I finally found the great Hells Canyon overlook.
Views from the top of Hells Canyon are hard to find. The official Hells Canyon Overlook on Forest Road 39 in Baker County is somewhat disappointing, you can't see the Snake River.
After some research I learned of Hat Point Viewpoint, far off the beaten path, in Wallowa county. I drove there to see what I would find.
It was really worth it. I found far more than I expected. There are multiple canyons to see.
To get there you drive 30 miles from Joseph, Oregon to tiny Imnaha. A beautiful drive: high grasslands, rock cliffs and mountain valleys.
From Imnaha, at the Imnaha Store & Tavern (you can't miss it), you start the 24 mile climb up Forest Road 2640, a.k.a. Hat Point Road, to the final viewpoint. This is a single lane gravel road.
Many people fear to take this drive because of the first 6 miles. It is very rough, a 16% grade, no guard rails and often has severe drop-offs right next to the road. However, if you aren't afraid of heights, have good tires, drive slowly and are careful, you shouldn't have any problems. After the first 6 miles the scary part is over and the road becomes a ordinary, single lane, gravel road.
The views, dozens of them, from this road are amazing – all the way up to the end. Nothing else like it in Oregon.
Here are links to 4 of the interactive panoramas I made with my drone. Best viewed on a computer rather than a cell phone or tablet. You can move around with your mouse and zoom with your mouse wheel. Click on the full-screen icon at the top right for best view.
First, after only 4 miles, from 4800', Wallowa River Canyon. The Wallowa River, 2500' below, eventually drains into the Grande Ronde River: https://kuula.co/post/7PpSF
Next: Horse Creek Canyon, from 5920'. The creek, which you can't see, I should have flown out farther, is about 3500' below. Horse Creek drains into the Imnaha River: https://kuula.co/post/7PpSX
Next: Imnaha River Canyon from 6380'. The river is 4300' below. It flows into the Snake River. You can see the Wallowa Mountains in the distance. If you move around you can see Idaho's Seven Devils Mountains. This is an official viewpoint named Granny View. It has vault toilets: https://kuula.co/post/7PpSn
Finally, the end of the road. Hat Point Overlook. Hells Canyon, carved from a high plateau by the Snake River for 6 million years, the deepest gorge in North America, viewed from 6980'. In my opinion, easily the most spectacular view in all of Oregon. You have to see it in person, 2D photos don't do it justice.
Zoom in on the Snake River more than a mile below to see the white rapids. To the right are the Seven Devils Mountains in Idaho. Move around and to the right of the fire watch tower you can see the Wallowa Mountains.
There are picnic tables and toilets at this viewpoint. You can climb to the top of the fire lookout tower.