While Heaven’s Gate Trail #73 won’t give your dog an extreme workout, it will serve up some jaw dropping scenery of Hells Canyon. This short but sweet trail is a great place for your pal to stretch their legs and breathe in some fresh mountain air, all while enjoying pawsome mountain views.
From the Heaven’s Gate Trailhead, follow the trail as it crosses through a beautiful combination of pine trees, lupine, paintbrush, and lilies. Since the trail runs along the top of a ridge, you’ll get a taste of the sweeping vistas even before making it to the overlook. Once you and your pooch get to the lookout tower, soak in the panoramic view of Hells Canyon and Seven Devils Mountains. Look closely, and you can even see Montana’s Bitterroot Mountains. The lookout is an active wildfire watch, so during fire season it is staffed with a member of the Forest Service. Back in 2008, a wildfire shot through the area and charred some of the forest. Evidence of this fire is still noticeable today.
Since this trail is so short, your pup will probably be itching for another hike. From the Heaven’s Gate Trailhead, you can hop on the northern section of the Boise Trail. The Windy Saddle Trailhead is also just minutes away.
To reach the trailhead, follow 7 Devils Road until it turns into Forest Road 517. The Heaven’s Gate Trailhead is about 1.5 miles after the Windy Saddle Trailhead. Primitive restrooms are available in the parking lot, however, water is not. Make sure to pack some H2O, even if you are just heading to the lookout and back. Also, bring a long a clean up bag or two and pick up whatever your pup puts down. Make no mistake, this trail will make your pup one happy hound!