Dee Wright Observatory, Blue River

4.9
Must see · Observatory · Museum
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.
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Dee Wright Observatory reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
104 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • I have been here several times, with children and adults, and each time I see more! As strange an wonderful as the observatory is, do not miss the interpretive trail to the east of the actual...  more »
  • This is a must see if you have time and willing to drive miles of curved highway (no open in the winter). Wasn't the clearest weather, but was able to see most the mountains around. Bring a lunch...  more »
  • This is a must stop of you are traveling the Mckenzie/Santiam pass Hwy. The views are incredible from this location  more »
Google
  • A very interesting lookout right in the middle of a lava flow. The lookout tower is composed of the natural rock. There are 2 levels, the roof where a bronze capstone points to the various mountains viewable, and the first level that's kind of caveā€“like and has port holes built in the walls to view the specific mountains around. You also have trails you can walk through the flow. Throw a crumb to a chipmunk while you're there.
  • Absolutely amazing! Completely worth any drive time to see it. The southern approach up historic hwy 242 is a pretty cool experience on it's own. If you can plan it for a clear or mostly clear day that is best. The views are so wonderful and the informative trail through the lava flow is really neat and easy to travel. This will certainly be somewhere we visit again!
  • MUST STOP!! This was our whole highlight of going to Bend. the dramatic burnt lava landscape was so fascinating and otherworldly - better than waterfalls, lakes, and hikes. highly recommend a couple hours on this small, windy, 15mph forest road just to see this place. we spent about 1 hour here and loved the mountain lookouts on a clear July day.
  • Amazing views from the observatory of many of Oregon's volcanic peaks. The half mile trail is an easy walk and has numerous informational signs regarding the history and geology of the lava flows. This area is only open a few months out of the year as the highway (OR 242) closes in winter due to snow. Also, vehicles in excess of 35 feet are prohibited.
  • Super cool part of history. It's got some wonky steps though, so be careful. No wheelchair access to the very top unfortunately, but the first level is accessible, and it's got killer views. All if the mountains surrounding are labeled and have the distances. There is a bathroom that's typically clean, and with all touristy places there are usually quite a few people mulling around.

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