Hell's Canyon Scenic Byway > Alerts > Heavy Snow Causes Travel Challenges Along Byway

The last few weeks have brought the kind of winter weather we have not seen for a few years. Heavy snowfall, frigid temperatures and wind have caused occasional road closures on Interstate 84 and many of the state highways and county roads in the area.

We are thrilled to have the snow piling up in the mountains, promising water in the reservoirs, creeks and rivers next spring and summer! And skiing is great at Anthony Lakes Ski Resort in the Elkhorn Ridge of the Blue Mountains, northwest of Baker City. The fluffy, dry snow is wonderful for all kinds of winter recreation.

But, the combination of volume and blowing snow makes travel a challenge at times. So, please slow down, allow plenty of distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, carry extra coats, blankets, food and water at all times, and keep the gas tank topped off. Don’t trust GPS to find a way around closed roads – too many people have become dangerously stranded or lost their lives doing so. And, last, keep an eye on www.tripcheck.com to view the road cameras and for the latest news on alerts and road conditions all across Oregon.

If you are planning to camp somewhere in byway country, be sure to check with staff at the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Oregon State Parks, and the county parks departments (Baker, Union, Wallowa) before heading out. In addition, Idaho Power announced today that Copperfield Park on the Snake River near Oxbow is closed until further notice, due to huge snow drifts in the park. For further information about this closure, please contact Cindy Sorenson, Idaho Power Company | Environmental Affairs:
w: 208.388.2231 or 800.422.3143 | csorensen@idahopower.com

In the meantime, our communities are open and ready to serve your travel needs. Please go to the Visitor Resources page for links to the chambers of commerce and other helpful websites.

Be cautious, stay safe and have fun!

About the author