Dee Wright Observatory is an observation structure at the summit of McKenzie Pass in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. The structure is an open shelter constructed with lava stone. It is located in the midst of a large lava flow, and offers an exceptional view of numerous Cascade peaks.LocationDee Wright Observatory is located in the Willamette National Forest 15 miles (24 km) west of Sisters, Oregon on Route 242. The highway is part of the McKenzie-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway. McKenzie Pass is 5325ft above sea level, and winter snow and the narrow road surface requires McKenzie Pass to be closed from November to July each year.StructureThe observatory is an open shelter built with lava stone found at the construction site. The viewing windows are cut to specifically highlight the neighboring mountains. These "lava tube" viewing holes allow visitors to easily identify the different Cascade peaks. There is also a 36 inch (90 cm) diameter, bronze azimuth-like "peak finder" on the observatory’s roof to help visitors locate nearby geologic features as well as the surrounding mountain peaks. From the top of the observatory, visitors have a panoramic view of the Cascade Mountain Range including Mount Hood in the far north.Many peaks can easily be seen from Dee Wright Observatory: Mount Jefferson, Cache Mountain, Dugout Butte, Black Butte, Bluegrass Butte, Black Crater, North Sister, Middle Sister, Little Brother (and ridge west), Condon Butte, Scott Mountain, South Belknap Cone, Belknap Crater, Little Belknap, and Mount Washington. Mount Hood, Bald Peter, Green Ridge, and Horsepasture Mountain can also be seen from the observatory during good weather.Plan your Dee Wright Observatory visit and explore what else you can see and do in Blue River using our Blue River journey maker website .
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Dee Wright Observatory Reviews
I have lived in Oregon my whole life and up until last Spring had not even known this place existed. We do a lot of travelling around the state which made this even more surprising to me. My family an... more »
On our drive on the McKenzie Highway we stopped at the observatory which was constructed of lava rock in the 1930's by the CCC and named as a memorial to its construction foreman. There is path (Lava ... more »
We were camping close to Belknap Springs and drive up to see the lava fields and observatory. It was amazing to see miles of lava and the mountains in the distance. Not alot of people were here and fo... more »
So beautiful in the summer. Lots of photographers at night, but wow! So many stars...bring a blanket and someone to cuddle and the stargazing will be fantastic.
A gorgeous, other-worldly spot. Have been here a few times, once by biking up from Sisters and then down the other side. A super scenic area with some cool history.
If you come early you will see the magic of this place, it's wonderful but cold and lonely. I found what I was looking for here.
Lava rock castle you will be glad you stopped to check out. From inside you can peer through hols in the walls at every surrounding peak. If you are on your way over the pass and the 242 is open... take the drive! It's mind blowing. Would recommend to hikers, sight seers, witches and warlocks.
Otherworldly lava, with a backdrop of the sisters nearby. I highly recommend waking the loop, as there are many informational plaques along the way. (Just be aware that the highway is only open some of the year)
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