McKenzie Pass on Highway 242 is set to open on Monday after being closed for the season since November.
Vehicles over 35 feet long are not allowed because the narrow road has tight curves and many sections with no shoulder.
Drivers are urged to be on constant lookout for cyclists and pedestrians. This also a scenic route for those not traveling by car or truck.
Here is more from ODOT about the highway:
Private funding built the highway in the 1870s for use as a wagon toll road, and the pass became a seasonal scenic highway in 1962 with the completion of Oregon 126. Even during its tenure as the main route between the southern Willamette Valley and Central Oregon, the narrow, twisting roadway and high elevation (5,325 feet at the highest point) made the highway too difficult to maintain and keep clear for much of the year.
Each year, we plan to close the highway the Thursday after Veteran’s Day and open it the third Monday in June. Snowfall times and amounts may change these dates.
When we close the road, it is closed to everyone and is not maintained. We do not open it early for cyclists or pedestrians. Even after the snow melts each spring, our crews have a lot of work to do before the road is safe for travel. Each winter trees come down and the heavy rain and snow moves rocks and debris onto the road. All of this is cleaned up and the pavement patched before we open. Take a look at these pictures and videos to see what it takes to open the pass every year.