McKenzie River Scenic Byway


This byway travels through a portion of the Willamette National Forest on State Highway 126 east of Eugene, It travels along the McKenzie River and connects to the existing West Cascades Scenic Byway.

The landscape of this area was defined over the ages by actions of the McKenzie River, which created a travel route along its banks that has been in use for over 8000 years. First by the Molalla and Kalapuya tribes; in the 1800s by the European hunters and explorers and then by immigrants on wagon trains staking claims along the river. The route travels through the lower 34 miles of the 80-mile McKenzie River. It connects the I-5 corridor to two Nationally Designated Scenic Byways (McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass and the West Cascades).

The scenic views provide an enjoyable transition from the broad agricultural plain of the lower McKenzie Valley – then heading up the narrower river canyon scenery between Vida and Blue River – before transitioning again to the more rural and wild forested lands of the upper Valley. Travelers along the McKenzie River Scenic Byway will not only experience the iconic charm of one of the Pacific Northwest’s most beautiful landscapes but also have many opportunities to learn how the area’s unique geology and hydrology support a rich habitat of flora, fauna, and fish.

Oregon Scenic Byways Official Driving Guide

At a Glance

Closest Towns: Eugene, OR
McKenzie Bridge, OR
Information Center: McKenzie River Ranger District
57600 McKenzie Hwy
McKenzie Bridge, OR 97413



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