RECREATION

The recreation activities available in the Hells Canyon area of Baker County in Eastern Oregon are limitless— there's something for everyone! Whether you enjoy boating, fishing, camping, hiking, horseback riding, rafting, snowmobiling, or other outdoor activities, you can find them right here. Here are a few attractions and activities you must experience while visiting Oregon's Wilder Side. . .

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Panhandle
Snowmobile Club

The club maintains a Snowcat groomer and grooms approximately 280 miles of trail within the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest that includes miles of varied terrain going from 3000 feet all the way up to Sugarloaf Mountain and surrounding play areas at 6000 to 8000 feet elevation.

 

Area trail map is available here. Trail grooming schedule and snow conditions may be obtained by calling the following:

541-742-5151  Head groomer--trail & snow conditions

541-742-5515  Trail & snow conditions

541-742-5343  Trail & snow conditions

541-742-7277  Trail & snow conditions

The Panhandle Snowmobile Club is part of the Oregon State Snowmobile Association, representing the Northeast Oregon area surrounding Halfway, Richland and Oxbow. Their annual Panhandle Snowmobile Poker Run is held each February on the Sunday of Presiden't Day weekend.  The Poker Run is open to all snowmobilers with hands offered at $5 each. The prize purse of $4000 attracts many out-of-town contestants, and the top two places pay out over $1000.  The following weekend finds over 60 women snowmobilers from all across the country hitting the groomed trails for the annual Ladies' Ride.

 

Local snow depth at 5400 feet may be obtained online from the Schneider Meadows Snotel site, which is located just north of Halfway. Most of the best play areas are at higher elevation where there is a greater amount of snow.

 

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Cornucopia Lodge

If you can dream it, you can do it! Hike or snowshoe a short distance from the lodge and you are in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, Oregon's largest designated wilderness area, which features over 540 miles of trails, 53 high mountain lakes, scenic wild rivers like the Minam and Imnaha, granite crags, and steep-walled valleys formed by ancient glaciers. Take a short drive and you're in Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North Amerca, carved by the Snake River on the border between Idaho and Oregon.  Whatever your outdoor adventure, the Cornucopia Lodge is ideally located to be your base camp.

The Lodge is high in the mountains, nestled just below the old Cornucopia mining district. There are breathtaking views from every vantage point. No matter what time of year, you can enjoy all that nature has to offer--snowmobile, snowshoe, or ski in the wintertime and explore on horseback or hike during spring, summer, and fall.  Visit our website for more information and to book your reservations.

Canyon Outfitters

Canyon Outfitters has been guiding float and fishing trips down Hells Canyon for over 30 years. As they say, Hells Canyon is their backyard; it's all they do, and they do it well!  A river trip is the perfect family vacation: no phones, no television, just plenty of fun activities suitable for ages 6 to 96. A float trip through Hells Canyon has something for everyone, and everything is included from start to finish. From their fabulous Massage and Martinis trips to world-class fishing and bird hunting, you will find that Canyon Outfitters offers the premier river experience for everyone. Visit their website for more information on the trips they offer, then call to schedule your trip of a lifetime!

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Brownlee Charters

Fishing Trips for Anglers of ALL Ages!

It's difficult to find a quality fishery with a variety of warm water species in the northwest. Brownlee Reservoir on the Snake River fills that bill and then some! The Snake River portion of the reservoir is over 50 miles long and offers both white and black crappie, smallmouth bass and channel cat. Other species available are largemouth bass, bluegill, yellow perch, blue and flathead catfish, and rainbow trout. It is truly a fisherman's paradise! Make the most of it with a guided fishing charter from Brownlee Charters. Call 541-893-6863 for more information.

Either an Oregon or Idaho license is acceptable while fishing from a boat on the Snake.

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Hells Canyon Adventures

Your Hells Canyon Adventure will begin long before you reach the jet boats, as the rugged and remote Hells Canyon area greets you with jagged rock walls, rushing water, and wildlife.

 

Your senses will awaken as you travel through the natural landscape which remains mostly undeveloped, undisturbed, and uncrowded, where the air is still fresh.  Allow extra time to stop at the viewpoints for wildlife sightings and to see the geological formations.

Hells Canyon Adventures is the only licensed outfitter that offers jet boat tours or fishing charters starting from the south entrance of the canyon (Hells Canyon Dam),  where the canyon is over a mile and half deep. It's easy to get there from Idaho or Oregon: Highway 71 from Cambridge, Idaho; Highway 86 from Baker City, Oregon; or USFS Road #39 from the Wallowa Lake/Joseph, Oregon areas. All three roads lead to the famed Devils Tail, the last 22 miles of your drive from Oxbow to the Hells Canyon Dam.

 

Experience the end of the road located on the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway in spring, summer, fall, or winter with Hells Canyon Adventures, the whitewater specialists. For questions or reservations, please call 800-422-3568.

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Hiking in Eastern Oregon

The Hells Canyon area of Eastern Oregon abounds in hiking trails—almost 900 miles worth!

 

Ever experience an over 8000 foot elevation change on foot? You can do that in Hells Canyon! Hike to the top of the highest peak in the region— He Devil, at 9,393 feet—then drop down through alpine meadows and lakes, following a drainage down to the banks of the Snake River.

 

For detailed information about trails and trailhead locations, visit the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest website.

Ice Skating Rink

The Ice Skating Rink in Halfway, co-sponsored by the Halfway Lions Club and the Pine Eagle Charter School, is located on the school tennis courts. There are skates available in all sizes, a warm hot-house in which to put them on, and lights for night skating thanks to Idaho Power.

 

Hours of operation vary depending on weather conditions and volunteer monitor schedules. To be informed of openings, leave your email address at this link. Times will also be posted on the UCP website, the community chalkboard in downtown Halfway, and the Events Calendar of this website. Groups may also arrange special skating times by calling 541-742-2985.

 

There is no charge for use of the rink, which is located on the north side of the school campus.

Photos courtesy of Hells Canyon Journal, Baker County Library Historical Archives,

Anna Brisk, Phil Wreden, Cindy Thayer, and Timothy Bishop of Base Camp Baker

News and event information courtesy of Hells Canyon Journal

 

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