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McKenzie Pass opens to cars Monday at 8 a.m.

Plowing the McKenzie Highway in Spring 2017. Still image from Oregon DOT video

MCKENZIE BRIDGE, Ore. - The historic highway over McKenzie Pass will open to motor vehicles on Monday, June 19, at 8 a.m., the Willamette National Forest confirmed.

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Old McKenzie Highway Oregon 242 closes each year in the winter due to snow.

Oregon DOT cleared one lane over the pass earlier this spring.

Some bicyclists and hikers take advantage of the time between the clearing of the pass and opening to motor vehicles to explore the road car-free.

"Motorists need be aware of bicyclists and pedestrians on the highway," the Willamette National Forest advised on Facebook. "Vehicles, including towed, longer than 35 feet are prohibited from using highway."

EXPLOREGON | McKenzie Pass highway by motorcycle

The road accesses many trailheads and lakes, as well as the Dee Wright Observatory atop the pass.

But beware: After heavy snow last winter and a cool spring, ample snow remains on the ground.

"Access to recreation sites such as trailheads and campgrounds may be limited due to snow levels," the Forest Service cautioned.

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