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Sisters, Oregon: Dee Wright Observatory

A circular, open-air colonnade that offers views of the surrounding lava fields -- a blighted, rocky moonscape that NASA used in the 1960s to train its future Apollo astronauts.

McKenzie Hwy, Sisters, OR
From Sisters drive west on OR-242/McKenzie Hwy for 15 miles to the Dee Wright Observatory, on the right, at the top of McKenzie Pass.
Road closed Nov. to June. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Dee Wright Observatory

At the summit of the McKenzie Highway is the unusual and historic Dee Wright Observatory, settled atop vast, black lava flows. The accessible Lava River National Recreation Trail, next to the observatory, offers an unusual half-mile hike. This paved trail provides views of lava that flowed from the surrounding craters. Hike right through numerous lava formations, learning about the area's geology from signs along the way.

This portion of the McKenzie Highway is closed in winter, but the observatory is always open.

[Craig Bass, 08/18/2021]

The surrounding area is such a moonscape that in the 1960s NASA trained its future Apollo astronauts here.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Shoe TreeShoe Tree, Tumalo, OR - 25 mi.
Petersen Rock GardenPetersen Rock Garden, Redmond, OR - 27 mi.
Shoe TreeShoe Tree, Bend, OR - 27 mi.
In the region:
High Desert Museum, Bend, OR - 31 mi.

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