We had done part of Hell Canyon Road in 2008 but some land owners threatened us so we had to leave about midway through the trail. We were in the area so it was time to try again. This time we made it all the way to the end.
The clouds threatened rain and it was a little chilly, but we had nice weather for this trail. We aired down next to the highway and Monica left early to confirm where the trailhead was. We were soon all together again next to the trailhead sign.
The seasonal gate was open and there was a sign that said the trail would be open until December 1st, so it would be a good late-season run. The road was easy as we climbed, though you could see that the recent rains had made a lot of the mud run down the hills. We didn't have any issues, though.
It wasn't long before we were at the top of the ridge. There were fences and gates next to privately owned land. We were having a nice time when we came to the permanent gate. There was enough room to circle the wagons and we got out to stretch our legs and have a snack. What a bummer! We could see on the topo maps that the trail used to be a nice, big loop through the canyon and on top of the ridge, but the motor vehicle use maps showed that there was a lot of private property there that closed off the old trail.
We probably won't do this trail again unless we're in the area. It's definitely not a "destination" trail. It would be a good hike, though, if you wanted some exercise. It's good that we finally finished it, either way. We went back down to the trailhead and headed a little way up the highway for our next trail.