SISTERS, OR -- Central Oregon’s McKenzie Pass opened to traffic this week. Peter Murphy, with the Oregon Department of Transportation, says given the popularity of the highway, visitors need to be ready to share the road. "Keeping in mind that there are maybe 300 cars a day, that’s the number that we tally, probably as many bicycles and pedestrians up there too, to try and get up and see stuff. We just need to be conscious that it’s a busy place, there’s a pent-up demand for people that want to visit; and we’re just right now in the peak of when people want to go up."
Murphy says it's important that everyone pay close attention to the conditions on the highway. "In fact, it’s one of our more narrow; and part of the reason for that is that it goes through a wilderness area. And, that’s the attraction and yet the constraint at the same time; it has both kinds of things going on." He adds, "You’ve got a lot of twists and winds and other stuff up there, so just be aware that there are other users up there on the highway. But, it’s one of the more of the most scenic – if not, as far as I’m concerned – the most scenic highway in the state of Oregon."
McKenzie Pass, also known as Highway 242, closes each fall and reopens in the spring, after the snow melts.