Hells Canyon, on the border between Idaho and Oregon, is one of the most spectacular river reaches in the world, and the second deepest gorge in North America. The Snake River is the lifeblood of Hells Canyon, tumbling out of the Great Basin on its way to reach the Columbia. The area's fish, wildlife and botanical values are as great as its scenic, recreation and cultural attributes.
Western Rivers Conservancy's first land acquisition occurred along the Snake, centered on a property known as Cache Creek Ranch. The 6,556-acre ranch is important habitat for elk, deer, eagle, bear and bighorn sheep, among others. Western Rivers Conservancy bought the land from the ranchers and transferred the property to the U.S. Forest Service in 1991. The ranch is now part of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, and serves as a checkpoint for those venturing into Hells Canyon.