McKenzie Pass – Santiam Pass Scenic Byway

This historic highway from Sisters over the Cascades to the Willamette Valley includes sections of the original wagon road that are still visible, and winds through unique lava flows. This route is educational from both a historic and geological point of view. The changes in flora and fauna from the Willamette Valley up and over to the high desert are remarkable. Whether you’re a hiker, cyclist, cross-country skier, motorcyclist or just a lover of spectacular mountain views and unique geological formations, this road won’t disappoint. It encompasses points of interest such as Windy Point, Dee Wright Observatory, John Craig memorial, Scott Lake, Proxy Falls, and other spots.

The road is open to cyclists from approximately mid-May to mid-November. Motor vehicle traffic is open from approximately July to mid-November (limited to vehicles less than 32 feet long). Cross-country skiers can use the route from approximately December to April.

  • Seasonal availability by activity
  • ADA accessible
  • Interpretive signage

Get more information on this area from

National Geographic