Biker on the McKenzie Pass Scenic Bikeway in Central Oregon

Central Oregon Cycling: McKenzie Pass Scenic Bikeway (video)

15 min read

Some roads are made to get from here to there. Others, like Oregon Highway 242, offer an experience all their own.

By car, Highway 242 is known as the McKenzie Pass Scenic Byway, but the same road is also one of Oregon’s unique Scenic Bikeways.


If you’re up for a challenge, cycling is the way to go. Starting in Sisters, you’ll have a nice, flat warm-up before you hit the hard stuff.

And during the first few weeks of June the road is still closed to cars giving cyclists a chance to let their guard down just a little bit and enjoy the ride.

If climbing hills doesn’t take your breath away, the view of Mt. Washington at Windy Point definitely will.

And it only gets better.


About 16 miles from Sisters, over a winding road through towering Ponderosa Pines, you’ll hit the Dee Wright Observatory. Here, at 5,325 feet, it’s all worth it – a spectacular 360-degree view of the Cascades and 65-square mile lava flow.

The only thing that tops this, is the thrilling ride back down.

Get more details on the ride and see another video from our partners over at

Mackenzie Wilson
Mackenzie Ballard
Mackenzie Ballard is COVA's Marketing Manager and in-house videographer. She came to COVA after more than 5 years in front of a camera working as a TV journalist. Her true passion is writing. Growing up in Sandpoint, Idaho – Mackenzie spent her summers boating on Lake Pend Oreille and winters snowboarding Schweitzer. After graduating from the University of Idaho, Mackenzie tested out city-life in Portland; but bumper-to-bumper traffic and the rain finally took their toll on her and she packed up and headed to the High Desert. Now, it’s hard to get her to leave Bend, even just for the weekend. There are just too many amazing hikes, bike rides and camping spots to take advantage of in Central Oregon to go elsewhere.