Cambridge, Idaho is a tiny farming, ranching and logging town nestled in a valley at the base of Cuddy Mountain about 100 miles northwest of Boise. Just more than 220 people call this place, which serves as the eastern gateway to Hells Canyon, home.
Not surprisingly, its proximity to the canyon and the Snake River, make Cambridge an outdoor enthusiast’s utopia. More than 100 miles of backwater from three Idaho Power Hydroelectric dams provide the perfect space for recreational boats and fishing charters.
Rafters and kayakers run the swift whitewater rapids below Hells Canyon Dam as the Snake River rushes north to join the Clearwater at Lewiston, Idaho. Hot water is also a big attraction for the many tourists who flock to Mundo Hot Springs, where they can soak in a hot pool or stay at the RV Park, campground and hostel.
Those who prefer to move by bike or on foot might take in parts of the 84-mile Weiser River National Recreation Trail. The trail runs through Cambridge at 2,650 feet above sea level with the encompassing mountains reaching elevations around 8,000 feet and then plummeting to 1,500 feet in Hells Canyon.
For a quieter day, visitors can stop by the Cambridge Museum, which features exhibits on local history with Native American and pioneer artifacts, geological displays and farming relics. In search of food, check out Bucky’s Café & Motel, the Gateway Store & Café, the Eat-Ery or Mrs. G’s Ranch House.
Every year, in early June, Cambridge hosts Hells Canyon Days, featuring a BBQ, bull riding, art exhibits and a car show. The annual event illustrates some of the best the community has to offer, from good food to great views.
All images courtesy of Don Dopf of the Cambridge Commercial Club