We took a couple drives to Hell’s Canyon while visiting Wallowa Lake State Park. The more popular drive to the Hell’s Canyon Overlook was actually not all that great, so we recommend the drive to Hat Point instead. To get to Hat Point, from Joseph, take Route 350 to Imnaha (if you’re low on fuel, get it in Joseph, as there are no gas stations in Imnaha), about 35 miles and a pretty country drive. Once in Imnaha, you’ll take Forest Service Road 4240 which is gravel, although very well maintained and neither a 4-wheel drive nor high-clearance vehicle is needed. (Our theory is that most people head to the overlook since it’s all paved to get there, but trust us – Hat Point is much more interesting.) The first seven miles of the forest service road is steep, but really not all that bad. The views are beautiful.
There is one lookout along the way, Granny Point
with some lovely wildflowers
and restrooms as well (although Brad chose another avenue………………) :-)
Continuing on the Forest Service Road, you’ll quickly approach Hat Point with the majestic views of Hell’s Canyon and the Snake River.
We were surprised how built-up this area was, with picnic tables overlooking Hell's Canyon, walking paths, and restrooms
that was open to the public if so inclined. Yup, we were inclined:
In summary, we’d highly recommend this car trip – it does take a couple hours to get to Hat Point from Joseph, so pack a lunch and plan a lovely day trip. Enjoy!