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14 Hells Gate State Park Boondocking Locations

Hells Gate State Park

A Hells Gate State Park trip is a special adventure for you and your family. You may explore some of Washington’s most fascinating historic locations by boondocking. Hells Gate was built over the riverbed that was left over after the extensive ice period floods some 15,000 years ago.

At the southernmost point of the park, basaltic columns from the 14 million-year-old Pomona flows can be found. In the past, Hells Gate State Park was a Nez Perce settlement. The Nez Perce used pit homes for many years as they hunted lamprey close to Asotin Creek, but little of the settlement still stands now. These dwellings can be seen in valleys south of the encampment.

Consider taking a jet boat ride through one of North America’s deepest canyons as you travel up the Snake River. Or how about taking a leisurely bike ride along the Clearwater and Snake River route, catching a steelhead fish, or enjoying a picnic by the river when the sun is shining? Hells Gate State Park has all of these things and more.

At Hells Gate, campers can enjoy serene, grassy sites near the Snake River. The valley with the lowest elevation in Idaho is where the park is situated. Despite being only 733 feet above sea level, Lewiston has acquired the moniker “Idaho’s Banana Belt” as a result of the extended warm weather.

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14 Hells Gate State Park Boondocking Locations

Hells Gate Camping May 2021

1. Hells Gate State Park Boondocking – Cloverland Sno-Park

National Forest Development Road 43
Asotin, Washington
GPS: 46.14825, -117.335174
Elevation: 4738′

This Hells Gate State Park Boondocking spot is a free dispersed campsite. First come -> first served. No reservations accepted.

2. Hells Gate State Park – Heller Bar

35947-40687 Snake River Road
Asotin, Washington
GPS: 46.086032, -116.983415
Elevation: 833′

This Hells Gate State Park Boondocking spot is a free dispersed campsite. First come -> first served. No reservations accepted.

Amenities:

Restrooms

3. Hells Gate State Park Camping – Nisqually John Landing

Clarkston, Washington
GPS: 46.476878, -117.235039
Elevation: 748′

Corp of Engineers

Free Dispersed camping in the Corp of Engineers Northwestern Division’s Walla Walla District. First come -> first camped. No reservations are accepted. The camping area is near Lower Granite Lake. Great Hells Gate State Park place to camp, really quiet if you stay in one of the pull offs without the boat ramp. Two trains came through during our one night stay, only one during the night. Loved sitting out watching the water! Plenty of space, even in these covid times where there are more campers out.

Amenities:

Near Water
Restrooms

4. Hells Gate State Park Boondocking – Gibbs Eddy Access

Lapwai, Idaho
GPS: 46.481362, -116.753388
Elevation: 817′

Fish and Wildlife Service

The road into this Hells Gate State Park Boondocking is Paved. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 35 feet. You may stay 10 days at Gibbs Eddy Access. Rest area, boat launch and fishing access along highway 12 that permits camping.

Amenities:

Boat Ramp
Near Water
Restrooms

5. Hells Gate State Park – Cherry Lane Access Area

31219 U.S. 12
Lenore, Idaho
GPS: 46.512223, -116.683608
Elevation: 840′

State Park

This is a free dispersed campsite in the Hells Gate State Park area. This campsite does not use a reservation system. First come, first served.

6. Hells Gate State Park Camping – Rose Springs Sno-Park

National Forest Development Road 911
Pomeroy, Washington
GPS: 46.275892, -117.557009
Elevation: 4783′

State Park

This is a free dispersed campsite good for Hells Gate State Park Boondocking. First come -> first served. No reservations accepted.

7. Hells Gate State Park Boondocking – Pataha Campground

Pomeroy, Washington
GPS: 46.291798, -117.515424
Elevation: 3789′

Forest Service (Official)

The best of all of the Hells Gate State Park Boondocking locations. The road in is Gravel and 7 miles miles from a paved road. There are 1-5 campsites at this location.

Amenities:

Fire Ring
Near Water
Pets Welcome
Picnic Tables
Restrooms

8. Hells Gate State Park – Cloverland Sno-Park

National Forest Development Road 43
Asotin, Washington
GPS: 46.14825, -117.335174
Elevation: 4738′

State Park

Near Hells Gate State Park this is a free dispersed campsite. First come -> first served. No reservations accepted.

9. Hells Gate State Park Camping – R. Boggan

44897 Washington 129
Anatone, Washington
GPS: 46.041742, -117.253003
Elevation: 1250′

State Park

This is a free dispersed campsite good as a Hells Gate State Park Camping jump-off spot. First come -> First Camped. Reservations not accepted. Best for a quick stay for campers. Free; Discovery pass required but not often checked. Also saw an open space to left of roadway if that one is full.

Amenities:

Restrooms

10. Hells Gate State Park Boondocking – Botts

Anatone, Washington
GPS: 46.037094, -117.252684
Elevation: 1250′

State Park

This is a free dispersed campsite. This campsite does not use a reservation system. First come, first served.

Amenities:

Restrooms

11. Hells Gate State Park – Schumaker Grade

Shumaker Road
Anatone, Washington
GPS: 46.047135, -117.08331
Elevation: 1043′

State Park

This is a free dispersed campsite near Hells Gate State Park. No reservations. First come, first served. The spot marked is on state land and is only accessible on foot or boat. State land starts 1/4 mile east of Shumaker Grade Rd, there are a few spots to camp between there and the day use parking area at the end of vehicle travel. There is another spot to camp about 1-3/4 miles west along Shumaker Grade Rd.

12. Hells Gate State Park Camping – Ebson #3

40770-40798 Snake River Road
Anatone, Washington
GPS: 46.070472, -117.004795
Elevation: 873′

State Park

This is a free dispersed campsite good to take a trip to Hells Gate State Park. First come -> first served. No reservations accepted. We tented here on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. There are two or three obvious campsites on the road that leads back to the bathroom (it dead ends at a ranch). The sites were all full, so we camped near the bathroom. The hill overlooks the ranch. There were obvious parties across the river, but we couldn’t hear them. Bathroom was clean, no cell service, it takes a LONG time to get here. If you’re hiking in Joseph Canyon and want to stay somewhere close with a bathroom, then this might be the place for you

13. Hells Gate State Park Boondocking – Ebson #1

35947-40687 Snake River Road
Asotin, Washington
GPS: 46.062733, -116.994609
Elevation: 863′

State Park

This is a free dispersed campsite. First come -> First Camped. Reservations not accepted. This is a good spot for a trip to Hells Gate State Park

Amenities:

Restrooms

14. Hells Gate State Park – Mouth of Grande Ronde

35947-40687 Snake River Road
Asotin, Washington
GPS: 46.080374, -116.981756
Elevation: 853′

State Park

This is a free dispersed campsite. First come -> First Camped. Reservations not accepted. This is a good spot for a trip to Hells Gate State Park

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Hells Gate State Park Camping Outside the State Park

Hell's Gate Campground Check In | Lewiston ID

1. Hells Gate State Park Camping – Bezona

Anatone, Washington
GPS: 46.03514, -117.273582
Elevation: 1273′

Fish and Wildlife Service (Official)

Cost $11 Day or $35 Year

Amenities:

Restrooms

2. Hells Gate State Park Camping – Chief Joseph

45945 Joseph Creek Road
Asotin, Washington
GPS: 46.04047, -117.004097
Elevation: 956′

Fish and Wildlife Service (Unofficial)

Hells Gate State Park Camping paved camping and parking area with restrooms. Located along the Grande Ronde River in Asotin county. A Washington Discover Pass is required at this location. Directions: Go south from the traffic light in Asotin 31.4 on Highway 129 to Grande Ronde Bridge, then west 1 miles on Grande Ronde Road to Benzona Parking Area. Chief Joseph is open Year-round. Camping is free but anyone entering or using a WDFW improved access facility is required to display a current WDFW Vehicle Use Permit. It is $10.95 and good for a year and for all WDFW locations. The park features three loops of campsites.

Amenities:

Restrooms

Hells Gate State Park Camping Inside the Park

Hells Gate State Park Camping at the Chief Joseph Wildlife Area totals 14,055 acres in Asotin and Garfield counties. It is managed in two units – Shumaker and Grouse Flats. Camping is free but anyone entering or using a WDFW improved access facility is required to display a current WDFW Vehicle Use Permit. It is $10.95 and good for a year and for all WDFW locations. The park features three loops of campsites, all right along the riverbank. Two loops accommodate RVs with electric hookups, while the third is tent-only.

Prices Based on Type and Date

In Hells Gate State Park, located a bit outside of Lewiston, you may witness the Snake River’s raw splendor as it flows through Hells Canyon. Jetboat ride are available s up the canyon, which is the deepest in the country at 7,900 feet from the river to the clifftops, depart at Hells Gate.

History of Hells Gate State Park

This rough canyon, which the Snake River’s almost 1,100-mile length carved out, is today a paradise for adventure enthusiasts. You can reserve a night at a remote lodge or go on day outings. Seasonally, guided rafting and jet boat adventures depart from Lewis-Clark Valley. Despite being a run with widespread fame, Hells Canyon offers rather simple whitewater. We strongly advise scheduling an appointment in advance with one of our knowledgeable guides.

A variety of fauna, abandoned mines, shipwrecks, and homesteads can all be seen during tours. Moreover significant Nez Perce archaeological sites. At Buffalo Eddy, where a smattering of petroglyphs and a few pictographs can be observed, the most striking proof of the existence of early indigenous people can be seen. Numerous different images connected to the earliest Nez Perce people, who lived 4,500 years ago, can be found in this rock art. On Snake River Road, 20 miles south of Asotin, Washington.

From mid-April to mid-June, spring rains and snowmelt revitalize the canyon’s meager vegetation. In the summertime, you may anticipate extremely hot, dry weather with great swimming conditions. Sturgeon and small-mouth bass fishing are outstanding in Hells Canyon.

What to Do At Hells Gate State Park and Lewiston Idaho

1. Explore North America’s Deepest River Gorge

Discover the Snake River’s winding course through Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America. Hells Canyon provides breathtaking mountain peaks, world-class whitewater rafting, and stunning vistas to rival any on the continent. The wide, uninhabited wilderness is the ideal place for horseback riding or hiking, as it is home to a variety of species, artifacts from ancient tribes, and the dilapidated remains of early miners and settlers. The Hells Canyon National Recreation Area (HCNRA) has something to remember for everyone.

2. Cache Creek Ranch

Within the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, Cache Creek Ranch serves as the area’s administrative hub and is situated at the Snake River’s northernmost gateway. It was formerly a part of the Dobbin and Huffman Sheep Co., which prospered until the 1930s, and now it provides a shaded haven for river users in the beautiful Snake River. Inside the home, there are exhibits and visitor information explaining special facets of the natural and cultural history of the canyon. The large, shady lawns and fruit orchard at Cache Creek draw both people and wildlife throughout the summer, and there are public bathrooms there that are open all year.

3. Kirkwood Ranch

Visit Kirkwood Ranch, a modest visitor center that features exhibits of relics from Hells Canyon and images depicting the region’s history both before and after the arrival of western Europeans. Take a tour of Hells Canyon by jet boat, or drive to Pittsburgh Landing from White Bird and hike for 5 miles on foot.

Outdoor explorers from all over the world visit Hells Canyon. You can choose whether you want to spend a leisurely afternoon on a white-sand beach or work up a sweat on the rapids here!

4. Visit the Nez Perce County Historical Society & Museum

The Nez Perce County Historical Society and Museum is committed to preserving the distinctive history of Nez Perce County and the surrounding area, as well as the Lewis and Clark Expedition, river navigation, and Nez Perce Indians. The Nez Perce County Historical Society’s museum, which serves primarily as a museum organization, first opened in the Heritage House in March 1963 before relocating to its current location in 1974. Through a variety of exhibits and displays, the Nez Perce County Historical Museum provides visitors with information about the region’s pioneering spirit, hardships, culture, invention, bravery, conflicts, friendships, and adventures.

5. Lost Escape Rooms Kids Fun

The LOST KEY Escape Rooms in Lewiston will be a blast if you enjoy a challenge and are excellent at figuring out challenging puzzles. Teams must cooperate in order to complete an escape room task, everyone giving their own skills for the common good. A themed mystery will be presented to you, and you will have 60 minutes to solve it. The difficulties are enjoyable for people of most ages; even small children (7 and up) can participate in the puzzle-solving process. If you can’t figure out the problem in one of the two themed rooms, you can choose to get a clue or two!


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