Canyon Scenic Byway
218.43 miles / 349.5 km
to Allow: Allow about 8 hours to tour this Byway.
There are five ports of entry into the Byway:
Grande from I-84, Elgin via OR Hwy. 204, Enterprise via OR Hwy.
3, Oxbow via Idaho Hwy.71, and Baker City from I-84. To encompass
the entire route, this itinerary follows the Byway traveling from
La Grande to Baker City, but driving the route from any starting
point and in either direction is just as appealing.
Baker City: As you travel on Interstate 84, enter the Byway end
by taking exit 304 and following the signs to Oregon Highway 86.
From there, just follow the signs to Hells Canyon.
La Grande: Take exit 262 and follow the signs leading to Oregon
Highway 82 to Wallowa County.
Lewiston, Idaho: Travel on Oregon Highway 3 to Enterprise, then
begin the drive in either direction on Oregon Highway 82.
entry from Idaho: From Idaho Highway 71, cross Brownlee Dam, follow
the riverside road to Copperfield, and then get on Highway 86.
Snake River From Hat Point, OR
© Photo courtesy Janet Dodson
The Journey - Leave the fast pace and fenced-in views of Interstate 84
and follow the contours of the land into slower times and wilder places.
218-mile journey from river's edge to mountaintop and down to valley floor.
While the Byway can be driven in eight to 10 hours, it is best when enjoyed
at a leisurely pace so allow at least two days to complete your trip.
overlooking a wild and scenic river. Share a canyon road with a cattle
drive. Pass through lush valleys, rimmed by the snow-tipped Wallowa Mountains.
Savor the scent of pine on the fresh mountain air. Enjoy panoramic views
of rugged basalt cliffs and grassy open ridges.
to the majestic Snake River as it begins its tumbling course through North
America's deepest canyon. Place your hand in the weathered track of a
wagon wheel. Hear the wind rushing through the forest. You are surrounded
by the music of birds and bubbling streams. Stars seem brighter, smiles
friendlier. This is a journey you won't forget.
- The route of the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway is a loop that encircles
the Wallowa Mountains, intersecting with Interstate 84 at La Grande and
Baker City. Small towns, scattered along the drive, offer visitor services.
The entire route is on a paved highway.
- you'll find stretches of more than 80 miles without gas and with few
services. A segment of the Byway between Joseph and Halfway closes with
snow in winter, but allows access to winter recreation areas, offering
a different kind of Northeast Oregon Adventure.
© National Scenic Byways / U.S. Department of Transportation