Hells Canyon Scenic Byway

Richland, Oregon

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A 270-mile scenic loop on paved roads through arid desert, lush farmlands, rugged canyons and forested mountains. From La Grande to Joseph, the route makes several crossings of the Wallowa and Grande Ronde rivers as it winds through commercial croplands, dairy farms, and a scenic canyon. Turning south, the drive extends through fifty-four miles of Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. With the road climbing mountains, dipping into canyons, and swirling around ridges, you’ll see the forest from a variety of vantage points. The route also climbs mountains as it weaves west to Baker City through desert and arid grasslands along curves that are generally long, graceful, and open onto spacious vistas. The final portion is divided between desert and forest. Because of the length, multiple attractions, and slow sections, plan a two-day trip with an overnight in either the Enterprise or Baker City areas. Traffic varies from light to heavy. Special attractions: Historic sites, Joseph, Wallowa Lake State Park, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Wild and Scenic Rivers, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, Oxbow Dam, Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, Eagle Cap Wilderness, wildlife observation, camping, fishing, and hiking.
Scenic Driving Oregon

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Scenic Driving Oregon

by Tom Barr (Falcon Guides)

A 270-mile scenic loop on paved roads through arid desert, lush farmlands, rugged canyons and forested mountains. From La Grande to Joseph, the route makes several crossings of the Wallowa and Grande Ronde rivers as it winds through commercial croplands, dairy farms, and a scenic canyon. Turning south, the drive extends through fifty-four miles of Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. With the road climbing mountains, dipping into canyons, and swirling around ridges, you’ll see the forest from a variety of vantage points. The route also climbs mountains as it weaves west to Baker City through desert and arid grasslands along curves that are generally long, graceful, and open onto spacious vistas. The final portion is divided between desert and forest. Because of the length, multiple attractions, and slow sections, plan a two-day trip with an overnight in either the Enterprise or Baker City areas. Traffic varies from light to heavy.

Special attractions: Historic sites, Joseph, Wallowa Lake State Park, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Wild and Scenic Rivers, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, Oxbow Dam, Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, Eagle Cap Wilderness, wildlife observation, camping, fishing, and hiking.

©  Tom Barr/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Scenic Drives
Nearby City: Richland
Distance: 270
Season: Mid-June to November
Local Contacts: Wallowa-Whitman National Forest; Hells Canyon National Recreation Area and Eagle Cap Ranger District
Driving Directions: Directions to Hells Canyon Scenic Byway

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May 2018