The scenic byway around Idaho’s Hells Canyon is one of the most awe-inspiring routes to explore in the United States. With its stunning views of the Snake River, canyon walls, and mountain ranges, you’ll surely have a memorable driving experience. However, navigating this scenic highway can be tricky, especially for tourists who aren’t familiar with the area. Read through these tips for tourists driving the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway before your trip so that you’ll feel more prepared.

Prepare Your Vehicle and Bring Essential Items

Before leaving for your trip, make sure your vehicle is in excellent condition. Check your tires, brakes, and fluids, and fill your gas tank before leaving town, since there are limited gas stations along the byway. Bring essential items such as plenty of water, snacks, a first-aid kit, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a map or GPS device.

Follow the Speed Limits, and Watch for Wildlife

The Hells Canyon Scenic Byway is a rural road with unexpected twists and turns. Take your time and drive cautiously, as the speed limits on this stretch can change quickly. Watch for wildlife such as deer, elk, and moose, which may cross the road in front of you and require a quick stop.

Prepare for Unreliable Cell Service

Since the highway runs through mountainous terrain, cell coverage is spotty at best. In some areas, you may not have a signal at all. Prepare for this to happen and have a reliable communication plan in place in case something goes wrong.

Take Advantage of Pull-Outs and Overlooks

The Hells Canyon Scenic Byway is full of breathtaking views of the canyon, so take advantage of the many pull-outs and overlooks along the way. These designated areas allow you to snap photos, stretch your legs, and take in the stunning scenery.

Stop and Experience Hells Canyon

Don’t just drive through Hells Canyon—take some time to stop and enjoy the activities the area offers. Our Snake River boat tours will help you enjoy the thrill of the water and canyon from a new perspective. Hiking or camping will also get you farther into the canyon. There are designated areas for all these activities so that you can safely enjoy some adventure before continuing on your scenic road trip.

Driving the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway is an exhilarating experience, and these tourist tips will help you safely enjoy your trip. If you’re looking for an adventure, join River Adventures for a Snake River boat tour. With six hours to enjoy the scenery plus a provided lunch, a boat tour is the perfect way to enjoy the deepest river canyon in the US.