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McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass loop

Address: Sisters, OR
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Ranked #1 of 12 Activities in Sisters
Type: Scenic Drives, Outdoor Activities, Sights & Landmarks
Activities: Hiking, Driving
Owner description: Eighty-two-mile scenic byway offering the best foliage in the state.
Attraction details
Type: Scenic Drives, Outdoor Activities, Sights & Landmarks
Activities: Hiking, Driving
Owner description: Eighty-two-mile scenic byway offering the best foliage in the state.
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85 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Oregon
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
16 attraction reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2015

There are many wonderful trails branching off from this loop. To really experience the scenery, take time for a hike. A good short walk is to Hand Lake. In less than a mile, you can experience forests, meadows, and an old shelter.

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Central Oregon, Oregon
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2015

Beautiful views- especially on a bright, sunny day! I highly recommend it. It even kept the interest of a 5 yr old boy- which is not easy to do sometimes!

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Sisters, Oregon
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2014

It is a very nice drive and the observatory at the top is so awesome! It points out the Mountains and names them for you! The trail that goes through the lava flow is very easy and accessible to walk. As you walk along the path there are placards they are very informational about volcanos and the different types of... More 

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PA
Top Contributor
375 reviews 375 reviews
172 attraction reviews
267 helpful votes 267 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2014

This is a great 4-5 hour loop clockwise drive experience starting with breakfast in Sisters and then having lunch in sisters on your return (82 miles total). Download a map off the interstate for the drive and make sure to stop at these highlights: Dee Wright Observatory Belknap Viewpoint Clear Lake Proxy Falls Sahalie Falls Koosah Falls Just a really... More 

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Daniel Island, South Carolina
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2014

Our GPS took us on this scenic route and we had no idea what we were in for. This drive was so beautiful!! You won't be disappointed with the variety and stunning views from this drive. Just make sure you're not on E before you start the trek.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Sisters, Oregon
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
14 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2014

EVERYBODY should stop and see this wonder!. This is a must see and is very easy to view. Right off the highway.

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Stuart, Florida
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2014

Based on other reviews, we spent a day doing this incredible drive. Even with the weather a bit rainy, the scenery was just amazing from lava fields to snow capped mountains. Take your time, drive carefully, and you will not be disappointed.

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Oakhurst, CA
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
5 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2014

This loop is one of the truly spectacular mountain drives in North America. The scenery is breathtaking, causing stop after stop to take it in. But, trust me, the drive up/down the west side of McKenzie Pass is white knuckle: a very, very narrow road and sharp turns with lots of air under you on one side. But it worth... More 

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Bellevue, Nebraska
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
54 attraction reviews
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2014

A sea of lava awaits you at the top of the pass. There is a lava hike, an observatory and a restroom. If you have the time and want to be awed, take the road over the pass. But if you don't like extremely windy, narrow roads, take Rt 20.

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Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
10 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2014

This small road could feel crowded on summer weekends, but hit it at other times of the year on your bike and you'll be rewarded by an amazing vista at the summit. A hard grind, but worth it!

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