When you visit Hells Canyon, whether for a jet boat tour or an adventurous hike, you’ll be surrounded by animals of all kinds, from rainbow trout to bighorn sheep. Here are some steps you can take to protect Hells Canyon’s wildlife and preserve the canyon’s ecosystem for generations to come.

Keep Your Distance

As you hike Hells Canyon’s many rugged trails, you may see bears and bighorn sheep up close. If one approaches you, however, maintain a safe distance. Avoid encouraging the animals to interact with you, as they can become dependent on those interactions.

Don’t Feed Them!

The wild animals in Hells Canyon are part of a self-sustaining ecosystem. They can find food for themselves and should be encouraged to do so. Feeding human food to wild animals can make them ill, and even if it doesn’t, the practice promotes unhealthy (and unsafe) human-animal interactions.

Catch and Release

There are several species of fish in the Snake River that you can take home with you, but consider releasing your catches anyway. Overfishing can disrupt the river’s food chain. Plus, catch-and-release fishing ensures there are plenty of fish for everyone to catch. Be kind to your fellow visitors, too!

Be Careful With Campfires

Should you choose to build a campfire, be mindful of the fire’s potential effects on the environment. The best place to build a fire is within a fire ring on an existing campsite, and you should leave it burning only for as long as you need it. Once you extinguish your campfire, clean up the area and make sure no embers are still burning.

Leave No Trace

Whether you’re on a Snake River boat tour or a gentle hike, keep a bag with you to stash your garbage, should you generate any. Avoid leaving any food wrappers behind, even if they’re just fruit rinds. If you’re fishing, gather up all your hooks and lures before you leave to prevent animals from harming themselves on the sharp edges.

Protect the wildlife of Hells Canyon when you visit this season—there are plenty of things you can do to minimize your effects on the environment. Book a tour with River Adventures today and prepare for a green vacation!