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Map of the area
Scenic Byway Hwy 242

Oregon's historic Highway 242 will take you on a spectacular tour of the the volcanic peaks and lava flows of the high Cascades. The highway crests at 5,325 feet at Mckenzie Pass, amid an incredible, 2,600 year old, sixty-five square mile lava flow.

Highway 242 passes between two of Oregon's pristine wilderness areas, Mt. Washington Wilderness and the Three Sisters Wilderness. Here, with summits of over 10,000 feet, North and Middle Sister rise impressivly above the surrounding forests and lava flows

Dee Wright Observatory, at the summit of Mckenzie Pass, is a small, interesting stone structure built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression of the 1930's. Constructed of entirely of volcanic rocks, visitors can look out across the lava flows and other volcanic features to views of numerous Cascade peaks

A half mile interpetive trail wanders through the lava flows near the observatory. A restroom is also available nearby.

Highway 242 is usually closed by snow from November to June. There are several sections of the road that are steep with sharp corners. For this reason, the road is closed to vehicles over 35 feet in length. If you've got the time, and the road is open, this makes for a great alternate route between Eugene, Sisters and Bend.

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