I have just retuned from camping at the Saddle Creek campground, overlooking Hells Canyon and the Snake river, on the road to the Hat Point fire lookout. I try to camp up there every two years or so. The scenery is magnificent. Here are images from the late afternoon. More will follow as evening–and a storm–approached.
Created by the uplift of the Seven Devils mountains in Idaho, and the downward carving force of the Snake River, as well as erosion, Hells Canyon is magnificent and rugged. it is deeper, 7993 feet, than the Grand Canyon.
Its geology is fascinating. Here is the Wikipedia summary:
“The geologic history of the rocks of Hells Canyon began 300 million years ago with an arc of volcanoes that emerged from the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Over millions of years, the volcanoes subsided and limestone built up on the underwater platforms. The basins between them were filled with sedimentary rock. Between 130 and 17 million years ago, the ocean plate carrying the volcanoes collided with and became part of the North American continent. A period of volcanic activity followed, and much of the area was covered with floods of basalt lava, which smoothed the topographyinto a high plateau. The Snake River began carving Hells Canyon out of the plateau about 6 million years ago. Significant canyon-shaping events occurred as recently as 15,000 years ago during a massive outburst flood from Glacial Lake Bonneville in Utah. The canyon contains dense forests, scenic overlooks and mountain peaks. At the bottom of the canyon, the area is a dry, desert environment.”