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West Cascades Scenic Byway

Basics
Location:
Between Portland and Eugene
Surface:
Paved
Length:
220 miles (354 km)
Time:
Eight hours to enjoy this Byway.
Season:
May 1st–November 15th
Fees:
You will need to buy a day pass to access some of the park. See the

Description

The West Cascades Scenic Byway is a scenic alternative route between Portland and Eugene. The byway travels through picturesque landscapes of timber, peaceful lakes, and misty valleys—a smart and gorgeous alternative to the major highways and interstates going the same way.

The West Cascades Scenic Byway starts in Estacada, 27 miles east of Portland. Starting in Estacada, drive on HWY 224 until just past Ripplebrook, where the road turns into Forest Road 46. After passing through Marion Forks, the road turns into HWY 22 before changing into HWY 126 at Kootsah Falls. Continue until the route changes into Forest Road 19. Drive the rest of the route on Forest Road 19 until Byway ends in Oakridge.

There are numerous opportunities to stop or just look out the window to see crashing whitewater, plummeting waterfalls, and serene mountain lakes. The Olallie Lakes district is a place of pure solitude and solace, good for the soul and good for fishing. Mt. Hood National Forest to the north and Deschutes National Forest to the south are both great places for land-based sports like hiking, biking, and even skiing. There are also many rustic towns along the drive that have great places to eat and things to see, many of them still subsisting off of the logging industry.

Points of Interest

Points of Interest Along The Way

Box Canyon (OR)

Built in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corp, the Box Canyon Guard Station is available as a summer rental to visitors.

Directions

The canyon is in the southern end of the byway, and just north of the McKenzie River and Westfir.

Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat and Conference Center (OR)

Breitenbush Center is a privately owned resort in a sylvan old growth forest setting. Open year-round, this unique resort offers hot springs, a sweat lodge, and a variety of workshops.

Directions

The Hot Springs are located at 888 Liberty St NE in Salem, OR.

Cougar Reservoir (OR)

When full, Cougar Reservoir stretches for 6 miles and covers1,280 acres. The dam, located at the north end of the reservoir,was completed in 1963. It is the tallest rock-filled dam in Oregon.The view from alongside the reservoir provides outstanding vistas into the French Pete addition to the Three Sisters Wilderness Area.

Directions

It is on the southern end of the byway, and halfway between Marion Forks and Westfir.

Delta Campground and Nature Trail (OR)

This campground is surrounded by an ancient forest of Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir trees. Walk along the nature trail to see some of the oldest trees on this forest - several of them are 180 feet tall.

Directions

It is on the southern half of the byway, and right next to Cougar Reservoir.

Deschutes National Forest (OR)

The Deschutes National Forest is a recreational haven, pure and simple: these 1.8 million acres include five wilderness areas (200,000 acres), six cool rivers, 157 lakes and reservoirs, approximately 1,400 miles of trails, and the unique landscape of Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

Popular activities in the national forest include hiking,fishing, rafting, kayaking, canoeing and camping. Other popular activities are mountain biking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling, especially in the winter when the road closes due to snow.

Detroit Lake (OR)

Located in the 'backyard' of the Portland-Metro area, this huge reservoir is very popular: the second highest-use lake in Oregon. You can swim, fish, camp, waterski and boat here.

Directions

On the northern half of the byway, it is just a few minutes from the full service community of Detroit.

Estacada (OR)

Estacada is the northern gateway to the West Cascades Scenic Byway and provides many features for visitors to explore as they head out on the road.

Fish Lake Remount Depot (OR)

Directions

It is just south of the intersection of I-20 and SR 126.

Fish Lake Remount Depot (OR)

Serving as the official Forest Service work center in the early 1900's, structures have been renovated to preserve the history of early horse packing operations and summer headquarters for patrol and lookout employees.

Directions

It is just south of the intersection of I-20 and SR 126.

Marion Forks Fish Hatchery (OR)

Directions

It's right by the town of Marion Forks.

Marion Forks Fish Hatchery (OR)

Visitors can take guided tours or learn on their own through onsite interpretation.

Directions

It's right by the town of Marion Forks.

McKenzie Ranger Station (OR)

Directions

It is on the southern end of the byway, just west of the intersection of SR 242 and SR 126.

McKenzie Ranger Station (OR)

Come here to get information on the many recreation activities available in the area. It is open 7 days a week to the public from Memorial Day through Columbus Day weekends.

Directions

It is on the southern end of the byway, just west of the intersection of SR 242 and SR 126.

Details

Location:
Between Portland and Eugene
Surface:
Paved
Length:
220 miles (354 km)
Time:
Eight hours to enjoy this Byway.
Main Roads:
OR-126 W
Season:
May 1st–November 15th
Fees:
You will need to buy a day pass to access some of the park. See the
Additional Details:
Also known as Aufderheide, Clackamas-Breitenbush

Map + Directions

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