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Hells Canyon Scenic Byway, Oregon: Address, Phone Number, Hells Canyon Scenic Byway Reviews: 4.5/5

Hells Canyon Scenic Byway
4.5
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This 218-mile route between LaGrande and Baker City, which goes from river’s edge to mountaintop to valley floor, has been designated an All-American Road and one of America's premier scenic routes.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
36 reviews
Excellent
21
Very good
13
Average
1
Poor
1
Terrible
0

PatriceD97341
Depoe Bay, OR260 contributions
We were there on 3/31 and half of the loop was closed due to snow! We didn't discover this until we got to the road closed sign. However, on our way, we had a "Yellowstone" moment but with cows in the roadway instead of bison. Cowboys were moving their cows from one area to another and part of the way was down the road. We didn't mind at all, since we got to see several little baby cows up close & personal.

We thought we were taking the dirt road out of Imnaha to the overlook, but boy were we wrong. We probably drove 25+ miles on a curvy, rocky, twisting dirt road until we came to a gate. Thankfully we turned around at that point. On our way back we ran into a Fish & Game employee who told us that was private property beyond the gate! We did get to see some sights of the canyon the most people probably don't get to see though. Definitely was an adventure!!
Written April 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

jillben
Portland, OR58 contributions
Couples
this byway is definitely worth the drive, but to see Hells Canyon it is worthwhile to cross over into Idaho near Oxbow and drive the road up that side to the Hells Canyon Dam. On that road you will see magnificent scenery with cliffs coming right down to the Snake. Beyond the dam you will see the wild river (and can jet boat it if you want).
The scenic byway, on the other hand, takes you to the Hells Canyon overlook, which is really beautiful, but you cannot see the Snake River from there. The Byway takes you through Elgin (which has a really good Eagle Cap Excursion Train that runs into the Eagle Cap Wilderness for 3.5 hours on Saturdays in the summer), Enterprise, and Joseph, which is a lovely town with bronze statues along the main street (the foundry is there). Also Wallowa Lake is a recreation spot, with cabins to rent and very woodsy at the head of the lake. the Tram ride to the top of Mt. Howard is also at the lake and is well worth doing for beautiful views.
Written September 14, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Leolady54
Kent, WA24 contributions
Couples
You really need a minimum of 2 days to drive the Byway. We weren't real clear on the entire Byway so missed one of the best parts, the dam. It goes off on a road by itself which dead ends so you have to drive back out to finish the Scenic Byway. We plan to go back and see what we missed.
If you follow the road around to Joseph and Enterprise we felt that scenery was better than most of the Byway from Baker City to those points. The mountains, Wallowa Lake and farmlands are magnificent.
Written July 11, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tony K
Moreno Valley, CA706 contributions
Couples
We started in La Grande and followed it to Joseph and all of that was Farms and Grasslands then we took 39 out of Joseph and it entered the forest following a rough, patched up windy road for 43 miles with the same identical view around every corner. Finally we turned up to the view point and was shocked that it didn't have a view of Hells Canyon with Snake River flowing down it. Yeah it was Mountains and valleys and canyons all in a mix. After driving that boring rough road from Joseph we were was very disappointed. I don't recommend that section to anyone as it's not worth seeing any of it. We drove out of there to Richland. I know if we turned east/left that there is more byway up to OxBow but we had had enough for the day. Maybe I'll explore that OxBow area some other time.
Written September 20, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sand_Dollars_11
Issaquah, WA101 contributions
Couples
I've heard about the beauty and power of Hells Canyon for years and on our drive from Mcall, ID to Walla Walla, WA we decided to make a detour. We found it very confusing to figure out how to get there/what we'd see since OR, WA and ID tourist bureaus are all pushing their routes and TripAdvisor has multiple "Where to Go" entries. What we discovered is that if you reach the dam (via Oxbow), you've reached the end of the road. The drive is in the flooded canyon of the Snake River. The scenery and canyon are impressive, but it's a long, slow drive in and out. If you want to see the raw, untamed Snake River, my guess is you need to enter from the Lewiston, ID side and take a jet boat trip up the river to the dam. After leaving the dam we took the Wallowa Mountain Loop (Forest Service Road 39) to Hells Canyon Overlook - a long, slow going, winding road - but the views are impressive.
Written October 16, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Don224
Lafayette, LA780 contributions
Friends
The Hell's Canyon scenic byway is an out of the way type of drive, but is well worth it. We loved it! The lakes, dams, wild goats, waterfalls and the hiking by the dam. This drive surpassed all of our expectations!
Written June 24, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ron T
Indio, CA29 contributions
Drove the road to the dam...spectacular scenery...only a few towns on the way but as you approach the dam the cliffs rising from the green hued water against the blue sky is not to be missed...we wondered what it would be like to come in the late spring to see the numerous streams running down the almost vertical cliffs. We took our time, stopped often and recommend it...hardly anyone else on the 90 mile road.
Written August 9, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

pinwiz74
fort wayne in6 contributions
It seems like a long drive but there are plenty of things to see along the way. The park at the end of the road is worth the three hour drive from Boise. Make sure to take the stairs to the bottom of the canyon floor at the Hell's Canyon dam. It is before the park and there are parking spots before you get to the dam.
Written October 29, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dave H
Queenstown, MD81 contributions
Solo
This is a must! Someone said can't do in a day-nonsense I went to from Baker City to Hells Canyon,back to route 39, up to Joseph,and back to Baker City in a easy day. Someone else said it was frightening,not true easy drive. I have done a lot of the great ones out west,and trust me,this is one not to miss.
Written July 10, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Deanne A
Palm Springs, CA5,244 contributions
Solo
The part I loved best was along NF 39 and the overlook. Really beautiful and hair raising driving. But really, all of it was excellent!
Written May 28, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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