Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway
82 miles / 131.2 km
Time to Allow: Allow
3 to 5 hours, including time to stop at overlooks.
Fees: Fees: Parking passes can be purchased from the ranger
station, allowing you to park and hike the trails along this Byway.
There are several ways to get to the Byway:
Bend: Take US Highway 20 west to the town of Sisters.
Sisters: Head west on State Highway 242 to the edge of town where
the Byway begins. The Byway's East Portal is located here.
Eugene: Take State Highway 126 east to the McKenzie Ranger Station
(the site of the Byway's West Portal information facility), and
then go to the junction of State Highways 126 and 242 where the
Discover the highest concentration of snowcapped volcanoes (and associated
glaciers) in the lower 48 states when you drive the the McKenzie Pass-Santiam
Pass Scenic Byway! Enjoy the breathtaking sight of Broken Top Mountain
and the Three Sisters, along with their waterfalls, towering gloriously
above the route.
fields lying next to calm, clear lakes, will provide you with a gentle
reminder of the area's violent beginning. This area really illustrates
how the Cascade Range was built.
Viewpoint - From this viewpoint, you can see the Belknap Crater Complex,
clear evidence of "recent" volcanic activity. The Belknap Crater Complex,
a broad shield five miles in diameter and about 1,700 feet thick, was
formed by fields of lava vents that erupted profusely about 1,500 years
exception in this Complex to that particular activity is Little Belknap:
it erupted about 1,500 years earlier than that (about 3,000 years ago.)
When Little Belknap was formed, lava poured 12 miles to the west and ash
was ejected from the northernmost of the two summit craters.
Wright Observatory among the basaltic lava fields. The Dee Wright
Observatory, a stone memorial named for the CCC foreman who oversaw its
construction, offers panoramic views of the Cascade Mountain Range, as
far north as Mt. Hood.
peak-finder in the observatory points to the geologic features in the
sweeping lava fields where the observatory is situated. A barrier-free
access trail takes visitors to an interpretive platform, which offers
information on the history of the structure built in the 1930s by the
Civilian Conservation Corps.
interpretive trail takes visitors on a 30-minute walk through lava flows
and offers spectacular vistas of the surrounding landscape.
National Forest is a recreational haven, pure and simple: these 1.8
million acres include five wilderness areas (200,000 acres,) six cool
rivers, 157 lakes and reservoirs, approximately 1,400 miles of trails,
and the unique landscape of Newberry National Volcanic Monument.
in the national forest include hiking, fishing, rafting, kayaking, canoeing
and camping. Other popular activities are mountain biking, cross-country
skiing and snowmobiling (especially in the winter when the road closes
due to snow).
© National Scenic Byways / U.S. Department of Transportation