Easy (Granny View and Hat Point)
0.3-mile and 0.4-mile loops
100 feet elevation gain
Open early June to mid-November
Difficult (to Elk Ridge viewpoint)
10.2 miles round trip
2600 feet elevation loss
Use: hikers, horses
Very Difficult (to Snake River)
15.4 miles round trip
5600 feet elevation loss
Perhaps the most difficult day hike in Oregon descends 5600 feet from Hat Point to the bottom of Hells Canyon and back. But there are easier trips here too. If you venture just halfway down into the canyon, you can visit a cabin and get a bird’s-eye view of the Snake River without such an exhausting climb back to your car. And if you just stroll a few short nature loops you’ll see many of Hells Canyon’s wildflowers and views without losing any elevation at all. A fire burned some of the trees in the Hat Point area in 2007, but fire fighters saved the lookout tower itself by wrapping it in fireproof Kevlar.
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To return on a loop ...
This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Eastern Oregon.