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McKenzie Pass Scenic Byway

This driving guide will take you to all the major scenic spots along the scenic byway from Sisters, OR to Sahalie Falls
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 60 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview:  Take this scenic byway from Sisters to Sahalie Falls. Over this 60 mile route you will drive past lava fields, waterfalls and... more »

Tips:  To get to the starting point of Sisters, OR follow Route 20 from I-5 or from Bend, OR.

Tip: This road is closed in the winter and... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Town of Sisters

This rustic town is worth a quick visit before starting your drive on the scenic byway. There are many unique stores and restaurants for you to visit within the town. If you like Olives make sure to stop in "Sisters Olives" for the biggest variety of olives you've ever seen. If you take a quick drive out of the town on 126 headed east... More

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2. Cold Springs Campgroun

This is a great campground if you don't want to stay at one of the hotels or motels in Sisters. I think it is about $10 per night per car.

3. Windy Point Viewpoint

This is a great spot to view the lava flows in the pass. You'll have a great view towards Mt. Washington from this turnout.

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4. Dee Wright Observatory

This is an amazing observatory in the pass with 360 degree views over the lava fields. The structure is made up of lava rocks and there is a compass at the top of it the identifies all the surrounding peaks. There are also trails that branch out from it as well as interpretive signs about the first travelers over the pass and the hard times they... More

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5. Obsidian Flow Trailhead

From this trailhead you can access the Sisters Wilderness. Along this trail is also an amazing obsidian flow for you to check out if you have time. I have another guide for this hike. I'll attach the link to this guide.

6. Road Junction

You have just finished driving the McKenzie Pass Scenic Byway. From here take a right on route 126.

These springs are pretty developed and it will cost some money to relax in their mineral pools. I've included a link with more information in the link section of this guide.

8. Blue Pool and Mckenzie Trail

Take this Forest Service Road over the McKenzie River to the trailhead for the Mckenzie Trail and the Blue Pool. The Blue Pool is where the McKenzie River re-emerges from an ancient Lava Tube. The Mckenzie River Trail is one of the best mountain biking trails in all of Oregon. I have another guide for this trail that I will provide a link to. ... More

9. Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls

From here you can take some short trails to viewpoints of beautiful Sahalie Falls or you can take a longer trail south to Koosah Falls.

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10. Clear Lake Area

There are campgrounds in this area and the lake is very beautiful. There are trails around the lake that go through lava fields. This is also the starting spot of the Mckenzie River trail mountain bike descent. This is also the last site in this guide. Continue north to the intersection with route 20. To return to Sisters, OR take a right on ... More

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