Thursday, May 21, 2015

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

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