Pacific Northwest Region Viewing Area

LOCATION and PHOTOS

Venus penstemon viewed from the Hells Canyon Overlook.
Venus penstemon (Penstemon venustus). Photo by Dan Ermovick.

wildlflowers viewed from the Hells Canyon Overlook.
Oregon sunshine (Eriophyllum lanatum), yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and skyrocket gilia (Ipomopsis agregata). Photo by Dan Ermovick.

people viewing the scene from the Hells Canyon Overlook.
Hells Canyon Overlook. Photo by Dan Ermovick.

Hells Canyon Overlook

Forest: Wallowa-Whitman National Forest

District: Hells Canyon National Recreation Area

Description: Situated off the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway, the Hells Canyon Overlook provides a dramatic panorama of Hells Canyon and the Seven Devils Mountains. The area hosts outstanding wildflower viewing both en route along the scenic byway and at the overlook. During June, July and early August a multitude of flowers can be seen in full bloom, including several penstemons, helianthella, larkspur, columbine, old man’s beard, scarlet gilia, wild onions, and Cusick’s camas. During spring, the approach to the overlook is blanketed with glacier lilies, small bluebells and phlox. In addition to wildflower viewing, visitors to the overlook can learn about the geologic history of Hells Canyon via several interpretive signs.

Directions: The Hells Canyon Overlook can be reached easily by passenger car. From La Grande at I-84, take State Highway 82 to Joseph, Oregon. Then follow State Highway 350 for eight miles and turn right onto the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway (Forest Road 39). Follow the scenic byway for approximately 30 miles to Forest Road 3965, which leads a short distance to the Hells Canyon Overlook.

From Baker City, follow State Highway 86 to ten miles east of Halfway, Oregon then turn north onto the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway (Forest Road 39) and drive approximately 20 miles to Forest Road 3965, which leads a short distance to the overlook.

Ownership and Management: U.S. Forest Service, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. For more information contact the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area Headquarters/Wallowa Mountains Office 201 East Second Street / PO Box 905, Joseph, Oregon, 97846; phone: (541) 426-4978, (541) 426-5546 TDD, (541) 426-5609.

Closest Town: Baker City, Oregon.

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