Skylight Cave / McKenzie Pass 6/4

This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
pdxgene
Posts: 5073
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Skylight Cave / McKenzie Pass 6/4

Post by pdxgene » June 4th, 2014, 6:29 pm

Eric and I headed down Sisters way for a couple very seasonal hikes today. For about two hours a day and for about two months a year there's a pretty cool show down in Skylight Cave. And instead of heading back out to Highway 20 we continued on FS1028 for about four more miles and it brought us out a few hundred yards from the winter gate on Highway 242 which is closed to cars and open for hikers and bikers only for just a little while longer. 99% of the rest were bikers, we were the only two hikers to make the Pass. It's just under seven miles from the gate and you have to make it the whole way to see the good stuff. We tried a couple experiments in the cave, first with water which didn't provide anything photo worthy but then we tried a bit of smoke and that worked pretty nicely.
Starting the day out at Skylight Cave about 930ish...

Image

For whatever reason, angle of light or something, the beams came out blue when shot from the right side.
Image


Image


Image


Image


Image


Image


Image


Image

Eric lurking in the shadows..
Image


Image


Image

Skylight Cave data sheet..
Image

The only early viewpoint is Windy Pt.... Mt Washington from this angle..
Image

Mt Washington and Mt Jefferson from Windy Pt...
Image

North and Middle Sister from McKenzie Pass summit..
Image

Mt Washington, tip of Three Fingered Jack and Mt Jefferson from Dee Wright Observatory..
Image

The cool stone building that is Dee Wright Observatory...
Image

North and Middle Sister from Dee Wright Observatory..
Image

Last of the snow at McKenzie Pass..
Image

Parting look at Mt Jefferson from McKenzie Pass..
Image

And a final look at North and Middle Sister from McKenzie Pass..
Image

Pretty much a perfect day except the mean ODOT people didn't have a beer cooler in their work vehicles... Grrrr :cry:
Album here http://picasaweb.google.com/pdxgene/SkylightCave

User avatar
mattisnotfrench
Posts: 1299
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: SE Portland
Contact:

Re: Skylight Cave / McKenzie Pass 6/4

Post by mattisnotfrench » June 4th, 2014, 9:15 pm

That looks like a fantastic day! I wish I could have joined you. Oh well. Great photos!

Once again, this is always what I think of when I see a picture of Skyline Cave:

Image
Author of Off the Beaten Trail, 101 Hikes in the Majestic Mount Jefferson Region and PDX Hiking 365. Website: www.offthebeatentrailpdx.com

pdxgene
Posts: 5073
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Skylight Cave / McKenzie Pass 6/4

Post by pdxgene » June 4th, 2014, 9:45 pm

You'd have all kinds of fun with your camera down there. You just have to do something about all those pesky work days.. :P

User avatar
BrianEdwards
Posts: 2401
Joined: February 2nd, 2010, 1:32 am
Location: Oregon City, OR
Contact:

Re: Skylight Cave / McKenzie Pass 6/4

Post by BrianEdwards » June 5th, 2014, 4:34 am

Those cave shots are epic!
Clackamas River Waterfall Project - 95 Documented, 18 to go.

pdxgene
Posts: 5073
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Skylight Cave / McKenzie Pass 6/4

Post by pdxgene » June 5th, 2014, 9:17 am

BrianEdwards wrote:Those cave shots are epic!
Thanx Brian!
I think they try and keep the crowds down. The only directions online for entry from Highway 20 by the Sisters Chamber of Commerce are wrong :o Only by one line but it's the first one so the rest being accurate doesn't help quite as much if you miss the mistake. The directions from 242 in Scott's Bend Overall book are exactly correct.

User avatar
rick6003
Posts: 330
Joined: March 30th, 2010, 7:00 pm

Re: Skylight Cave / McKenzie Pass 6/4

Post by rick6003 » June 5th, 2014, 6:43 pm

Great ,

Boca Cave is a pretty one. Just a short hike and a little scramble.

User avatar
Rustygoat
Posts: 507
Joined: August 27th, 2012, 2:28 pm
Location: SE Portland

Re: Skylight Cave / McKenzie Pass 6/4

Post by Rustygoat » June 11th, 2014, 7:24 pm

Awesome Skylight pictures Gene! I've been going there for years but don't have any pictures that epic. There is more to that cave if you go the other direction once you are down the ladder. The ground is sandy and you have to crawl in places but it does go back a ways. I love the observatory also. I made a few trips to that gate over the years and the gate was closed, but I kept on trying. Finally one year on a trip I had enough time to hike back to it and the gate happened to be open. That was the first time I drove that pass...and ran across Proxy Falls, by chance. Neat area, thanks for sharing. :)
Tim

Chasing waterfalls can be addictive.
NW Off-trail Waterfalls -Facebook Group

pdxgene
Posts: 5073
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Skylight Cave / McKenzie Pass 6/4

Post by pdxgene » June 11th, 2014, 8:53 pm

Thanx Tim. I timed it better this time than last time. It only stays at its best for maybe 10-20 minutes. The first dozen pictures I took when I got there ended up all being deleted. The later ones were lined up so much better. And anything after we left would have been tailing off.
We thought about checking the other side but still wanted to get up to McKenzie Pass and not get back home too late.

Proxy Falls is on the list for the not too distant future (along with Scott Lake, Hand Lake, Benson Lake, Linton Falls, etc). If we only had a freeway that went there in a straight line from here... Or gas could have its priced halved.. Why do I think those probably won't happen... :?

User avatar
CuriousGorgeGuide
Posts: 260
Joined: March 28th, 2010, 10:48 am

Re: Skylight Cave / McKenzie Pass 6/4

Post by CuriousGorgeGuide » June 12th, 2014, 9:39 am

Well done Gene, Bravo! I love the 20-minute time window and I've got fond memories of smoldering tissue paper. As the pros say "nice capture"!
cheers, scott

petenice
Posts: 1
Joined: September 11th, 2016, 8:14 pm

Re: Skylight Cave / McKenzie Pass 6/4

Post by petenice » September 11th, 2016, 8:20 pm

Directions tip, we tried to access Skylight Cave last week, 9/8/16, from Highway 20, but were turned back by impassible road conditions.

NF-2060 westbound is blocked by a large blown-down tree about 1/2 mile from where it crosses NF-1014.

NF-1014 currently has a major sand drift about 2 miles from where it crosses NF-2060. We didn't attempt to charge through it.

Post Reply