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Each year, ODOT clears deep snow from the scenic Old McKenzie Pass Highway to open it to high country visitors. For cost-efficiency, crews plow one complete lane to let natural melting make it available for two full lanes of travel.
In 2014, this means the Highway will open to motor vehicles no earlier than Monday, June 16. Prior to then, cyclists and pedestrians may use the Highway following normal rules of the road, and at their own risk.
When the Highway does open to motor vehicles, it will remain available for bicyclists and pedestrians and ODOT encourages all users to be aware of other users and Share The Road safely.
The McKenzie Pass Highway became a seasonal scenic highway in 1962 with the completion of the Clear Lake-Belknap Springs section of OR 126. Even during its tenure as the main route between the southern Willamette Valley and Central Oregon, the narrow, twisting roadway and high elevation (5,325 feet) made the highway too difficult to maintain and keep clear during the winter months.
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