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McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass loop

Sisters, OR
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Ranked #1 of 10 attractions in Sisters
Type: Scenic Drives
Activities: Hiking, Driving
Description: Eighty-two-mile scenic byway offering the best foliage in the state.
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65 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Hertfordshire
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014 via mobile

A 3 hour round trip with a few stops along the way. Stunning scenery and great views of the lava, burnt out forest and the mountains. If you're biking, definitely come from the Sisters end up to the observatory. Saw some poor bloke cycling up the other side of the pass.... Obviously a man who likes a serious challenge!

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Little Falls, New Jersey
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
18 attraction reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

Outstanding even on a foggy day coming from Newport, we went back on a sunny day with our Bend hosts for the entire loop. Great variety of sights, snow capped mountains, black lava, so many different greens from pine, maple and cedar, to all the mosses and ferns. Then there's the clear lakes and rust colored walking paths. Just love... More

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Eugene, Oregon
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2014

We live in Eugene, OR. so drive this often. It's absolutely breath-takingly beautiful. It is mainly Douglas Fur trees and there are waterfalls, etc. The mountains are spectacular; they are so high and majestic.It's a site no one wants to miss.

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Central Oregon
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
21 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2014

What a lovely drive through the trees and then the lava. Be sure to stop at Windy Point. Yes, it is almost always windy there! Don't miss Dee Wright Memorial at the summit. A climb up the lava steps will get you to the top where mountains and buttes are identified. Heading down toward Eugene is a beautiful drive any... More

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Sisters, Oregon
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
5 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

This is a must for visitors to Central,Oregon, to drive through lava beds and walk up to the little "visitors center." It is stunning and a beautiful drive.

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Grants Pass, Oregon, United States
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
26 attraction reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

If you are traveling over the Cascades in the area during summer this detour is worth the extra time. Normally a person would merge onto the Santiam Hwy when traveling over this portion of the Cascades. To drive 126 all the way is a little longer due to the curves. Drive time is extended by about a half hour plus... More

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Oregon
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

The road is extremely curvy with many switchbacks. Not suitable for vehicles towing trailers or large motorhomes. Beautiful scenery! Make a stop at the Dee Wright Observatory, built with native lava rock. Each window frames a mountain peak and the area lava fields are amazing. Take time for a hike to Proxy Falls, you won't be disappointed. As you get... More

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Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

The McKenzie Pass portion, which is incredibly beautiful, is now closed for the winter. Should be open next June or July.

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Bend, Oregon
Top Contributor
279 reviews 279 reviews
57 attraction reviews
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013 via mobile

Visited here twice with family visiting the area in the past month. Each time it was an excellent experience! The views are breathtaking and quite interesting. And, the "fort" on top ensures you can spot all the major views via the marked slits in the rocks which frame the far away mountains, trails, etc.

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Stayton
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
6 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

Beautiful scenery. If you have not driven this pass its worth doing. Just beware, of Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb weather.

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