What: This is the only place where you can see Hells Canyon by
driving up a mountain with a view over one mile down to the Snake River. The
drive in and the viewpoints are breathtaking and compare with anything I've
ever seen. This is a remarkably good road if snow is melted and no tree fall
is present. A four wheel drive in good condition with good brakes is
preferred, but many light sporty cars were making it fine.
Point, 6,982 feet high, and balanced on the west edge of Hells Canyon,
overlooks the deepest gorge in North America. The Snake River, elevation
1,276 feet, and Idaho's Seven Devils Mountains, over 9,000 feet in
elevation, are both visible from the vantage of Hat Point. Hat Point was
named after a cowboy on an unruly horse that lost his hat and couldn't find
it until a year later on a branch of a tree overhanging the gorge.
odometer at 0 in Imnaha to use the following information:
5.2 mile- Five Mile Viewpoint is an excellent view of the Imnaha
River Valley and the distant Wallowa Mountains. The elevation here is 4,629
feet--a climb of 2,655 feet in the last five miles.
9.7 mile- Note the rock cairn on the right. This one appears to mark
Hideaway Springs, just ahead. Some cairns have old lichen growths which
indicate they predate the white men. These and other historic and
prehistoric cultural resources are protected by Federal laws. Please do not
disturb them so others may also enjoy and learn.
10.8 mile- Viewpoint overlooking Imnaha Canyon on the right and Horse
Creek Canyon on the left.
17.1 mile- Granny Viewpoint is accessed by a one-eighth mile loop on
the right. This 6,345-foot viewpoint overlooks the Imnaha River.
18.5 mile- Western Rim National Recreation Trail, #1774, leaves on
the right to Lookout Mountain, Freezeout Saddle and the Snake River.
18.8 mile- Saddle Creek Viewpoint and Campground overlook Hells
Canyon. Picnic and camping facilities are available, but no potable water.
The area you are looking down into is accessible only by packstring, foot or
21.8 mile- The Memaloose airstrip and helitack base were built for
fire suppression. Please do not drive on the airstrip.
22.2 mile- Road #4240 continues straight ahead to Warnock Corrals and
Lord Flat. Road #4240-315 on the right leads to the lookout.
24.0 mile- You have arrived at Hat Point. There are picnic and
primitive overnight camping facilities. Sacajawea Campground is one-half
mile north of Hat Point.