Hells Gate State Park Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"Hells Gate has a deeply ancient history, the site of unusual lava flows from millions of years ago, massive floods 15,000 years ago during the Ice Age, and a Nez Perce fishing village more than a century ago. Your first impression of this area today, however, is of a well-manicured area that resembles a cross between a city park and a private park. There isn’t a lot of shade in most of the camping areas (though some have tree cover), but there is a great riverside view of the Snake River, just before it merges with the Clearwater at Lewiston and flows out of the state. This is also a good jumping- off point for boat trips south into the Hells Canyon area, which is 30 miles away; Hells Gate has a 100-slip marina.
The park is popular with campers around north- central Idaho for its convenience (it is close to the city and has a store and other facilities) and even its social atmosphere. Fishing is popular, for trout and smallmouth bass mostly, but also for steelhead. The natural atmosphere is a drawing point, too: Lewiston’s low elevation makes it one of the warmest places in Idaho, which as a practical matter can result in a long camping season for places like Hells Gate. A dump station is available free of charge for campers. The Lewis & Clark Discovery Center and the Jack O’Connor Hunting Heritage and Education Center are located here. The list of services is long; winery tours are available nearby."