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This Wilderness Area offers hiking, horseback riding, camping, fishing, picnicking, photography and mountain biking.

The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail extends for 16.6 miles through the Mt. Washington Wilderness. It is the primary trail and extends from the north boundary near Big Lake to where it leaves the wilderness at its southern boundary near the Dee Wright Observatory.

Tenas Lake, Patjens Lakes and Benson Lake. Compared with the adjacent Mt. Jefferson and Three Sisters Wildernesses, recreational use in the Mt. Washington Wilderness is low.

: Elevations on the Forest range from about 1,500 feet above sea level to 10,495 feet at the snowcapped top of Mt. Jefferson, Oregon's second highest peak. Climate on the Willamette changes with elevation. The area receives a high amount of precipitation. Much of the precipitation comes from October to April in the form of rain at the low elevations and as wet heavy snow in the higher elevations. Although snow is possible in the lowest elevations, it is infrequent. Late spring, summer and early autumn tend to bring clear, sunny days with moderate temperatures.

Location: From the north take State Hwy. 20 to Forest Road 2690 (Big Lake). Follow to Big West Campground and Patjens Lake Trail #3395. From south take State Hwy. 242 (McKenzie Pass Scenic Byway). Pacific Trail #2000 is to the west of Dee Wright Observatory. Benson Lake Trail #3502 and Hand Lake Trail #3513 are off Scott Lake Road

Contact Info: McKenzie Ranger Station57600 McKenzie Hwy.McKenzie BridgeOR97413541-822-3381

What’s around here? Location & Nearby Things to See & Do

These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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A related Trip Idea

  1. McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway

    • Distance: 82 M / 132 Km
    • Minimum Driving Time: 3-5 Hours
    • Best Time to Drive: July-October

    Look both ways while crossing! These two connecting Cascade passes travel among 10,000-foot peaks, over jagged lava flows, along playful rivers, and through old-growth stands in two national forests.

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