McKenzie Highway Open to Bicycles
For about six weeks, bicyclists can travel the seasonal highway over McKenzie Pass without dodging cars. Transportation officials plan to open it to motor vehicles June 16th.
Each spring the Oregon Department of Transportation plows one lane of the old McKenzie Highway to allow for natural melting of snow. Peter Murphy is Public Information Officer for ODOT in Bend. He says the road is not yet free of hazards.
Murphy: "It's still covered with lots of limbs and tree parts and perhaps even dangerous trees leaning over it and, of course, with the cold temperatures that we have, we get some freeze during the morning hours, and when it's really cold out. So, it's got some beauty attached to it, it makes it a great place for bikes to go."
Murphy says cyclists should travel with care on the scenic road. The 30-mile stretch of Highway 242 is narrow and twisty. It's known for old growth forests, waterfalls and a majestic view of the cascades from the Dee Wright Observatory at the top of McKenzie Pass.