Friday, October 16, 2015

Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, Oregon Trail Interpretive Center


Hells Canyon is North America’s deepest river gorge. The canyon itself is a result of both uplifting and erosion. It is carved by the great Snake River which originates in Yellowstone National Park at 9,500 feet and winds through southern Idaho before turning north to form the boundary between Idaho and Oregon. It finally joins the Columbia River near Pasco, Washington at 340 feet in elevation 1036 miles from its source.

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We thought the Grand Canyon looked deeper, but that is more narrow and has rough cliffs; Hells Canyon is wider and the hills we saw are more rolling. We only saw the southern part though. We didn’t drive the full day loop.

Curt didn’t want to take the motorhome up there not knowing what the roads were like, and if there isn’t cell service I don’t like staying more than a day or two. So while we're parked near the Snake River boondocking, we took the jeep. There is a nice campground there, but we didn’t have cell service there or for most of our trip there and back. On the way there we stopped at the Brownlee National Forest Campground. It’s a mile off the highway, gravel road, and for smaller vehicles. There were some hunters leaving when we got there and one tenter. When we left two minihomes were coming in. There were a couple of historic site information boards there, so we stopped for them.

C&SL                                                         It looks like the water level is down.
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C&SL

On the way back home, we stopped at the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center 5 miles east of Baker City. We had no idea it was there. We’re glad we stopped; it was really interesting. There are exhibits inside and out and trails. This is run through the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and we were able to use our National Park Pass to get in free.

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                                            Pioneer Gold Mine Stamp Mill

IMG_6721                                                     The trail to the wagon train wheel ruts
IMG_6470                                         There were miles of areas where there had been a fire.
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