McKenzie Pass Scenic Byway Tour
This 3-hour loop, through this land of 4000+/- volcanoes, takes us from the beautiful Sunriver Resort north through Bend and then through a continuum of Central Oregon majestic Cascade views on our way to the quaint village of Sisters, named for the Three Sisters — 10,000-foot volcanic peaks rising up to the southwest.
We ascend 2100-feet as we head west on highway 242, traverse a 2900-year-old lava fields and arrive at the Dee Wright Observatory, 5300 ft above sea level. The observatory is constructed entirely of lava stone with unobstructed views of 20 Cascade peaks across 65 acres of black lava flows. Leaving the Observatory, we pass over the 5325-foot McKenzie Pass. We continue on one of the great twisting roads of Oregon through this land of rivers, waterfalls, lava flows and natural beauty. As we breach the rim of the Cascades, we descend on moist roadways into the Willamette Valley and find ourselves surrounded by evergreen forests sprinkled with beautiful fall foliage.
Winding through this region of rivers, forests, and lakes, we again head back into the volcanic fields as we climb to the 4,817-foot Santiam Pass. Dropping over the pass we see multiple 10,000-foot-tall mountains and volcanoes everywhere you look. We continue this trip through lava flows and forests, passing by Suttle Lake as we descend back into Sisters. We end our drive at the beautiful Aspen Lakes Golf Club where you will enjoy lunch while viewing the spectacular Three Sisters and Broken Top mountains. The drive concludes at the beginning of lunch. Following lunch, we will lead the group back to the Sunriver Resort, or those who choose to do so, can enjoy the remainder of the afternoon in Sisters or Bend.
Drive Dates: Thursday and Friday September 15 & 16, 2022
Tour Distance: 140 miles
Tour Duration: 6 hours