McKenzie Pass Scenic Bikeway

McKenzie Pass Scenic Bikeway

New route part of statewide bicycle system

McKenzie Scenic Bikeway mapSigns for this bikeway are currently being installed with work expected to be completed by September 2012.
 The 38 mile McKenzie Pass ride is without a doubt the most spectacular ride in Central Oregon. The ride begins at either Belknap Springs or the Village Green Park in the center of Sisters, Oregon.  The vast majority of the route is on Oregon Route 242 (selected to be on the U.S. Register of Historic Places, March 2011). The 25-mile, 4,000 foot ascent snakes up exhilarating switchbacks through dense, verdant  forests well above the McKenzie River. The road follows an 1860s wagon route,  revealing views of Cascade peaks like Mt. Washington, Mt. Jefferson and the Three Sisters  atop a 2,000-year-old lava flow. From the CCC era Dee Wright Observatory, the route heads east past hay meadows and descends 2,000 feet through ponderosa pine forests.  These dramatic transitions through such diverse natural environments define the uniqueness of this bikeway.

Hwy. 242 is closed in winter

Most of Oregon Route 242 is closed during winter months, but bicycles are usually allowed in the spring before it reopens to cars, providing miles of traffic-free road riding as the snow melts. Check www.tripcheck.com for current road closures or www.rideoregonride.com.
 Restrooms and potable water can be found at the McKenzie Bridge store and at the Village Green Park in Sisters. There are restrooms at the summit and various campgrounds throughout the descent.

Ride the loop

While it is a challenging ride, it is possible to do the route over and back in one day.  There are also lovely campgrounds on either side of the route – perfect for a great night out under the stars.  Currently there is no shuttle available bringing riders back from one side or the other to their vehicles – however, there are bike tours from a Bend-area business that ride the McKenzie River Trail.

McKenzie River Reflections

McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.