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McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass loop

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Address: Sisters, OR

Eighty-two-mile scenic byway offering the best foliage in the state.

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Peaceful kayaking on Round Lake

It is off the beaten path and the road to get there might be hairy but it is worth it. No electric motors on lake. Haven't fished there yet but I do want to go back before summer... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 4 days ago
Debi D
Redmond, Oregon
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154 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 151: English reviews
Redmond, Oregon
Level Contributor
57 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

It is off the beaten path and the road to get there might be hairy but it is worth it. No electric motors on lake. Haven't fished there yet but I do want to go back before summer is over to give that try and kayak again. It is extremely quiet there and very small area to load and unload... More 

Thank Debi D
Goderich, Canada
Level Contributor
31 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Simply unavoidable for its diversity and beauty. Cyclists could be a problem exercise ultra care back to Sisters. Count on a full day driving with stops on the way

Thank Globetrotter1051
Level Contributor
78 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

It is important to note that this road is closed in winter and is very much a scenic route. Please do not plan to be in any great hurry when you take it. There are some good twists and turns in places. I also believe there is a vehicle length restriction so if you are towing your may want to... More 

Thank 4Bug-a-Boos
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
37 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The McKenzie pass in the area of the Dee Wright Observatory is unbelievable with old lava flows stretching as far as you can see. It is almost like being on the surface of the moon. A paved interpretive trail at the observatory provides interest context to the history and geology of the area. There is also a hiking trail (part... More 

Thank JJBostonMass
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

After discovering our limited use pass for Obsidian Trail flew off the roof - ouch! - we did not risk going onto that trail with out it. We instead patched together a stunning scenic day of riding and hiking along the McKenzie-Santiam Loop. This plan B did not disappoint! Dee Wright Observatory & Lava River, on 242 Proxy Falls off... More 

Thank Laura V
Forest Grove, Oregon
Level Contributor
73 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

At first I wasn't interested in the MacKenzie Santiam Pass Scenic Byway because I thought this was a highway for tourists to take who have never been to the Pacific NW. After driving the byway I agree it's something that everyone must do at least once. It's like an automotive zip line through the wilderness. It's up there with the... More 

1 Thank MJ_EBs007
Victoria, Texas
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This scenic and historic drive is well worth the time. Hairpin turns and incredible lookout where you can get all the mountains identified correctly. Have completed this route twice and loved it both times,

Thank Pamela M
Seattle, Washington
2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I failed 2 miles from the top. My wife made it. Weather was awful. I'll try again next year if it's not raining!

Thank Randy D
Murrieta, California
Level Contributor
262 reviews
127 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2016

When in central Oregon you owe it to yourself to drive to Sisters and head out on the Mackenzie highway (242) to the junction of Highway 126 then head north to the junction of the Santiam highway (highway 20) back to Sisters. This is probably the best drive in the state of Oregon and not to be missed. Take your... More 

Thank SoCalOregonian
Hillsboro, Oregon
Level Contributor
80 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2016

If you can get to Sisters in good weather before around June 20, you can bike up to the summit of McKenzie Pass before the highway opens to the public. What a terrific view and experience. It is one of the best bike rides that Oregon has to offer.

Thank Blaine A

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