CASCADE LAKES HWY (CLOSED IN WINTER) (1)
Starting in Bend, this summer-only drive offers stunning views of South Sister, Broken Top and Mount Bachelor. Alpine lakes, lodges and trailheads line the way offering a number of scenic viewpoints where travelers can pull over, stretch their legs, take some pictures and breathe the crisp, mountain air. Popular stops along the way include Mt. Bachelor, Todd Lake, Elk Lake and the Crane Prairie Reservoir. From Bend, take Century Drive past Mount Bachelor Ski Resort. This route typically opens in late May or early June, depending on weather conditions.
COVE PALISADES/ LAKE BILLY CHINOOK (2)
An easy drive leads visitors through farmland, grasslands and across the High Desert before travelers descend into Cove Palisades State Park toward Lake Billy Chinook. A paved road will take drivers along the banks of Lake Billy Chinook, providing stunning views of the lake as well as geological rock formations. Before descending into Cove Palisades, a turn-off toward the right leads to several viewpoints along the eastern cliffs surrounding the lake, providing incredible views of the Cascades, Lake Billy Chinook and Cove Palisades. From Madras, turn west on D Street. This road turns into the Culver Highway; follow signs at Belmont Lane intersection.
LOWER CROOKED RIVER SCENIC BYWAY (3)
This is the only highway in the country that is still a dirt road. The trip leads across the stunning High Desert and into the breathtaking Crooked River Canyon. From Bend, take Highway 20 east toward Millican. Ten miles east of Millican, look for a junction on the north (left) side of the road. This is your junction for Highway 27.
MCKENZIE PASS (CLOSED IN WINTER) (4)
This narrow, twisting, summer-only route offers amazing scenery including lava flows and vast forests. At the top of the pass, the Dee Wright Observatory—located in the center of a massive lava flow—provides stunning views of several mountains along the Cascade range. The paved road is narrow and includes tight switchbacks, so large trucks and RVs are not allowed on the pass. Take Highway 242 west from Sisters. This pass typically opens around July, depending on weather conditions.
OCHOCO NATIONAL FOREST (5)
These forest routes lead through towering Ponderosa pines, peaceful valleys
and to stunning geologic formations. Take Highway 26 east from Prineville.
PAULINA LAKE (6)
Enjoy a peaceful drive through the forest on your way to the caldera lakes of Newberry Crater. Pull over and enjoy waterfalls, a giant obsidian flow through which exists an interpretive trail, and spectacular views of the lakes and Paulina Peak. Stop off and ask the locals about the hot springs. Drive about 22 miles south of Bend on Highway 97 and make a left onto Forest Road 21.
SANTIAM PASS (7)
This road connecting Central and Western Oregon offers breathtaking views of the forests, mountains and rivers. From Sisters, take the Santiam Pass junction of highways 20/22. Along the way, enjoy views of Mt. Jefferson, vBlack Butte, Three Finger Jack and Suttle Lake.