Uncharted Territory: Discover the Top 10 Outdoor Adventures of Lewis Clark Valley

January 23, 2024

By Kris Rose

As the gateway to the awe-inspiring Hells Canyon, Lewis Clark Valley is an outdoor paradise. From kayaking to mountain biking, Lewis Clark Valley’s outdoor diversity will bring you in, but discovering this extraordinary (and crowd-free!) place will make you never want to leave. 

In the valley, recreation opportunities are limitless — that’s with a boat in the water or both feet on the ground. And with so many options, these ten ultimate LC Valley outdoor activities are the perfect place to begin your adventuring.

1. Jet Skiing, Water Skiing & Wake Surfing 

Start Your Engines

The convergence of the Clearwater and Snake Rivers creates an aquatic playground perfect for water skiers, jet skiers, and wakeboarders. With ample parking, launch sites, and docking areas in the towns of Lewiston, Clarkston, and Asotin, the logistics are a breeze. Hells Gate State Park Marina offers over 100 slips, 30 amp power, and a public boat launch. Need equipment? Contact on-site rentals to reserve your jet skis for a fun-filled day on the water.

Make a Splash

2. Riverside Hiking Trails 

Trail Treks by the River

Here, hikers have their pick of stunning trails to try! The Clearwater and Snake River Recreation Trail winds along 25 scenic riverside miles throughout Lewis Clark Valley, connecting our communities. This paved trail system also connects two rivers and two states, it’s ideal for walking, biking, and hiking. Washington’s Greenbelt Trail winds along the Snake River, joining Asotin in the south and Clarkston in the north before finishing its seven-mile stretch in Granite Lake Park. The Lewiston Levee Parkway Trail gives those on the Idaho side incredible views of Hells Gate State Park at the trail’s southern starting point before heading north to meet the Clearwater River.

Lace Up, Head Out!

3. Scenic Boat Tours

Jet-Setters and Nautical Narratives

Step aboard a jet boat for a truly unforgettable Hells Canyon experience. Expert guides navigate custom vessels through local waterways, allowing tours to reach stunning remote spots. The guides share stories of the region's history — like the native Nimiipuu people and their influence- showcasing petroglyphs along the routes and highlighting the old mining settlements. You'll find jet boat tours scheduled for departures from Hells Gate Marina most summer days, and some guides are even moored inside Hells Gate State Park.

Set Sail on a Guided Tour

4. Stand-up Paddleboarding

Paddleboard Perfection

A four-mile stand-up paddle from Chief Looking Glass Park in downtown Asotin to Swallows Park traces the western boundaries of Hells Gate State Recreation Area and Hells Gate State Park – a local favorite. The Snake River flows south-to-north while bridging the Idaho-Washington border. Soak in epic canyon views (and maybe spot a soaring bald eagle) as you paddle downriver toward Swallows Park. Its shade and picnic areas make it the perfect place to relax and refuel after your time on the water.

Paddle Your Way

5. Camping under the stars

Stay Starry-Eyed 

Trace the path of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery and camp under the stars. Chief Timothy Park is a 282-acre island on the Snake River Lower Granite Lake, eight miles west of Clarkston. Its secluded campgrounds and cabin rentals make it an ideal spot for catching the splendor of the Milky Way. During the day, island goers can enjoy a swimming beach, kayaking, windsurfing, and more. On-land, you can even find a landscape installation from world-renowned artist and architect Maya Lin!

Set Up Camp

6. Mountain Biking Trails

Ridgeline Rides

In case you haven’t heard, LC Valley is a mountain biker’s paradise. Sure, there are multi-state paved bike routes here, but at Skinner Canyon, you’ll find a mountain biking trail system that is brand new, technically diverse, and visually striking. Expert riders will be challenged by multiple Double Black Diamond trails on the eastern side of the park, though 24 trails balanced at all skill levels give this park something for all riders. You can find canyon entry points at popular intermediate trails Ralph’s Run and West Rim Trail, with a jump park maintained near the bridge crossing at the end of Slim Shady Hollow Trail on the park’s west side.

Ride the Ridge

7. White Water Rafting

Riverbanks and Rapids

Experience the thrill of navigating North America's deepest river gorge. This area is a truly unique treasure for water-based adventure, and our white water rafting is no exception! 

White water rafting runs from May to October down the Snake River to Lewis Clark Valley, and local groups will guide you 38 miles through the deepest part of Hells Canyon. Families and groups can plan five-day 50-to-70-mile rafting trips down the most scenic and thrilling rapids in the Pacific Northwest.

Ride the Rapids 

© ROW Adventures | Chad Case Visuals

8. Rock Climbing and Bouldering

Reaching New Heights

Columbia River Basalt is highly regarded among climbers, and odds are the motivated climber will have a prime slice of it all to themselves at Hells Gate State Park. Park at the Corps of Engineers parking lot for Hells Gate Habitat Management Unit at the south end of the park, and make the 1.5-mile hike out to pristine columns of basalt that offer ideal three-season climbing (late September-early June) on 40+ routes balanced between trad and sport climbing. Expect excellent climbing weather with lots of sunshine and incomparable views.

Keep Climbing

9. Kayaking and Canoeing in the Snake River

Upstream Dreams

Kayakers and canoers seeking calm waters can’t go wrong with the eleven-mile float from Chief Looking Glass Park to the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers, where canyon views greet you as you make your way north to Clearwater. The sweeping Lower Granite Lake is incredibly boater-friendly, with 12 boat ramps, five swimming areas, four fishing facilities, and three marinas. It’s the perfect way to explore the Lower Snake River to your heart's content.

Take to the Water

10. Fishing excursions 

Hook, Line, and Sinker

Ready to reel in your greatest catch? Good news — this is an angler's paradise! Partnering with businesses like Steel Dreams Guide Service is an excellent place to start when looking to cast in these renowned waters. They launch fishing charters for salmon, sturgeon, steelhead, and smallmouth bass along the Snake and Columbia Rivers and even provide the rods, reels, bait, and tackle for you! At Hells Canyon Sport Fishing, you can work with six guides with over a century of combined guiding experience to help you hook a Snake River walleye or book them for a fly fishing guided tour.

Hook Your Adventure

Fishing on the Clearwater - Visit Idaho

From serene riverside hikes to adrenaline-pumping water sports, Lewis Clark Valley offers an outdoor experience like no other. Plan your adventure today and discover why this hidden gem is about to be your new favorite playground.

Go Wild for Lewis Clark Valley


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