McKenzie Pass

McKenzie Pass

The lava flow at McKenzie Pass, from Belknap Crater, forms a great foreground to the view of the North Sister and Middle Sister mountains (the South Sister is hidden behind the Middle Sister in this view). All three of the sisters volcanoes are over 10,000 feet/3,000 meters in elevation. Between the mountains is the large Collier Glacier.

At McKenzie pass, there is the Dee Wright Observatory, which is constructed of pieces of lava. From within the building or on the roof, you can use the indicators to locate the various volcanoes and other features of the area.

The three sisters are very close and very different volcanoes. The North Sister is an extinct shield volcano, the Middle Sister an extinct stratovolcano, and the dormant South Sister (visible in other photos on this page) is a composite volcano with a rhyolitic stratovolcano overlying an older shield base.

Odd trivia: The seasonal lake in the crater of the South Sister, named Teardrop Pool, is the highest lake in Oregon at 10,131 feet/3,088 meter elevation.

McKenzie Pass is near the mid-point of Hwy-242. You can reach it from Sisters or the McKenzie junction on Hwy-126 coming from Eugene. The Road is closed and not maintained during the winter months.

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