Detour for Wallowa Mountain Road free of snow

Boise - The Idaho StatesmanJune 19, 2014 

The construction zone of Forest Road 39 are off limits to camping and other recreation.

PETE ZIMOWSKY — Pete Zimowsky

The Wallowa Mountain Loop Road in northeast Oregon is a scenic drive with some of the most beautiful views of Hells Canyon, Idaho's Seven Devil Mountains and the Imnaha River country.
It's a popular summer drive and recreation area, but detours and construction have it mostly closed this summer. The road goes from Oxbow to Joseph, Ore. through the national forest.
The construction continues on the 13-mile stretch of the Wallowa Mountain Loop Road, also known as the North Pine section of Forest Service Road 39. The North Pine section begins at the junction of Oregon 86 and Forest Road 39 and heads north for 13 miles on Road 39 to the junction of Forest Road 66.
The good news is that there's a detour route into Wallowa country on Forest Road 66, which is now free of snow and being maintained for passenger cars, even though it is gravel.
The 30-mile detour is a single-lane road with turnouts and is already very dusty in certain locations, according to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. In addition, this time of year motorists can encounter snow storms at any time and currently some of the campgrounds still have snow.
The route is suitable for vehicles with trailers; however, the U.S. Forest Service says it is not recommended for motor homes or motorcycles.
Get out your maps and trace the detour route: Forest Road 66 begins at the junction of Forest Road 39 and Forest Road 66 coming from Joseph (also referred to as Duck Creek, Fish Lake Road, Twin Lakes Road, or Clear Creek Road) and continues west then south before connecting with Baker County Road 999, just north of Halfway. Do it in reverse if you are coming from Boise, Cambridge and Oxbow and going to Halfway.
The Forest Service says that drive-through-only travel is currently allowed during certain periods on the actual 13-mile construction stretch of the Wallowa Mountain Loop Road. The construction area includes  one-fourth mile on each side of Road 39. There is no camping, hiking, hunting, firewood cutting and fishing in the construction zone. Also, construction delays can occur in the area.

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