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Hat Point

Hat Point is a very rewarding overlook located in Wallowa County, Northeast Oregon, in USA, at an elevation of 2.130m (6,988ft) above the sea level. This is a journey that some will never do again because it frightened them so much- there are steep drop-offs and a very narrow road.

The road to the summit, located within the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, is a fairly bumpy narrow gravel road in very good condition. It’s called Hat Point Road (NF-315). It’s usually open from June through October. The road narrows further. 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. The summit offers fantastic views of the Hells Canyon and the Wild and Scenic Snake River.

Great trail for experienced wheelers. At the summit there’s a lookout tower built in 1948. Avoid driving in this area if unpaved mountain roads aren't your strong point. The drive will take some skill, some patience, and some tolerance for vertigo. It's very intense because there are no guard rails at the edge and there is little room for error if oncoming traffic swerves in your direction. The road is very steep (16% grade) and narrow. To avoid brake failures stop and allow brakes to cool. Low clearance vehicles, RVs and vehicles pulling trailers are advised to use caution when traveling the lower sections of this road. The road can also be slippery when wet or frozen and is not recommended for trailers in the late fall and winter.
Pic: Jonathan Shafer

 

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