Plowing 242MCKENZIE BRIDGE: Depending on the weather, Oregon Dept. of Transportation crews plan to finish clearing snow off Hwy. 242 this week and then clean up debris like downed trees. The first snow gate at milepost 61.8 will open by the end of the day on April 21st to allow fishing at Linton Lake for the high lakes season. Officials estimate the second gate at milepost 66 will remain closed until June 20th.  Clearing is beginning on the west side as well.
In the interim, some people will be able to use the route. “ODOT reminds bicyclists and hikers who access the Pass during the seasonal closure do so at their own risk and are cautioned to be aware of the inclement conditions,” according to ODOT public information officer Angela Beers Seydel.  “Safety precautions for early users include plowing operations that may occur at any time of the week, road conditions can be icy, running water, rocks, tree debris and other hazards on the roadway, ride under control, watch for other bikers/hikers, closed gates, parked equipment, etc.”

Snowbank on Hwy. 242By Ayleen Crotty

MCKENZIE BRIDGE: Follow the path of an 1860s wagon route and get ready to climb. The Old McKenzie Pass is a special region of Oregon that, due to extreme snowfall and narrow winding climbs, is only open a few months out of the year. At the beginning of the season, ODOT plows the road and opens it exclusively for non-motorized traffic. The smooth, clear pass is now available to bikers likely until June 16th – so get out there while you can.

By George A. Letchworth

Filming on Hwy. 242Laura Crawford and Russ Roca of The Path Less Pedaled filming Kristin and Jake as they descend the two switchbacks on Dead Horse Grade.

MCKENZIE PASS: On Friday, May 17th, a video crew of Laura and Russ along with cycling “stars” Kristin and Jake filmed a “romantic” bicycle ride on the McKenzie Pass from Sisters to Belknap Hot Springs Lodge.
The video is the second one in a series sponsored by the Oregon Tourism Commission.

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: Purchase copies online at: Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.