Clarkston: Hells Canyon

Apr 30, 2019 - National Geographic Quest

This brisk and sunny morning we boarded jet boats in Clarkston, Washington, for a thrilling ride up the Snake River into Hells Canyon. For over two million years the Snake River has been carving its way down into the continent to form this wildly beautiful and remote canyon. Known for its magnificent views and dynamic geology, Hells Canyon is deeper even than the Grand Canyon. The rugged landscape that will by dry and brown by summer is now gloriously green and sports a variety of colorful wildflowers. We traveled into Hells Canyon, to the Snake River’s confluence with the Salmon River, the legendary River of No Return.

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About the Author

Grace Winer


Geologist and naturalist Grace grew up among woods, rivers, and mountains, loving the outdoors, nature and rocks. After high school she became a Registered Nurse and was soon studying midwifery at Queen Charlotte’s Maternity Hospital in London, England. Back in the United States she served as an officer in the USAF Nurse Corps during the Vietnam War. In a major career change, Grace turned to the Earth Sciences and received degrees in geology (BS and MSc) from Montana State University. Funded by a grant from the National Geographic Society, Grace pursued her master’s degree in Alaska’s remote Pribilof Islands. In her study of basaltic volcanism in the Bering Sea region, she investigated the volcanic evolution of St. Paul Island, creating a geologic map, and predicting volcanic hazards in the event of a future eruption. Her knowledge of the Pribilof Islands and the Bering Sea region led to her work as a consulting geologist on St. George Island for NOAA’s Pribilof Restoration Project.

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