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McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass loop, Sisters

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Scenic Drive Tourist Spot
McKenzie Pass is a mountain pass in the Cascade Range in central Oregon, United States.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.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
194 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We were in the area and I just happened to see some information about this drive. Very glad we took the time. The road is very winding and twisty so you must drive slowly but that's fine because you w...  more »
  • This drive is well worth the time to travel it. The road, narrow in spots is well paved with multiple turnouts. The parking at the scenic spots is very good.  more »
  • This was such a find. All along this scenic route are great places to take photos, visit waterfalls, scenic vistas, and dramatic mountain peaks. We didn't the entire day driving the loop from Redmond....  more »

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