From Boise, Idaho to Hells Canyon

Driving from Boise up I-84, you’ll pass through miles of farmland.  After turning onto US 95, there are a few more miles of farms, and a couple of small towns (one of which I explored, but didn’t find anything exciting).  Eventually the mountains grow closer together, with less room for farming.

From Boise, there are a couple of ways to reach Hells Canyon.  I chose to take Interstate 84 west to US Hwy. 95, which heads north, staying just inside Idaho.  At Cambridge, turn on ID Rte. 71, which will take you into the canyon.

I did pass one idyllic farm scene, with dozens of grazing cattle, on my way up US 95.  Just a few miles from here is Mann Creek Reservoir.  You don’t really need to know that, I just thought I’d pass it along.

This is the last farm you see before heading up into the hills.

After a few miles, there’s a rest area, and another valley opens up in front of you.  The rest stop has a nice view of the mountains, plenty of small sunflowers blooming, and judging by the warning signs, hundreds of rattlesnakes hiding nearby.  So, step carefully as you take your pictures.  From Boise to this point is about 2 hours, and Hells Canyon is still about 1 more hour away.

After a very long and boring hour, the road (now ID Rte. 71) suddenly becomes more interesting, as it finally begins its descent into Hells Canyon, the deepest gorge in the United States.

Note: This trip was first published in 2006.  Much of the same area was covered in the Big Sky trip in 2014.

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