This year, as you plan your family vacation or weekend getaway, take the time to visit Hells Canyon and soak up the rich history around you. The Nez Perce people have inhabited the canyon and its surrounding areas for many hundreds of years, stewarding the land and respecting its wildlife. When members of the Lewis and Clark expedition reached the canyon in 1806, though, they turned back. Do some exploring yourself and get a chance to experience what Lewis and Clark could not this year.

The Canyon’s Depth

You may have heard by now that Hells Canyon is the deepest and narrowest river gorge on the continent. At first glance, its sheer size can be daunting—so daunting, in fact, that when three members of Lewis and Clark’s expedition reached the gorge, they turned back without even seeing the deepest spots! You know what’s down there, though, and you know you can handle it. There are plenty of well-worn hiking trails in Hells Canyon that can guide you to the most majestic views.

Bountiful Fishing

For centuries, before European explorers arrived on the continent and began to journey westward, the Nez Perce tribe was already accustomed to the lay of the land. They and other indigenous groups in the area flocked to Hells Canyon due to its plentiful wildlife and relatively mild winters. Humans have been fishing on the Snake River for time out of mind. Take advantage of advances in technology when you go on a Hells Canyon, Idaho, jet boat tour while keeping in touch with nature!

A Comfortable Adventure

Two hundred years ago, traveling—and making sure you had adequate food—was more complicated than it is now. In 1811, five years after Lewis and Clark’s expedition turned back, the Wilson Price Hunt expedition made it further into Hells Canyon. However, they were unaccustomed to the weather and hadn’t brought enough food, so they turned back. Your adventure can go on even further! Don’t let hunger or cold get you down. As long as you pack food, water, and warm clothing on your Hells Canyon expedition, you’ll be able to traverse it comfortably and effectively.

Two hundred years ago, westward explorers saw mere glimpses of the natural beauty that the continent had to offer. You don’t have to be limited to bits and pieces, though. With knowledge based in the Nez Perce’s stewardship of the land and in early pioneers’ writings, you can make your Hells Canyon adventure spectacular. Learn why you should experience what Lewis and Clark could not as you make your vacation plans.