Aufderheide National Scenic Byway

In late spring through fall, this scenic forest drive provides a way to close the loop between the McKenzie and Middle Fork Willamette links. Birding opportunities along this drive are described in the Oregon Cascades Birding Trail guide (see for a downloadable copy). The Delta Old-Growth Trail (Cascades Trail Site 87) is a good site for Northern Spotted Owl. Cliffs near Cougar Reservoir (Cascades Trail Site 88) sometimes have Rock and Canyon Wrens. Terwilliger Hot Springs just above the dam is good for a rejuvenating soak before you continue birding south, watching for Harlequin Duck and Northern Goshawk along the South Fork McKenzie River (Cascades Trail Site 89). Box Canyon Meadows (Cascades Trail Site 91) offer chance of Spotted and Great Gray Owls, as well as Northern Waterthrush. More common forest species include Sooty Grouse, Mountain Quail, Rufous Hummingbird, Hammond’s Flycatcher, Gray Jay, Chestnut-backed Chickadee and Hermit and MacGillivray’s Warblers. Gas and other services are not available along the byway, so be sure to fuel up in Vida, Rainbow, or Oakridge. Before planning starting a trip in late fall, spring or early summer, check on road conditions at McKenzie Bridge Ranger Station (7 mi E of FR 19 on Hwy 126), or Middle Fork Ranger Station (on Hwy 58 at Westfir).

This scenic byway, also signed as Forest Road 19, connects from Hwy 126 at Rainbow (17 mi E of Vida), to Hwy 58 just W of Westfir and Oakridge. The distance between highways is 63 mi. The middle part of the drive reaches an elevation of 3300 ft and is regularly closed due to snow, Nov?May and sometimes into June. Transit/bicycle: Lane Transit District Bus 91 reaches the north end of this byway with stops at Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge (limited schedule); buses are equipped with bike racks.