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.

Address:
McKenzie Hwy, Sisters, OR
Directions:
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.
Hours:
Road closed Nov. to June. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Dee Wright Observatory

Reports and tips from RoadsideAmerica.com visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

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.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Save Cool Vacation Destinations! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Oregon Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

World's Largest Fire Hydrant, Columbia, South Carolina (Dec 6-12, 2021)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Book Now

 

Favorite Quirky City Sights