From the busy little watersports and ski resort of McCALL, 110 miles north of Boise, Hwy-55 climbs steadily to merge with US-95 and follow the turbulent Little Salmon River. Just south of the hamlet of Riggins, thirty miles on, comes a good opportunity to see Hells Canyon from Idaho. With an average depth of 5500ft this is the deepest river gorge in the US, though you wouldn’t guess so due to its broad expanse and lack of sheer walls. Nevertheless, it is impressive, with Oregon’s Wallowa and Eagle Cap ranges rising behind it and the river glimmering far down below. Heaven’s Gate Overlook is the best viewpoint into the canyon from Idaho; from the south end of Riggins, allow a half-day to reach the overlook on a very steep and winding gravel road (Forest Road 517), best tackled in a 4WD. The canyon is also accessible by road from Oregon and by jet-boat trip.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Why California should be your next family holiday

Why California should be your next family holiday

When it comes to kids, the Golden State certainly lives up to its name – California is one paradise of a playground. Go now and you’ll find the sights quie…

19 Feb 2018 • Keith Drew insert_drive_file Article
Los Angeles or San Francisco: which should you visit first?

Los Angeles or San Francisco: which should you visit first?

They’re two of the biggest cities in the United States. They’re two of the most famous cities in the world. Los Angeles and San Francisco have been written…

29 Jan 2018 • Keith Drew insert_drive_file Article
The best national parks in California

The best national parks in California

California has more national parks than anywhere else in the United States; together they protect an area the size of West Virginia. And with such a wealth of …

25 Jan 2018 • Keith Drew insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right