Touring lower Hell CanyonThis is the often forgotten area of Hell Canyon. Most traffic stops at Jewel Cave National Monument to the north. Lower Hell Canyon is traversed by Hell Canyon Road, FSR277, which intersects with US Highway 16 about 2 miles west of the main entrance to Jewel Cave National Monument. There are three main side routes available to the public: Pass Creek Road FSR274, Water Draw Spring FSR 694 and McKenna Spring FSR277.2A. Visitors to the lower canyon will no doubt find more unmarked old roads and trails on the public lands. It is an area of contrasts, with thick pine forests, high rock walls, barren meadows and a variety of side canyons. Visitors may hike any public lands, or drive any numbered roads.
Most of the land in lower Hell Canyon is public, but visitors need to be aware there are some private lands there as well. From Highway 16 to the end of the public lands along Hell Canyon Road, is about 13 miles. There is no safe drinking water in the canyon, so if you choose to visit this area, please be sure to bring enough for your adventure. Cell phone reception here is almost non-existent. This area is kind of remote, so you may find you are the only one here (except the very few ranches you see along the way).