Author Topic: Mckenzie Pass (oregon, Transamerica route)  (Read 6672 times)

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Offline Doug

Mckenzie Pass (oregon, Transamerica route)
« on: February 02, 2008, 04:39:04 pm »
So in planning my transamerica ride, I'd been thinking about starting in oregon in may----

but I read on wikipedia that Mckenzie pass is closed in till July, but has opened earlier in the past.

Does anyone know if that's the average time of year the pass opens? How can I get up to date information on when the pass might open, what the weather has been like there etc?

worst comes to worst I'll just start in yorktown---I live 3 hours away anyways.


Offline staehpj1

Mckenzie Pass (oregon, Transamerica route)
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2008, 06:50:17 pm »
Last year we started June 11th and it had been open for weeks to bicycles.  That particular year it never opened to cars since there was road work that was to be done.

Actually it officially closed for the road work the day before we rode it, but there were lots of bikes and the work had not started yet.  I think that it is often open by early June and sometimes early May.

I would keep in touch with the ODOT website as the trip approaches to see what the deal is.  I am not sure if the work was finished last year, but I am sure ODOT will have that posted on their site.

Realize though that you can use Santiam Pass if McKenzie pass is closed.  Still I wouldn't start before early June.


Offline staehpj1

Mckenzie Pass (oregon, Transamerica route)
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2008, 06:53:28 pm »
the historical info on the openings is at:
http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/REGION4/McKenzieHighwayClosure.shtml
but remember that they open it to bikes before they open it to cars.  The ideal time to do it IMO is when there are no cars on the top part.


Offline Cupocoffee

Mckenzie Pass (oregon, Transamerica route)
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2008, 02:38:58 am »
Doug, I started my TA last year from Florence on April 26. A lot of people told me I was leaving too early but that was the only time my son could drive me and my equipment from Oklahoma. I ran into some pretty cold weather and quite a bit of rain, sleet, and snow all the way through Colorado but I was dressed for it and it wasn't too big of a deal. All you have to do is cut over to Santiam Pass which will add about forty miles to your day but it is an easier pass than McKenzie from what I have been told. Since Santiam Pass was my first major pass to climb, I thought it was very difficult but, really, it is just one of many. Oregon was one of my favorite states because of the fabulous roads and shoulders. Have a great trip. Planning is almost as much fun as the journey itself.
www.grandpalosthismind.com


Offline staehpj1

Mckenzie Pass (oregon, Transamerica route)
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2008, 08:45:31 am »
I haven't done Santiam Pass, but based on comparing notes with others who did, I would recommend doing McKenzie if it is open.  It is a nice ride the view is great. and seeing the lava field was cool.  It is a big climb but it is very do-able.  Two of our group had almost no miles under their belts before this trip.  One wasn't a cyclist and started riding only a few weeks before the trip.  Their longest training ride was 31 miles.  They made it fine.


Offline ceilago

Mckenzie Pass (oregon, Transamerica route)
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2008, 11:11:58 am »
nah, i dont think this is true....  it snows yeah like now but the pass is
open pretty much year-round

check out  odot road report for info


Offline staehpj1

Mckenzie Pass (oregon, Transamerica route)
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2008, 12:14:38 pm »
Can you say a bit more...  Specifically what don't you think is true?

The historical record of openings and closings is at:
http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/REGION4/McKenzieHighwayClosure.shtml
But that lists the dates for cars, bikes are apparently different.

I would have guessed that they wouldn't plow McKenzie pass through the winter.  Is that true or no?


Offline Cupocoffee

Mckenzie Pass (oregon, Transamerica route)
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2008, 01:27:15 pm »
My son drove me from Oklahoma to Oregon to begin my TransAm ride. When we left Sisters,continuing west, there were big iron gates which went all the way across the road because McKenzie Pass was closed. So,we went to Florence by way of Santiam Pass. Once I started my ride and I got to the turnoff for McKenzie Pass there was a sign saying the pass is closed. I asked a man working in the area and he said the government won't clear it until the end of June. He said all the switchbacks were coverd with 30 feet of drifted snow. I met one guy in Kentucky who decided to go over McKenzie Pass anyway and he made it but he had to port his bike for a couple of miles in very, very deep snow. I read another journal where a guy crossed over the gates, a year or two earlier, and made it okay except he said there was literally tons of debris (rocks, trees, and branches) all over the road. I said in my earlier post that it adds forty miles to your ride but I checked back on my journal and it is only twenty miles more by way of Santiam Pass. www.grandpalosthismind.com


Offline njdaniel

Mckenzie Pass (oregon, Transamerica route)
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2008, 07:15:03 pm »
Two summers ago I went through the pass on June 4th I believe.  The road was still closed to cars but I just went around the gates on my bike.  About 1.5 lanes were plowed free of snow, so I had a great time biking through a 5 foot high tunnel of snow with no cars all the way to Sisters!