Oregon’s Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway All-American Road

Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway All-American Road:

Beginning at US Highway 97 in the small unincorporated community of Chemult, a popular hiking, fishing, hunting, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and dog sled racing area in central Oregon’s Klamath County, the 500-mile long Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway All-American Road travels the Cascade Mountain Range, past several volcanoes, and other points of interest, then ends at Weed, in Siskiyou County California where it connects to the 185-mile long Lassen Scenic Byway Loop, an area full of lakes, rivers, forests, and volcanoes.

Crater Lake National Park:

Established May 22, 1902, and Oregon’s only National Park, Crater Lake National Park features Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States at 1949 feet deep, which also makes it the third deepest lake in the world. The Park also contains the Pumice Desert, the Pinnacles gas-charged deposits, the extinct Union Peak volcano, the Crater Peak shield volcano, the Timber Crater volcano with its two cinder cones, the scenic Rim Drive, the most popular road in Crater Lake National Park, a portion of the 2650-mile long Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail that stretches from the Canadian border to the Mexican border, fifty thousand acres of old-growth forests, the cinder cone Wizard Island in Crater Lake, the steep Cleetwood Walking Trail, several observation points along the rim of the Crater Lake caldera inside the Mount Mazama volcano, Mount Scott, the highest elevation point inside Crater Lake National Park at 8929 feet tall, with its 100-mile panaramic visibilities of the Columbia River Plateau, the Klamath Mountains, the Cascade Mountain Range volcanos, and the Western Cascade Mountains, eight National Register of Historic Places sites, popular hiking, unlicensed fishing, swimming, and boat tours, as well as extremely heavy Winter snowfalls that may close parts of the Park during Spring, Fall, and Winter months.

Cascade Mountains:

Part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, along the basin of the Pacific Ocean, that produces about ninety percent of the world’s largest earthquakes, and all the known historic volcanic eruptions in the contiguous United States, the Cascade Mountains extend from Northern California to British Columbia, with approximately 700 miles of the High Cascades located in Oregon including Mount Hood, the state’s highest peak at 11,249 feet tall, and the most popularly climbed of all the Cascade Mountains, the deeply glaciated Mount Jefferson stratovolcano with its rugged wilderness, the Three Fingered Jack Pleistocene shield volcano, the potentially active Newberry shield volcano, the Mount Washington shield volcano with 52,516 acres of the Deschutes and Willamette National Forests, the Three Sisters peaks, known as “Faith,” “Hope,” and “Charity,” with their fifteen glaciers, the extinct Broken Top stratovolcano in the Three Sisters Wilderness, the Mount Bachelor volcanic chain, the Diamond Peak shield volcano and wilderness, Mount Bailey and its very popular snow skiing and recreational activities, Mount Thielsen, known as the “Lightning Rod of the Cascades,” Mount Mazama, the home of Crater Lake and Hillman Peak, Mount Scott on Crater Lake’s southeastern flank, the highest peak in the Crater Lake National Park, and the steep-sided lava cone Mount McLoughlin in the Sky Lakes Wilderness area. The Cascade Mountains also contain the Lassen Volcanic National Park, the Crater Lake National Park, the North Cascades National Park, the Mount Rainier National Park, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, the Mount St. Helen’s National Volcanic Monument, the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, the Lava Beds National Monument, the Oregon Caves National Monument, twelve Provincial Parks, the Wenatchee National Forest, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, the Mount Hood National Forest, the Deschutes National Forest, the Willamette National Forest, the Umpqua National Forest, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, the Fremont-Winema National Forest, the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, the Lassen National Forest, the Cascades Raptor Center, and Collier State Park.

Mount Mazama:

Located entirely within Crater Lake National Park, and destroyed by a volcanic eruption that occurred approximately 5677BC, Mount Mazama is a stratovolcano that houses Crater Lake, with its famous indigo color, in its 4,000-foot deep caldera, and has Hillman Peak, standing 8159 feet tall, as its highest elevation point.

Fort Klamath:

The National Register of Historic Places military outpost is found in the town of Chiloquin, near the Oregon Trail’s western end, between Upper Klamath Lake, the Beaver State’s largest freshwater lake, and Crater Lake National Park. Fort Klamath also contains an eight acre museum and the original parade grounds and flagpole site of the 1863-built fort.

Mount Scott:

One of the oldest volcanoes in the Mount Mazama complex, and the highest elevation point in Crater Lake National Park, Mount Scott features a two and a half mile long trail along Rim Drive, a variety of switchbacks, panaramic views of Crater Lake, and a fire lookout tower on its summit where Diamond Peak, Mount Shasta, Diamond Lake, Upper Klamath Lake, Mount McLoughlin, and Mount Thielsen can be observed.

Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge:

Created in 1928 on the shores of Upper Klamath Lake, and possessing approximately 17,193 acres of freshwater marshes, and 30 acres of forested uplands, the Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge provides favored brooding and nesting areas for a wide variety of waterfowl, pelicans, herons, ospreys, and Bald Eagles. Accessible only by boat the Refuge also displays a nine and a half mile long canoe trail through Crystal Creek, Malone Springs, Recreation Creek, Wocus Cut, and Rocky Point.

Mount McLoughlin:

Located in the Sky Lakes Wilderness with panaramic views of the Rogue Valley, Crater Lake, and Mount Shasta, found in both the Rogue River National Forest and the Winema National Forest, providing a five and half mile long extremely rocky terrain trail that stretches from the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail on its eastern and northern sides, climbs through a boulder-covered forest, and over steep slopes before reaching its summit, and standing 9495 feet tall, Mount McLoughlin is the highest elevation point in southern Oregon.

Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuge:

Established in 1978 just north of the California state line the Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuge contains approximately 4,200 acres of old-growth forests that protect Bald Eagles, their night roosting areas, and nesting habitats for Bald Eagle pairs. The Refuge also is a preferred viewing location for morning flyouts of Bald Eagles and other raptors.

Crater Lake:

Found inside the Mount Mazama caldera, and previously known as Deep Blue Lake, Blue Lake, and Lake Majesty, Crater Lake possesses the famous “Old Man of the Lake” tree stump that has bobbed around the lake for more than one hundred years. Crater Lake is also surrounded by two thousand foot tall sheer cliffs and produces the two panaramic land masses known as Wizard Island and Merriam Cone.

Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge:

Established in 1908 as the first waterfowl refuge created in the United States, the National Historic Landmark known as the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge contains about 50,912 acres in Oregon and California full of grassy uplands, croplands, open water areas, and shallow freshwater marshes. The Refuge also provides a ten mile long auto tour of wildlife viewing and many blinds for photographing its vast assortment of wildlife.

Special Note:

For additional information about the California section of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway All-American Road see this Author’s Article entitled California’s Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway All-American Road at:



This article was compiled from several websites that provide much more information about the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway in Oregon including:


People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *