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Hells Canyon Scenic Byway
"At the end of the byway Hells Canyon continues to get deeper and more magnificent, and jet boats are really the only method of power-driven craft that can get through the white water. That enables all people everywhere to come down and experience this magnificent place. The one word we hear more than anything is, This is a one-of-a-kind place. And it really is, and it just refreshes your soul."
On the western border of Idaho and Oregon the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway transports visitors into one of Idaho's most dramatic landscapes — the rugged canyon country of the Snake River.
The byway begins at Copperfield Park and Idaho Power facility on the west side of the Snake. Visitors cross the bridge into Idaho to begin their journey down the byway. From the bridge the road runs through inspiring scenery for more than twenty miles, all the way to the Hells Canyon Dam and the Idaho Power/U.S. Forest Service visitor center just below it. The byway is actually a private road built by Idaho Power to construct the dam.
After crossing into Idaho there are a number of interesting stops for travelers. There's another Idaho Power-managed site along the way, attractive Hells Canyon Park, complete with camping spots, picnic tables and boat launches. Further down the canyon the byway climbs above the waters of Hells Canyon Reservoir at Black Point. Back in 1968 after Hells Canyon Dam was complete, the waters of the reservoir filled in all the major rapids in this area.
A few miles past Black Point the road crosses Hells Canyon Dam, the last of a three dam complex built along this part of the Snake River. And below the dam is end of the road and the visitor center which also serves as the starting point for trips deeper into the canyon. From the ramps near the visitor center rafts and jet boats launch into the canyon for various canyon excursions.