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McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass loop

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Address: Sisters, OR
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Eighty-two-mile scenic byway offering the best foliage in the state.

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Bikers, if you liked the Tail of the Dragon-you gotta do this!!

I've ridden this twice taking eastbound 126 out of Florence, Or. & then 242 to Sisters, Or. At the top the lava flow & observatory are mind blowing, but for a rider the road to it... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
Bill J
Spokane, Washington
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136 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Spokane, Washington
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I've ridden this twice taking eastbound 126 out of Florence, Or. & then 242 to Sisters, Or. At the top the lava flow & observatory are mind blowing, but for a rider the road to it takes your breath away! Limited vehicle length (35 foot I believe) tells part of the tale about the seemingly endless series of 15 &... More 

Thank Bill J
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The McKenzie Pass Road is gorgeous. Do to the tight curves it forces one to slow down and enjoy the lava fields, trees and rivers along the way. We took this route because the Santiam Pass was shut down for 4 hrs. because of an accident. Taking this route added about hour trip to Black Butte Ranch. As noted, there... More 

Thank PDX_Jack
Coronado, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Didn't have many expectations because I was initially just driving from Bend to Eugene. However on my nav system I saw this route was open only seasonally and that it had a long and curvy decent. Wow, was I pleased with what I found. Loving scenic drives, this had wonderful features to place it high on my list of favorites.... More 

Thank TravisGood
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
85 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We were staying in Bend. One afternoon,we decided to take this drive through the Cascades. The drive starts in the town of Sisters. The signage is good. We stopped at the Dee Wright Observatory and looked at all the mountain peaks and lava fields. This building is made from lava rock. We drove slowly around all the hairpin turns to... More 

1 Thank Jo Ellen W
Chappaqua, New York
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 weeks ago

It doesn't get more beautiful. Great views of the mountains and lava fields and you feel as though you are traveling through luscious pine forests that just don't end.

Thank joannagale
Harrisonburg, Virginia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2015

The next time i would back track from the observatory to Sisters. The loop walk is a must. There was no problem with traffic

Thank gh0stchaser
Sisters, Oregon
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2015

Beautiful drive, very windy, be ready to take your time. There are a lot of "Sunday drivers" that take this route.

Thank Tami B
Xenia, Ohio
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2015

This is a great driving trip with many stops that provide you with a real sense of the beauty of central oregon. The road has many hairpin turns that suggest you drive 15 miles per hour, so I would suggest that you take your time. You can see lava flows to magnificent pine forests. The observatory was one of my... More 

Thank smason2009
Silverton, Oregon
Level Contributor
234 reviews
89 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2015

This is a classic old mountain road, narrow, winding and steep, making the drive itself worth the trip. And the views from the top are amazing - fields of lava, the Sisters, Jefferson. Take your time, take your camera, and take a hike over the lava fields.

Thank 03Val48
Level Contributor
57 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2015

McKenzie pass is one of those beautiful drives, twisty little road through the forest. Then you start seeing patches of lava, then it is only lava. To top it off there is a building created entirely from lava that lets you see all the features with a 360 degree view.

Thank Wayne A

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