Campers who enjoy lush green scenery and rushing riverfront campsites will want to stay at Hells Gate State Park in Idaho. The park, located in Lewiston, Idaho, along Idaho’s Banana Belt, provides a longer warm season than much of the state. The park, sitting at just 733 feet above sea level, gives outdoor enthusiasts a warm place to hike, bike, boat, camp, and swim.
Hells Gate State Park runs alongside the Snake River and is next to the downstream entrance of North America’s largest canyon, Hell's Canyon. This area, once the site of a Nez Perce Village, is also known as a historical location where the Lewis and Clark Expedition stopped along their Northwest Passage to the Pacific Coast.
RV Rentals in Hells Gate State Park
Transportation in Hells Gate State Park
Hells Gate State Park is a riverside park located minutes away from Lewiston, Idaho. The park is located along the Snake River and runs next to the Idaho and Washington state lines. The park is approximately 100 miles south of Spokane, Washington, and 120 miles south of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
Visitors must pay a daily entrance fee at the park’s entrance station. This fee is an added cost to the regular camping fees. RVers should enter the park through the main entrance and follow the road to the campground area, located in the back of the park.
Campgrounds and parking in Hells Gate State Park
Campsites in Hells Gate State Park
Hells Gate State Park Campground
The Hells Gate State Park Campground is a large, reservable, year-round campground. This pet-friendly campground is separated into three loops. The Aspen and Birch Loops have RV spaces ranging in size from 41 feet to 72 feet long. Both loops have a mix of full-hookup and water and electric-only areas, and both loops have centrally-located flushing toilets and showers. The Cottonwood Loop, a more basic campground, has spaces ranging from 18 to 59 feet in length and offers primitive-style camping spaces. The Cottonwood Loop has flushing toilets, showers, and a community water station. All of the loops provide plenty of shade and are close to hiking trails, a community fire ring, and a playground. The dump station is located near the park's entrance. Generators are allowed, but they must be silenced from 10 pm to 7 am.
Seasonal activities in Hells Gate State Park
Junior Ranger Program
Idaho’s Junior Ranger Program aims to teach kids the importance of keeping state parks beautiful. By learning about plants and wildlife, kids ages 6-12 can become aware of what it takes to keep the park pristine. Pick up a Junior Ranger guide, explore the park, and earn stamps and prizes for completing activities along the way. Although this program is aimed at kids, it’s an activity the entire family will enjoy.
First Time Adventure Program
If you are uncomfortable with nature, or you need some gear to get started with outdoor activities, Idaho’s First Time Adventure Program is for you! At Hells Gate State Park, a knowledgeable staff member teams up with your family to give you the tools to make adventuring a little less stressful. The park provides instruction and some of the gear you might need to camp, bike, and birdwatch inside of the park. Make adventuring a life-long experience! Contact the park for more information.
The Hells Gate Marina, located along the Snake River, offers river enthusiasts many boating options. Visitors who bring their own boats have access to the public boat launch. During the summer months, visitors can rent kayaks and canoes from the marina. If you’d like to tour the river, but you want someone else to lead the way, sign up for a jet boat tour and see the Snake River from a different perspective.
Bring your frisbees and experience riverside disc-golfing! Hells Gate State Park has a nine-hole gravel and basket disc golf course. The course, located next to the marina, runs through dry weeds and trees. Golfers should avoid the reeds along the river banks.
Hells Gate year-round trail system is comprehensive and offers easy, moderate, and difficult trail conditions for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. Trailheads and park maps provide visitors with information such as trail length and trail difficulty. Bike rentals are not available on-site, but visitors can find rentals in nearby Lewiston.
Lewis and Clark Discovery Center
Lewis and Clark’s search for an inland waterway to the Pacific Ocean brought their expedition right through the heart of Idaho. At the Lewis and Clark Discovery center, visitors can watch a 32-minute video and view the center’s exhibits to learn more about the famous expedition. The center sits along the banks of the Snake River and includes a two-acre interpretive plaza, beautiful sculptures, and a gift shop.