Hells Canyon is the deepest gorge in North America, deeper than even the Grand Canyon! Late August, a gentle rain was falling most of the day, just enough to keep the dust down without making mud. We detected the beginnings of snow on the highest ridges where the temperature dropped to 38 degrees and visibility sometimes was reduced to 50 feet or less.
Our route from Joseph took us east on 350 to Imnaha. From there its up and back 25 miles each way to Hat Point, strategically located more than 5,000 feet above the river. The 16% grade and fabulous vistas along the way make the trip well worth it.
After returning to Imnaha we proceeded south on Upper Imnaha Road 30 miles to its junction with Forest Service road 39, also known as the Wallowa Mountain Loop road. We made a rigth turn and followed 39 around to the north along the base of the Wallowa Mountains 28 miles before reconnecting with 350 again just 8 miles east of Joseph.