Hat Point Lookout including Imnaha & Granny View Vista

hat point bench sevel devils

This tour includes two major canyons that are distinctly unique and beautiful in their own way. Hells Canyon is the deepest gorge in North America and the Imnaha Canyon is Northeastern Oregon’s second largest; together they form the heart of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. Standing on the ridge across from the Seven Devils Mountains is a sight like no other, truly a natural wonder.

The journey offers several pull-outs with incredible views plus an opportunity to stop in Imnaha for food or refreshments.

The tour covers a wide array of elevations and environments, from sagebrush desert to sub-alpine forest. The area is so varied and beautiful that you could easily take a full day exploring it. You might even consider staying overnight to enjoy the stars (from 7000') and the incredible sunrise as it slowly lights the mountains and canyons.

FAIR WARNING! This is also a journey that some will never do again because it frightened them so much- there are steep drop-offs and a very narrow, steep and almost one-way road. But, if you're into wild adventure then this is the one you'll fall in love with. Please review the vehicle and driving directions below.

View Panorama

Distance Totals: Joseph to Imnaha, 29 miles. To Granny View, 46 miles. To Hat Point, 52 Miles, 1:50 Transit Time to Hat Point.

Road Conditions: Paved Hwy to Narrow Gravel, somewhat rough.

Vehicles: Cars to Standard Trucks. Good tires and brakes are a must. While you could make it with a RV or Trailer, the lower part of the Hat Point Road could put you in a serious bind (literally) should you encounter another vehicle coming the opposite direction (quite possible). Wide vehicles can't pass on that 7 mile, one-way, steep and dangerous section of the road.

Opens: Late June to July. Check with the FS Office @ 541-426-5546

Preparations: Gas up in Joseph or Enterprise before you depart. Check your spare. The full, round trip excursion takes up at least 4 hours and services nearly non-existent, so bring water or better yet- plan a picnic.

Vehicle\Driving Directions: Set your trip odometer at the Joseph Market and head east on Hwy 350 for 29.3 miles to Imnaha. While there, you could stop at the store and grab some lunch and enjoy the river- it's all good. Head straight through town (don't blink or you'll miss it) and follow the signs to Hat Point. After a few miles on a fairly bumpy narrow gravel road, the road will narrow further as you traverse and climb along a steep hillside, ever higher over the Imnaha Valley. It's here that you or your passengers might begin to completely freak-out. While it's not a cliff (and no, there is no guardrail), it looks completely impossible to pass should you encounter another vehicle. It's not, I've done it, but the poor person coming up the road at the time had eyes as big as saucers and I'm glad I wasn't driving something wide- an RV would have only one choice- to backup. Remember, you must yield to uphill traffic.

After a few miles the road actually widens (inexplicably) and the danger is over.

16.5 Miles from Imnaha you'll encounter Granny View Vista, complete with informative reader boards, a nature trail and a fantastic lookout platform that overlooks the Imnaha Valley. Slow down, read and study the landscape and flora and you'll come away wiser. This is one of Hells Canyon's 'Special Places' for all the right reasons.

From there, travel another 1.4 miles and you'll reach Saddle Creek Camp that sits right on the ridge overlooking the Hells Canyon. This is a dry Tent Camping area with 7 sites and a vault toilet. There is no water (or user fees).

Onward another 4.9 miles and you'll reach the final destination, Hat Point Lookout, complete with a fire lookout, nature trail, information boards and several picnic tables. You can also climb the lookout tower for an even greater view.

Five Mile Overlook

After going through Imnaha, Five Mile Overlook is the first taste of the grand views to come.

Hat Point Road

The scary part of the Hat Point Road also offers magnificent views.

Hat Point Road

View from Hat Point Road of the Imnaha River far below.

Hat Point Road

After cresting the ridge-top, you'll enter the forest with glimpses of what's to come.

Granny View Vista

The nature trail leads out to a wonderful overlook platform.

Granny View Platform

The overlook platform might be a little scary to those afraid of heights.

Granny View Vista

The platform overlooks the beautiful Imnaha River Canyon.

Hells Canyon- Seven Devils

The view from Saddle Creek Campground is postcard perfect.

Hat Point Lookout Sign

As the sign on the lookout says, the Snake River is over a mile below.

Lookout Tower

You can climb the tower to the middle platform for an even greater view.

Tower View

Don't forget your camera- You're overlooking the deepest gorge in North America!

Hat Point View

Peer down on to the Snake River/Hells Canyon.

Hat Point Ridge

The approch from the south and the Eagle Cap Mountains on a cloudy day.

Sun Shelter

Enjoy a picnic overlooking one of the deepest gorges on earth.

Hat Point Bench

The Seven Devils provide the perfect backdrop for an incredible canyon view.

Hat Point Reader Board

Learn about the area's natural history through the many reader boards throughout the site.

Hat Point Morning

Sunrise in the canyon.


Lupine and many other wildflowers bloom in early July.


Fields of color adorn the area. This one's called a 'Skyrocket.'

Starry Nights

The nights from this location are breathtaking.