A 208-mile open loop through the Wallowa Mountains to the rim of Hells Canyon, North America’s deepest river-carved canyon. Four possible side trips allow full exploration of the canyon, for a 367-mile scenic byway. The Hells Canyon Scenic Byway traverses the Wallowa (Wa-LA-wah)- Whitman National Forest, through the majestic Wallowa Mountains. The two-lane route is paved. Drivers will encounter steep slopes on Forest Road 39 (Wallowa Mountain Loop). All of the roads can become snowy and icy in winter and Forest Road 39 is closed by winter snow from Salt Creek Summit Winter Recreation Area to Oregon Route 86, from about mid-November to mid-May. Traffic is usually light and has frequent scenic and recreational turnouts. Beware of logging trucks.
Special attractions: Wallowa Mountain Visitors Center, Bureau of Land Management Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, wild and scenic rivers, canyon roads, panoramic views of the Wallowas and Idaho’s Seven Devils Mountains, mining history, geology, fishing, boating, rafting, hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, picnicking, wildlife viewing.
© Beverly R. Magley/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.