Hells Hollow, a precipitous ravine which descends some fifteen hundred feet to the bottom of
the Merced River canyon, is best viewed from a turnout off Hwy 49 just north of Bear Valley. So
called due to the excessive heat and numerous accidents along the rough trail in the early days,
Jessie Frémont wrote of it in 1859: “A fall into it is death.” And she was not kidding. The
highway clings to steep canyon walls, twisting and turning without any benefit of guardrails, so
it’s best to keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel.