I just got back from 4 days in hells canyon, on the Snake River. I used to make this trip annually with my family growing up, but I had not been down there in about 5 years. The purpose of the trip has always been to fish and relax, which is always fun, but with my training in full bore I was hesitant to go because I really did not think I would get much training done. However, with some heavy guilt and persuasion by my mother, and the assurance that I would not get any flack for being gone for hours training, I decided to pack up the bike, wetsuit and running shoes and see if I could make it work.
We stay at copperfield park in Oxbow, OR right on the Snake River just below the Oxbow Dam. This is a really nice camp ground. This place has it all for trathletes. To swim, there are a couple options, right in front of our camp ground there is a place with a steady current that I swam in and got in a pretty good set of steady intervals, then about a mile or two up the road is a still reservoir that is glass for miles of open water fun. For biking this is a dream. There is something for everything, flats for time trials, rolling hills, long steady climbs of 10+ miles, and of course some fast sweeping decents, all nicely paved roads with very little to zero traffic . I had a 3 hour ride on Friday that may have been the best ride I have ever had.
For running there is rolling hills, trails, and a perfect flat gravel road that follows the river for 8 miles out, giving a me an epic 16 mile steady run on Saturday.
Aside from training the fishing is probably better than any other place other than Alaska. Below the Hells Canyon damn you can fish/ fly fish for trout, steelhead and bass and are guaranteed to come back with your limits. Above the dam there is fantastic warm water fishing. Just about every cast will bring you either a large or small mouth bass, crappie, blue gill, pearch or cat fish.
It is pretty hot there this time of year, but pretty dry too, so it really makes for a great training environment. If you like to camp, this is an ideal place to have a big volume training week. I am really considering going back sometime soon to do just that.