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Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway

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Quick Facts
Designation: All-American Road
Designation: Oregon State Scenic Byway
Fees: There is a fee to enter Crater Lake National Park.
Length, One-Way: 140 Miles (233.33 Kilometers)
Time: 5-7 Hours

General Information

Description - This diverse byway follows the brims of lakes, diverse wetlands, scenic ranches, thriving croplands, and forests full of bald eagles. It passes brilliant Crater Lake National Park and historic Crater Lake Lodge. It also threads its way through volcanic landscapes, craggy mountain reaches, and high-desert wetlands. As the byway passes the 90,000 surface-acre Upper Klamath Lake, you can see over 1 million birds during peak migrations in the fall. The Klamath Basin is the largest freshwater ecosystem west of the Great Lakes. Six National Wildlife Refuges in these wetlands were favorite fishing spots of President Roosevelt. You can also visit the same Pelican Bay where John Muir (naturalist, writer, conservationist, and founder of the Sierra Club) wrote "The Story of My Boyhood and Youth" in 1908.

Attractions - There are a variety of cities, sights and attractions in the region of Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway - Oregon.

Points of Interest:
Applegate Trail - The Applegate route, blazed by Jesse and Lindsay Applegate's party in 1846, connected the California and Oregon trails and figured centrally in the settling of Klamath County (the county that accommodates famous and historic Crater Lake).

Baldwin Hotel Museum - This hotel, listed on state and national historic registers, was built and operated by Senator George Baldwin, and entertained such dignitaries as President Theodore Roosevelt.

Crater Lake National Park - The park features one of the deepest and most popular lakes in the United States.

Favell Museum - Considered one of the three best such museums in the United States, displays over 100,000 artifacts that illustrate the lives of indigenous tribes around the world.

Fort Klamath - Established and garrisoned by the Oregon Volunteer Cavalry in 1863 to protect immigrant trains from Native American attack and maintain peace in the region during the Civil War.

Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges - Conserving the basin's otherwise dwindling habitats, these refuges support over 400 species of wildlife and serve as migratory stopover for the Pacific Flyway waterfowl, whose populations peak over one million in the fall.

Lake of the Woods - This high mountain lake resort sits beside one of the most beautiful lakes in the Cascades. The resort has everything you could ever need and everything you could ever want to do.

Lava Beds National Monument - There are 200 caves and lava tubes and cinder buttes to tour.

Mt. Thielsen Wilderness - Mt. Thielsen, at 9,182 feet, is known as the `Lightning Rod of the Cascades` for its tendency to attract strikes on its spire-like peak.

Pacific Crest Trail - To travel the famous Pacific Crest Trail near the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, travel Hwy 140 to Crater Lake Park.

St. John`s Miniature Steam Railway - Ride the tiny train for over two miles, near Chiloquin, Oregon.

Upper Klamath Canoe Trail - The canoe trail has four segments: Recreation Creek, Crystal Creek, Wocus Cut and Malone Springs.

Winema National Forest - Found along this scenic byway, not only adds to the scenic quality but offers many recreational opportunities.

Recreation - The Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway is known for it's archeology, cultural, historical, natural, recreational and scenic attractions.

Climate - Climate in this region varies with elevation and from east to west. The western portions of this region experience higher precipitation and more moderate temperatures year-round. The eastern end of this region is much more arid, with warmer summer temperatures and colder winter temperatures. The higher elevations receive abundant winter snowfall which stays on the ground until early summer in the high mountains.

Location - The Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway is located in south-central Oregon about 5 1/2 hours south and east of Portland, Oregon. It can be reached via paved highways and freeways. Located about 80 miles east of the Interstate 5 corridor, a one-hour drive will access the byway from Medford, a two-hour drive will access the byway from Roseburg, and a 2 1/2-hour drive will access the byway from Eugene. All of these drives are on two-lane, paved highways.

The northern end of the byway is the Diamond Lake Junction on U.S. Highway 97 about halfway between Bend and Klamath Falls. The southern end of the byway is the Oregon/California border on US 97.

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Recreation Opportunities
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ICON Scenic Driving Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway
ICON Viewing Scenery Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway

More Information

Additional Information:
Oregon Scenic Byways - Oregon offers a multitude of national, state, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and National Forest byways. These byways include five National Scenic Byways and three All-American Roads.

Scenic Byways Homepage - National Scenic Byways official web site with detailed info on all national and state byways.


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