The McKenzie Pass is Highway 242 between Sisters and Belknap Springs. This drive passes through a recent lava flow, with close-up views of several Oregon Cascade Mountain peaks, including Mount Washington, North Sister, Middle Sister, and others. You’ll also get distant views of Mount Jefferson, Mount Hood, and others. The summit is crowned by Dee Wright Observatory, hand-built out of lava rocks, and there are plenty of hiking trails and campgrounds along the way.
Note that Google Maps will not show this route at certain times of the year because the road is only open to cars from the third Monday in June until the fall snowfalls. The road is open to bicycles in the spring before it is open to cars. The state discourages long vehicles with trailers from taking this route. Get more information about the pass and when it is open here.
Scenic Drive Tips
Sisters is a cute, artsy community. One of the best hiking trails on the east side of the summit is Black Crater. Near the summit, the Pacific Crest Trail goes through the Mount Washington Wilderness on the north and the Three Sisters Wilderness on the south. On the west side, Scott Lake is nice for canoeing and is also where you will find the trailhead for a hike to the top of Scott Mountain.
As indicated above, this scenic drive was submitted by an independent third party and has not been verified by Triple E Recreational Vehicles. Please do your own research on suitability, road conditions and road safety before attempting to drive this route.