Hells Canyon, Oregon

Untouched natural surroundings, stunning views and thrilling rafting excursions. A tour to Hells Canyon is something every traveller should tick off their North American bucket list. Situated along Snake River, Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America and attracts visitors from all over. Whether you’re excited to head out on a jet boat to look up at canyon rims, distant peaks of the Seven Devils Mountains and incredible rugged terrain, or if you’d like to appreciate the grandeur of the area from a helicopter, there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes in Hells Canyon.

Cruise lines that stop near Clarkston, the gateway to Hells Canyon, include American Cruise Lines and American Queen Steamboat Company.

Cruise Deals

Vancouver to Clarkston

8 night cruise sailing from Vancouver aboard the American Empress.
Departs 15 Oct 2016
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Vancouver to Clarkston

8 night cruise sailing from Vancouver aboard the American Empress.
Departs 29 Oct 2016
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Clarkston to Vancouver

8 night cruise sailing from Clarkston aboard the American Empress.
Departs 08 Oct 2016
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Clarkston to Vancouver

8 night cruise sailing from Clarkston aboard the American Empress.
Departs 22 Oct 2016
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Columbia & Snake River from Portland

7 night cruise sailing from Portland, USA aboard the American Pride.
Departs 08 Oct 2016
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Columbia & Snake River from Portland

7 night cruise sailing from Portland, USA aboard the American Pride.
Departs 22 Oct 2016
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Columbia & Snake River from Clarkston

7 night cruise sailing from Clarkston aboard the American Pride.
Departs 15 Oct 2016
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Columbia & Snake River from Clarkston

7 night cruise sailing from Clarkston aboard the American Pride.
Departs 29 Oct 2016
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Port Location

To get to Hells Canyon, river cruises typically dock at Clarkston before passengers head out on jet boat tours. These can be scheduled through the cruise line or independently through local tourism companies.

Port Facilities

Facilities located close to the Port of Clarkston include:

  • Restaurants

  • Tourism agencies

  • Fast-food outlets

  • Shopping centres and specialty stores

  • Bars

  • A pharmacy.

How to Get Around

There are some great facilities located close to the dock in Clarkston that can be reached by foot, but as it is a slight journey to reach Hells Canyon, it is recommended to head straight to the Hells Canyon Resort and Marina to catch a tour jet boat.

Travel times from Port of Clarkston

On foot:

  • It is a 26 minute walk to Hells Canyon Resort and Marina.

By car/taxi:

  • It is a 3 minute journey to Hells Canyon Resort and Marina

  • It is a 2 hour journey to Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.

General Information

  • Currency – The currency used around Hells Canyon is the United States dollar (USD). Banknotes are printed in USD$1, USD$2, USD$5, USD$10, USD$20, USD$50 and USD$100. Coins come in 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢ and both a silver and a gold USD$1.

  • Time Zone – Clocks in this area run by Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is 8 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Daylight Saving Time is observed from March to November, and locals set their clocks forward one hour during these months.

  • Weather – Mild weather is observed in Clarkston and around Hells Canyon throughout the year, with temperatures averaging 21 degrees Celsius. July is the warmest month of the year, with temperatures hitting around 30 degrees Celsius, and January is the coldest, with temperatures falling to around -2 degrees Celsius.   

Highlights

  • Jet Boat Tours to Hells Canyon – Bison, moose, elk, bald eagles and even bears and cougars. Thrilling white water, history and unforgettable geology. Taking a jet boat tour to Hells Canyon is the perfect way to not only see the area, but to experience its legendary power and learn its history. Once docked at the Port of Clarkston, head to the Hells Canyon Resort and Marina close by to hop on an unforgettable tour. As you venture to the canyon, you are treated to untouched wilderness and views that beat every North American post-card. The Seven Devils Mountains, plateaus and the Wallowa Mountains rise up all around the canyon in the distance. Choose either a full-day or a half-day tour depending on what you’d like to see and your river cruise’s itinerary. Bring along a few shipmates and prepare yourself for an adventure to top them all.

  • Hells Canyon National Recreation Area – Hells Canyon National Recreation Area is rich with historic sights and a fantastic variety of recreational activities. Surrounding both sides of the Snake River in Oregon and Idaho, this area is worth packing an extra memory card for. Fishing enthusiasts will get the thrill of catching bass and rainbow trout, and those ready to pull up their hiking socks can enjoy rewarding trails with surrounding flora and fauna. History abounds throughout this area as well, with log cabins left behind from 19th century prospectors, settlers and miners, as well as fascinating ancient petroglyphs.

  • Aerial Tours – So you could look up at the surrounding views of Snake River and Hells Canyon from a boat, but what about looking down on this incredible landscape? Rise above it all with an unforgettable aerial tour. Leaving from the Port of Clarkston, these tours offer unbeatable views of the city of Clarkston, Hells Canyon and the historic land of the Nez Perce. Hear stories of triumph, discovery and controversy as you skim canyon rims and soar above the river. Outside of Hells Canyon’s rugged lands are the hills of the Palouse and pristine reservoirs. Keep your eye out for big horn sheep, deer, coyotes, elk and – quite possibly – a cougar or bear!

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