McKenzie Pass on a Stormy Autumn Day

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Oregon Cascades

It was a cloudy, stormy autumn day. I left Sisters for the McKenzie Pass Byway. It follows the path of an 1860’s wagon route, ascending through forest until arriving at Windy Point with a great view of a 65-square-mile lava flow.

Soon 5,325-foot McKenzie Pass was reached. There is a fascinating lava rock structure at the Pass, Dee Wright Observatory, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1935. On a nice day I would have had great views to the south of Middle and North Sisters, and to the north to Mt. Washington.

Dee Wright Observatory on a rainy day

About one mile further down the road was a gate closing it for the season. In several days the entire road will be closed until next spring.

On the way back I decided to drive to the 6,200-foot trailhead for Park Meadows on the road to Three Creeks Lake. Before a large wildfire burnt the area, the hike to Park Meadows and on to Golden Lake was one of my favorites.

After exploring the area for awhile, I slowly took the drive back to town. I’m looking forward to returning on a nice sunny fall day.

The Summit


McKenzie Pass closed for winter

A lonely day at 6,200 feet

Lava fields

The golden autumn needles of Tamaracks at lower elevations

Dee Observatory on a nicer day




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