So here we are at the end of May 2010 and the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway is now unofficially open! Checked with the Forest Service this week and, although there are parts of the road that are down to one lane because of snow, the road between Joseph and Hells Canyon is passable. What a relief!
My contact at the Forest Service tells me that the road will be officially open once the snow is all melted and any rocks and debris are cleared from the road (which will be soon). So, if you've wanted to know about Highway 39, or the Wallowa Mountain Loop Road, or the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway (all the same places)--the answer is yes!
This photo was taken in July 2009 at Hat Point and you get the idea of the abundance of wildflowers in the area. It's a little early yet, but the flowers are coming soon too!
If you're looking for some Hells Canyon lodging along the way, our Eastern Oregon bed and breakfast is right along the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway. We're not the most convenient to Hells Canyon Dam (about 2:45 hours from the dam), but we're about 2 hours from scenic Hat Point in Hells Canyon and less than 2 hours from the Hells Canyon Overlook. Not much is convenient in the way of Hells Canyon lodging, but Joseph Oregon is a good jumping-off point!