Francis S. O'Brien

Hell's Canyon Exhibit

Hells Canyon, one of those places you can’t get there from here and once you start the journey there is no turning back.  Known as the deepest river gorge in North America Hell’s Canyon hugs the borders of northeastern Oregon and western Idaho.  This is the land of the Nez Perez people who have lived along the Snake River, which carved out this canyon thousands of years ago.

At its deepest point the canyon is 7,913 feet when measured from He Devil mountain.  The river itself ranges in depth from two feet to over one hundred feet.  During the trip the water flow on average was 19,000 cubic feet per second.  All of this is controlled by dams built along the river.  Starting in Yellowstone National Park the Snake River flows for over 1,000 miles till it meets up with the Columbia River in Washington state.


My journey started at the Hells Canyon Dam and consisted of 83 miles of white water rafting over five days to the Heller Bar pull out near Lewiston Idaho.   We navigated through class II through IV rapids and camped on the shores of the river at night.  Hemmed in by Idaho’s Seven Devils mountain range this is a vast and remote region with dramatic changes in elevation, terrain, climate and vegetation.  Wildlife ranges from Eagles and Ospreys to Mountain sheep and Mountain goats.  There are no roads that cross this Canyon and only three roads that lead to the Snake river between Hells Canyon and the Oregon-Washington boundary.  Everything moves on the river, even the mail.  


Thank you for taking the time to see this exhibit.  If an image makes you stop for a second and smile then I have achieved my goal.  


To Purchase any artwork please contact

Francis S. O'Brien



Bay Area Friends of the Fine Arts|baffa

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Gallery Located at 47 Gillette Ave., Sayville NY 11782

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