Hells Canyon: The Cooler Side of Hades
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  • Post published:13/05/2021
  • Post last modified:13/05/2021

A two-hour drive from Washington State’s Spokane International Airport is Lewiston, Idaho, the western gateway to outdoor adventure in “The Gem State.”

While the well-deserved nickname comes from Idaho’s mountains containing veins of gold, silver, lead, zinc, cobalt and copper, and gems including star garnets, opal, jade, and topaz, its latest jewel might be the grape.

The Snake River, America’s deepest river gorge

While its neighbors to the West – Oregon and Washington – are known for their wine countries, Idaho is delving into the market in style. Fifteen minutes out of Lewiston is Lindsay Creek Vineyards, an elegant winery located on the McIntosh family’s 4th generation farm. With the success of their wines Lindsay Creek is transitioning from growing wheat to growing quality wine grapes.

Another short drive from Lewiston is the Nez Perce National Historical Park. Its visitor center is a must stop for those who want to get a sense of the history of the area’s first human inhabitants. An interpretive trail leads visitors to significant Nez Perce sites along Lapwai Creek and the Clearwater River.

LEFT: A bighorn sheep under Permian rhyolite columns along the Snake River
RIGHT: Buffalo Eddy Petroglyphs along the Snake River

Many visitors to Lewiston come to explore the Snake River with its waters rushing through Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in the United States. A great way to experience the dramatic serpentine turns of the river, especially for those with limited time, is on a Snake Dancer Excursions jet boat tour through North America’s deepest river gorge. Its tours depart from the dock for Hells Gate State Park. Unlike the Grand Canyon, it is not possible to drive to the edge of Hells Canyon for dramatic overlooks.

One of the magnificent natural formations along the Snake River

Both natural and written history – with a nice side of culinary experiences thrown in – can be part of an extended weekend to Lewiston.


Visit Lewis Clark Valley Website: Gateway To Hell’s Canyon

Photo Credits

All Photographs Are © Mark Edward Harris

Mark Edward Harris Photographer Bio

Mark Edward Harris’ assignments have taken him to 97 countries on six continents. His editorial work has appeared in publications such as Vanity Fair, LIFE, Time, GEO, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, AFAR, Wallpaper, Casa Vogue, GQ Thailand, Money Magazine, Architectural Digest, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, and The London Sunday Times Travel Magazine as well as all the major photography and in-flight magazines. His commercial clients range from The Gap to Coca-Cola. He is the recipient of numerous awards including a CLIO, ACE, Aurora Gold, and Photographer of the Year at the Black & White Spider Awards. His books include Faces of the Twentieth Century: Master Photographers and Their Work, The Way of the Japanese Bath, Wanderlust, North Korea, South Korea, and Inside Iran. North Korea was named Photography Book of the Year at the International Photography Awards. Mark’s latest book, The Travel Photo Essay: Describing a Journey Through Images was released by Focal Press/Routledge in the fall of 2017.

Blog / Website: Mark Edward Harris

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