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Trip Planner: USA / Oregon / Central Oregon / Sisters / McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass loop
McKenzie Pass is a mountain pass in the Cascade Range in central Oregon, United States.You can plan Sisters trip in no time by asking Klarna Trips to help create your itinerary.
It is located at the border of Linn and Deschutes counties, approximately 20 mi northwest of Bend, between the Three Sisters to the south and Mt. Washington to the north. Oregon Route 242 passes over the pass.
At the summit of the pass, Oregon Route 242 crosses a 65sqmi lava flow just west of Sisters. Surrounded by lava, the Dee Wright Observatory was constructed in 1935 by Civilian Conservation Corps workers and named after their foreman. Visitors climb to the observatory to view the Cascade peaks visible from McKenzie Pass. Also near the summit is Clear Lake, a renowned location for fresh-water diving.
Highway 242 is not recommended for large trucks, trailers or motor homes due to numerous tight switchbacks. The pass is closed from November to July due to snow.
McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass loop reviews
You will see lots of pine trees and mountains in this part of Oregon, but this pass in particular has jaw dropping scenery on its 80+ mile loop (only accessible a few months of the year). The lava...
You will see lots of pine trees and mountains in this part of Oregon, but this pass in particular has jaw dropping scenery on its 80+ mile loop (only accessible a few months of the year). The lava... more »
Just a beautiful way to see this area. Take it easy as it is a difficult drive. But worth it. Everyone should do this at least once.
Just a beautiful way to see this area. Take it easy as it is a difficult drive. But worth it. Everyone should do this at least once. more »
A beautiful drive, lots of curves, some burned out areas, but still very beautiful. The lava fields in the middle are very interesting. The Dee Wright Observatory was something you will not find...
A beautiful drive, lots of curves, some burned out areas, but still very beautiful. The lava fields in the middle are very interesting. The Dee Wright Observatory was something you will not find... more »
Beautiful drive up the pass an the Dee Wright Observatory is a must stop along the way! Previous years fire on the east side has devastated the area, but the route is still beautiful. Be careful of the bicycles using this route. Some will ride 2 or 3 side by side going up & down the pass. Please give them space because there not much of a shoulder. I usually tap my horn about 50 yards to let them know I am coming up from behind. Tour groups please don’t use this route during busy times! It’s a recipe for getting someone hurt/killed. Steep grades, no shoulder, beautiful views an distractions galore just means driver & bikers will not be paying attention to the road! This is from someone who regularly rides his bike.
Gorgeous. Make sure you do some hikes along the way.
If you use navigation beware! The out of Bend sign that says "Vehicles over 35 feet prohibited" comes way to late and you are already heading up the mountain with NO turnarounds. I pulled the 40 foot fifth wheel with a full size truck and am still shaking.
Just Beautiful. Snow caped mountains. Lush green forest. Lava Rock scales the hwy...
Absolutely stunning in May of 2022. The late season snowfall made everything so beautiful. Road was clear and there were many pull out areas to see the incredible views.
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