Hells Canyon National Recreation Area is a United States National Recreation Area located on the borders of the U.S. states of Oregon and Idaho. The recreation area, which is managed by the United States Forest Service as part of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, was established by U.S. Congress in 1975 to protect the historic and archaeological values of the Hells Canyon area and the area of the Snake River between Hells Canyon Dam and the Oregon-Washington border.
Roughly 215,000 acres (900 km2) of the recreation area are designated the Hells Canyon Wilderness. There are nearly 900 miles (1,400 km) of hiking trails in the recreation area. The largest portion of the area lies in eastern Wallowa County, Oregon. Smaller portions lie in southwestern Idaho County, Idaho, northwestern Adams County, Idaho, and northeastern Baker County, Oregon.
Hells Canyon Archeological District
All or partly included in the HCNRA is the Hells Canyon Archeological District, a 12,000-acre (4,900 ha) historic district that is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The district includes 536 contributing sites, 23 contributing buildings, and 58 other contributing structures.
- Ewert, Sara E. Dant. “Evolution of an Environmentalist: Senator Frank Church and the Hells Canyon Controversy.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History 51 (Spring 2001): 36-51.