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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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Zip line through the wilderness!

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... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed June 30, 2016
Forest Grove, Oregon
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179 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 176: English reviews
Forest Grove, Oregon
Level Contributor
87 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2016

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 

3 Thank MJ_EBs007
Victoria, Texas
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2016

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 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2016

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
929 reviews
607 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 205 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
93 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
Level Contributor
656 reviews
278 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 238 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2016 via mobile

Still not able to drive all the way around on Memorial Day Weekend? Crazy to me but you can still take in some great sights and hikes in the parts open early summer.

Thank Palmgirl33
Bend, Oregon
Level Contributor
52 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 24, 2016

Hwy 242, open in summer and early fall is fun drive enjoyed most in a small sportster or motorcycle. Some of the greatest hairpin curve going (watch for outside mirrors with opposing traffic, especially pickups) but enjoy the top-of-the-world lava view from the Dee Wright Observatory (made entirely of lava) of the Cascade peaks...then descend into old-growth forest going west... More 

Thank brucebolen
Bend, Oregon
Level Contributor
46 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2016

In the spring there's a period of a few weeks when the road from Sisters to McKenzie Pass is snow-free but not yet open to cars, which provides an opportunity for bikes to ride up to Dee Wright Observatory with no traffic on the narrow winding highway. It's a 2000' climb to the top and well worth the effort for... More 

1 Thank steveoregon
Bend, Oregon
Level Contributor
104 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2016

You can do the, "loop" from the town of Sisters, over McKenzie Pass, through McKenzie Bridge and back to Sisters...I think about 80 miles......Or if you're coming from Sisters or Eugene you can use it as an alternative route. Be very aware this is a narrow, winding road and you need to stay on your side. Taking the corners too... More 

1 Thank 2Vegans2wheels
Centerville, Utah USA
Level Contributor
117 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2016

I've traveled around the world and consider this to be one of the most beautiful drives on Earth. If it is open (closes during the winter) take the time to drive the Old McKenzie Highway. You can stop off at the lava house, which is incredible and you'll see lakes that are absolutely pristine.

1 Thank Brian K

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