Category Archives: Wallowa County

The views from the top

Besides the “birds and the beasts,” Meg and I enjoyed the never ending vistas above Hells Canyon at the Saddle Creek Campground near Hat Point in Wallowa county.  You could not find a five star hotel with any better views than we enjoyed from our campsite. We read and relaxed and enjoyed the changing shadows and highlights as the sun moved across the sky.

Birds and Beasts above Saddle Creek

Saddle Creek is one of many drainages that flow down steep basalt canyons into the Snake River. Often times, Meg and I stay at a Forest Service campground above Saddle Creek that looks into the majesty  side cliffs and benches that form Hells Canyon.  Bird and mammal life is busy, as these pictures show.  A pair of blue birds were nesting in a dead tree close to our campsite, providing us with fun sightings of their constant search for insects.

Always keep your camera handy

As Meg and I were driving out to Wallowa County, we saw this great animal encounter. We had never witnessed anything like this.  Fortunately my camera was right with me, close at hand.

Hat Point, another Spring trip into Hells Canyon

A “must see” place in the Northwest, Hat Point lies opposite the Seven Devils mountains of Idaho, high above the Snake River.  The mountains and the river form the deepest canyon in the United States.  The road to the top is a sinuous gravel road, with the stretch of acrophobic drop offs. But the views are spectacular, and make the driving challenge more than worthwhile.

The road crosses the Imnaha river and climbs quickly to a canyon overlook filled with wildflowers and basalt layered cliffs. Then, as one climbs and curves higher, the view moves from the south to the east, and the deeper Hells Canyon and the Seven Devils come into view.
Usually snow blocks the road until late June.  With this year’s drought, however, Bob Coulter and I were able to make the trip in mid May. The wildflower progression was just starting, and we enjoyed the yellow glacier lilies, as well as the mountain goats that had not yet dispersed to parts unknown.

Imnaha river overlook on road to Hat Point
Imnaha river overlook on road to Hat Point
Balsam root and Imnaha canyon
Glacier lilies, Seven Devils Mts near Hat Point, Hells Canyon
Mountain blue bird
Mountain goats close to the Hat Point fire lookout
Enjoying the view
Inmate river canyon, Hells_Canyon_NRA