The McKenzie Pass ride is without a doubt the most spectacular ride in Central Oregon. The ride begins at 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). The route heads west past hay meadows and climbs 2,000 feet through ponderosa pine forests. The road follows an 1860s wagon route, emerging from the forest at Windy Point and revealing a view of Mt. Washington and a 2,000-year-old lava flow. The 25 mile, 4,000 foot descent snakes down exhilarating switchbacks to the dense, verdant Cascadian forests and rushes out over the McKenzie River. It is these dramatic transitions through such diverse natural environments that define the uniqueness of this bikeway.
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. Please check www.tripcheck.com
for current road closures or www.rideoregonride.com
Restrooms and drinking water can be found at the Village Green Park in Sisters and at the McKenzie Bridge store. There are restrooms at the summit and various campgrounds on the west side.
While it is a challenging ride, it is possible to do the route over and back in one day or choose to turn around at the top. There are also lovely campgrounds on either side of the route – perfect for a great night out under the stars.
is a site just for cyclists hosted by Travel Oregon. It shows restaurants, hotels and bike shops along the route. You can post comments and read posts from other cyclists.