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Its off the beaten path on The McKenzie Hwy(242) which is closed from I think Nov 1 till July 1. When the highway is open, this is a must see and spend an hour or two in a lava field that is utterly amazing. Great...More
This a must see place on the summit of McKenzie Pass. Made from lava rocks, this observatory sits atop a lava field with miles and miles of lava rock! Inside are windows that are framed to look at certain buttes, peaks, or mountains and underneath...More
this was our whole highlight of going to Bend. the dramatic burnt lava landscape was so fascinating and otherworldly - better than waterfalls, lakes, and hikes. highly recommend a couple hours on this small, windy, 15mph forest road just to see this place. we spent...More
This was my first time travelling on this narrow winding scenic bi-pass. After surviving the harrowing curves on the west side of this journey this amazing view point was a much needed break. The castle like fortress is indeed a masterpiece. It offers picture windows...More
Recent fires have left much of the forests along the Old McKenzie Highway ravaged and bleak. Vast stands of dead trees line the roadway leading up to McKenzie Pass and the Dee Wright Observatory.
The Summit of McKenzie Pass is a vast field of lava...More
A great summer time attraction, especially traveling from Central Oregon to the Willamette Valley. Not a winter time road. Great views of several Cascade range mountains. If it is clear day, you cannot beat the view.
The Observatory is in the Willamette National Forest on Route 242. That road is part of the McKenzie-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway and is a beautiful drive with places along the way to stop and do short hikes to waterfalls and... More
The Observatory is in the Willamette National Forest on Route 242. That road is part of the McKenzie-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway and is a beautiful drive with places along the way to stop and do short hikes to waterfalls and other scenic spots. We did the drive from McKenzie Bridge to the Observatory and returned the same way and it was beautiful.
Be aware that the road is closed in the winter from November to June or July.
Dee Wright Observatory is located in the Willamette National Forest 15 miles (24 km) west of Sisters, Oregon on Route 242. The highway is part of the McKenzie-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway. McKenzie Pass is 5,325 feet (1,623 m) above sea level, and winter snow and the narrow road surface requires McKenzie Pass to be closed from November to July each year.