spent several days hiding out in the Umatilla National Forest, and trying to avoid the Independence Day holiday crowds. A very successful strategy as I saw noone the entire time. And, the only sounds were the birds singing.

Camps: Boondock Wallowa-Whitman NF, Minam SRA, Umatilla NF
Scene: Canyon, mountains, lake, rivers, creeks, forest

4 Responses to Hells Canyon

  1. Dizzy-Dick July 30, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

    Great pictures, as always. It was great you could hide from the crowd. Looks like a peaceful place to camp.

    • Pleinguy July 31, 2014 at 12:37 am #

      Thanks for the good vibes Dick. It was very quiet there in the forest.

  2. J. RICHARD SECOR August 1, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    Great post – and awesome photos!!

    • Pleinguy August 1, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed it Dick. Take care.

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