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  1. #1
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    Mckenzie River trail

    Hi!

    A couple of friends and I are planning a road trip to ride the MRT in late May. We are planning on spending on whole weekend there.Being out-of-staters, we have no clue about what the best route is. We are planning on camping a little bit also. Is it rideable in it's entirety (no snow) in May? Any route suggestion/ campsite suggestions? The more technical the route the better.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Shamisen Appreciator
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    Keep an eye on this thread. Hopefully many of your questions will be answered.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bailout
    Hi!

    A couple of friends and I are planning a road trip to ride the MRT in late May. We are planning on spending on whole weekend there.Being out-of-staters, we have no clue about what the best route is. We are planning on camping a little bit also. Is it rideable in it's entirety (no snow) in May? Any route suggestion/ campsite suggestions? The more technical the route the better.
    Thanks!
    Hey Bailout, like Smudge says keep an eye out on that other thread as well, but to answer your questions more specific here...

    Snow has been harsh this year, my best guess is it may be gone but the trail may still have trees on it up higher (think upper 10 miles). Because it will probably take until mid May to access it may take until early June to get it all clear.

    Regardless, there is the still plenty to ride, you can get a good 15 miles at the moment, so out and back would be 30, usually enough for most folks. As to specific routes, it is a long trail the follows the river, you either start low and go up and back, or figure a shuttle and drive up the Hwy to Clear Lake and ride down.

    Also there is a great trail called King Castle, if you are spending a weekend in the area, this is a don't miss ride. Some climbing involved, at about 5 1/2 miles, but well worth it for the view and descent.

    I would hit MRT on Saturday, and King Castle on Sunday if it was me. Mostly because King Castle doesn't take as long as a all day fun ride on MRT.

    Camping, if you haven't looked into it yet, Paradise Camp Ground is the spot. It set's 2 miles up from the lower trailhead and right on the River.

    Hope that helps,
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  4. #4
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    Thanks

    I appreciate the riding suggestions. When you mentioned trees on the trail, did you mean that it's impassable? We might camp upriver at Clear Lake, leave a car at the bottom and drive up to the top (we are taking 2 cars) and ride "down" to the bottom, all 27 miles of it. Is that how the ride is best done? We really don't mind climbing if there's a better route (i.e. reverse of what I described).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bailout
    I appreciate the riding suggestions. When you mentioned trees on the trail, did you mean that it's impassable? We might camp upriver at Clear Lake, leave a car at the bottom and drive up to the top (we are taking 2 cars) and ride "down" to the bottom, all 27 miles of it. Is that how the ride is best done? We really don't mind climbing if there's a better route (i.e. reverse of what I described).
    Coonskins doesn't mean impassable. We went over/under a few downed trees a couple of Wednesday nights ago, (see Coons' blogspot photos - Wed Night Ride 4/5/06 ). That night 4 of us got in 26-28 miles of round trip fun in the dark, though we'd started with 8 folks, (the 4 being motivated by something about training for some silly Pastry race in late June).

    As to the preferred way to ride it if you're going to do it one way, you've got it figured out (top down, and go on the south side of Clear Lake for a more technical experience). I would caution you to be hyper-aware of hikers near Sahalie and Koosah falls. The frequency of encountering them diminishes with distance from those spots. That being said, in the summertime, some hikers will do the entire trail, camping along the way. Also, there are a few blind turns along the way, so operate with regard for other trail users.
    There are several access points at about five mile intervals, so other trail users can show up just about anywhere.

  6. #6
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    Not Impassable

    But not wholly ridable either. If there are trees down, there could be lots of stopping and climbing over or around and in some places and if the trail is in a tree's fall line, it could be 40 yard sections If it's on one of the steep side slopes it can be tricky or even dangerous, especially on a long ride early in the season in unknown terrain. But as has been said, we're only talking about the upper 1/3 section.

    Not trying to scare ya: standard waiver. I'd do it, but it also wrecks the whole flow of the singletrack unreeling from your wheels and I've had days that have been grudging death marches I'd rather forget. I'd hate for your first impression of ol Grandad McKenzie to be of a cantakerous and ornery pisser.

    Could be free and clear and in buffed condition and the best day on a bike you ever had.

    I prefer the out and back, especially this time of year when the upper reaches could be in tough shape or at least questionable: get up as far as you can get then head back. Camping at Paradise is nice and offers basic amenities. Clear Lake . . . I don't know, could be some snow up there yet and is primitive otherwise. Of course you could treat yourself to a room at Belknap Hotsprings.

    Quote Originally Posted by bailout
    I appreciate the riding suggestions. When you mentioned trees on the trail, did you mean that it's impassable? We might camp upriver at Clear Lake, leave a car at the bottom and drive up to the top (we are taking 2 cars) and ride "down" to the bottom, all 27 miles of it. Is that how the ride is best done? We really don't mind climbing if there's a better route (i.e. reverse of what I described).
    Last edited by Snake Muesl; 04-21-2006 at 12:12 AM.

  7. #7
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    Hope Time dependent directions

    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Muesl
    I prefer the out and back, especially this time of year when the upper reaches could be in tough shape or at least questionable: get up as far as you can get then head back. Camping at Paradise is nice and offers basic amenities. Clear Lake . . . I don't know, could be some snow up there yet and is primitive otherwise. Of course you could treat yourself to a room at Belknap Hotsprings.
    Snake's right about this time of year, but if late May is your target date, the trail "MIGHT" be open for it's full length. This year it's hard to predict what's going to happen. We've had more snow this year than year any in the last ten.

    That said, since MRT is a National Recreation Trail, the USFS places a higher priority on it than other local trails in terms of trail maintenance, so it will probably be the first to get work scheduled. Now there's a ray of sunshine for you

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