Imnaha River Valley

Wallowa Mountains

Just west of Hells Canyon, the Imnaha River digs a parallel canyon that offers pastoral scenery in addition to astounding cliff faces.

The gravel Imnaha River Rd follows this narrow valley between Imnaha and the junction of USFS Rd 39 for about 40 miles.

The northern end is very dramatic, as the river cuts more and more deeply through stair-stepped lava formations. The southern end is bucolic, with meadows and old farmhouses flanking the river.

North of Imnaha, a gravel-dirt road continues for 20 miles to Cow Creek Bridge, where the Imnaha River Trail begins (about 4 miles one way). Two miles beyond the bridge is the start of the Nee-Me-Poo Trail (which traces the path of Chief Joseph and the Nez Percé); it climbs 3.7 miles to a viewpoint over the Snake River.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Wallowa Mountains attractions

1. Hat Point

6.79 MILES

High above Snake River, the Hat Point fire lookout tower (elevation 6982ft) offers great views. On each side of the canyon, mountains soar toward 10,000ft…

2. Hells Canyon Dam

16.31 MILES

Hells Canyon's most spectacular scenery is perhaps along Snake River, following 25 miles of paved road (Idaho's Rte 454) toward Hells Canyon Dam; here…

3. Valley Bronze

22.75 MILES

Joseph is most noted for its cast-bronze sculpture, thanks in part to Valley Bronze, one of the nation's largest foundries. It's known for its fine-art…

4. Wallowa County Museum

22.77 MILES

The Wallowa County Museum, housed in an 1888 bank building, is notable for its displays on local pioneer and Nez Percé histories; check out the 'ladies…

5. Wallowa Lake State Park

24.19 MILES

Pretty Wallowa Lake State Park is the center of activities at the lake's south end. A swimming beach and a boat launch bustle madly in summer, and you can…