- 171 miles
- 4-6 hours to visit the byway
Oregon's Outback Scenic Byway cuts a solitary ribbon of road through a part of the state noted for its similarities with the Australian Outback. Forest gives way to barren, albeit beautiful high desert sprinkled with sagebrush, then sparkling lakes and marshes alive with water fowl. Along the way, enjoy a recreational break at Fort Rock State Monument, a volcanic formation laced with hiking trails and catch the local living history museum seasonally before you hit the road once more. For those interested in natural history, Fossil Lake, east of the Outback route and Fort Rock (now a dry lake bed) offers great opportunities to view the remains of creatures that lived in the area over 10,000 years ago. Back on the main byway, the road meanders past Silver and Summer Lakes via Picture Rock Pass, named for the petroglyphs viewable within walking distance of highway. Catch the annual summer Mosquito Festival in the town of Paisley, watch for hang gliders soaring off Albert Rim and wind up your drive near Lakeview, with a stop to see the state's sole geyser spouting just north of town.