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Heavens Gate Lookout

Hells Canyon + Seven Devils Mountains, Idaho

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Heavens Gate Lookout

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  • An impressive view of the Seven Devils from the base of Heaven's Gate Lookout.- Heavens Gate Lookout
  • The lookout is a short hike from the parking area.- Heavens Gate Lookout
  • Heaven's Gate Vista Point.- Heavens Gate Lookout
  • Heaven's Gate Lookout.- Heavens Gate Lookout
  • Heaven's Gate Lookout.- Heavens Gate Lookout
  • A sign and statue welcomes visitors to the Heaven's Gate Lookout.- Heavens Gate Lookout
  • Rob Bishop mans the fire lookout and welcomes visitors to his summer home.- Heavens Gate Lookout
  • A view into central Idaho from the deck of the Heaven's Gate Lookout.- Heavens Gate Lookout
  • The Seven Devils from the Heaven's Gate Lookout.- Heavens Gate Lookout
  • Peering into Hells Canyon, the deepest canyon in North America.- Heavens Gate Lookout
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Heavens Gate Lookout
  • Glacier lily.- Heavens Gate Lookout
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Expansive views of Hells Canyon. Wildflowers. Active fire lookout.
Cons: 
Rough road to lookout.
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Region:
Hells Canyon + Seven Devils Mountains, ID
Congestion: 
Low
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
Not Required
Points of Interest:
Viewpoint, Wildflowers
Dogs allowed: 
Yes
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Flurries in the morning.
37°F
26°

Sun

Partly cloudy overnight.
42°F
29°

Mon

Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
46°F
33°

Tue

Partly cloudy in the morning.
49°F
35°

Wed

Clear throughout the day.
55°F
38°

Thu

Partly cloudy overnight.
60°F
42°

Fri

Clear throughout the day.
60°F
44°
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

High above Hells Canyon in Idaho, the Heavens Gate Lookout is an extraordinary place to take in the surrounding landscape. It sits at the entrance to the Seven Devils Mountains, and at 8,429 feet, you can see entirely across the state of Idaho to Montana's Bitterroot Mountains. The lookout is staffed from June through the end of fire season, where a seasonal Forest Service employee welcomes visitors between watching for forest fires. Take the opportunity to say hello, sign the ledger kept in the lookout, and get oriented in the surrounding mountain peaks that are visible in four western states: Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Montana. From the Seven Devils down to the Snake River the canyon drops over 7,200 feet, making it the deepest canyon in North America. From the lookout you can't see the waters of the Snake River far below, but you can see much of the canyon.

A wildfire ripped through Heavens Gate and the surrounding area in 2008, leaving the charred remains of pine trees and open space that yields an incredible wildflower display on the surrounding hillsides after the snows melt. Colorful blooms of lupine, paintbrush, avalanche lily, and a wide array of other flora stretch across every available nook found in the rocky escarpment. Marmots, pika, and mountain bluebirds are seen and heard all around. Mountain goats, mule deer, and elk are common visitors to the area and found in the nearby Seven Devils Mountain.

The lookout should be the start to every visit to the Seven Devils. The mountains, just 2 miles from the lookout, loom large yet remain inviting. The Seven Devils Campground offers a nice place to sleep for a night, and the trail into the wilderness starts from the Windy Saddle just down the road. Reaching the lookout requires driving for 17 miles on a rough gravel road that gains 5,500 feet along the way. The road is well maintained but, due to its length, elevation gain, and remoteness, requires slow travel and efforts to avoid the numerous, deep potholes. The lookout and surrounding area is only accessible once the snow melts in late June and until it returns in October or November.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(3 within a 30 mile radius)

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