Ride for Two Rivers: McKenzie Pass Car Free

Get ready to experience an incredible otherworldly landscape as you conquer McKenzie Pass on your bike – without a car in sight! Every year for a very brief window of time the pass is open only to bikers and hikers, so don’t miss your chance.


The peak of McKenzie Pass, a cut through from McKenzie Bridge to Sisters, is covered in dark lava rock with very little flora or fauna popping through. It’s a desolate, moon-like landscape that is oh-so-striking. Because of intense snowfall the pass is only open a few months out of the year. Every May ODOT clears the snow but before they open the road to all traffic, they allow bikers and hikers to sneak in first for a majestic, quiet climb. It’s an amazing experience you will never forget.


Ride For Two Rivers: Climbing with Full Support

McKenzie Pass is still closed for the season, but it could open soon (the opening is weather dependent). The best way to ride McKenzie Pass is to sign up for the 4th Annual Ride for Two Rivers on June 7. The event, which starts in Sisters, is fully supported and there’s even a rest stop at Belknap Hot Springs on the western side of the pass. ODOT has promised to keep the pass car free for this ride so you’ll have blissful riding all day long.

Make a weekend of it: new year year, the organizers are hosting a variety of Sunday activities such as golf, skeet shooting, historical tours, whitewater rafting and more (an additional cost is involved for these activities). Or just stroll around Sisters for the day, hang at the pub. You know, be an Oregonian.


Slow and Steady Conquers the Pass

There’s no denying it: McKenzie Pass is steep. You’ll cover either 1,800 ft (18 mile route) or 6,300 ft (77 mile route) of elevation. And these aren’t rollers, it’s one steep climb up… and then back. But there’s a zen that comes with sustained climbing, and you’ll be surprised at how manageable the climbing can be once you get your head in the game. Your reward: The beauty along the way, the quiet of the landscape and those sweet descents!

Don’t bother walking, you don’t need to. Take breaks as needed, drink water, strip off a layer of clothes, eat a snack, then get back in the saddle and grind away. “Slow and steady conquers the pass” – that is your mantra for the day. You’re going to do great out there!

Be sure to take some time at the stop stop at the Dee Wright Observatory. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, this cool look-out station helps you scout the many peaks you can see in the distance on a clear day. Take photos, have a snack and relax with your friends – the Observatory is the very peak so it’s all down hill from there to the next rest stop (or the finish line).


Riding for a Cause

Ride proceeds directly support on the ground conservation and restoration projects within the National Forest Foundation’s Treasured Landscapes campaign site encompassing these watersheds. These restoration efforts enhance fishing and other recreational activities while improving health of the rivers and wildlife habitat through trail improvements and restoration of in-stream habitat. This work by the National Forest Foundation and its partners has already resulted in the groundbreaking return of steelhead and sockeye salmon in increasing numbers to Whychus Creek and the Metolius River.


Ride Basics

Saturday, June 7
18 and 77 mile route options
Only $30 if you register before May 30.

1 thought on “Ride for Two Rivers: McKenzie Pass Car Free”

  1. Slow and stead is true. I ride 242 at least once a year and I have done the Ride for Two Rivers and I very much enjoyed it. If I am in town I will do it again this year.

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