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  1. #1
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    McKenzie River Trail - Overnight Trip

    I was thinking about taking the bus to the MRT, riding up the highway to the start of the trail, camping overnight, then riding down the MRT the next day. Obviously to do this I would need to carry at least a tent, sleeping bag, and a few items in small panniers on the back. I would travel as light as possible. So how condusive is the trail to traveling with a small load? I have never ridden the trail, so I don't know how technical it is. I am an experienced rider, and have ridden trails with a small load before, but I would have a less experienced rider along with me.

  2. #2
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    If you are thinking of doing it anytime soon, you will need snowshoes for the first 15+ miles. If you wait for the trail to melt off, get the logs cleared etc, you will find the top section starting at Clear Lake very challenging. There will be significant portions walked if you are not a terrific mtb'r especially with a load on you and the bike. The bottom 2/3 of the trail will be very enjoyable.

    If you are a fairly strong rider, it is common to do the whole trail in an afternoon from top to bottom. Lot's of folks start at the bottom for an outn'back to blue pool.
    MaxSteel

  3. #3
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    MaxSteel,

    Thanks for the info. I was thinking of doing the trail in July, but I kind of figured that part through the lava might be too challenging with panniers, and you confirmed that. It is possible to bypass that section and come back in lower down the trail?

  4. #4
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    You can easily bypass. A nice feature about that trail is you can bailout for a mechanical or injury quite a few places. The thing is, if you ride around Clear Lake and then take the highway down to Trail Bridge reservoir, you will lose nearly 1/4 of the trail and some wonderful sights. Especially Blue Pool (Tamolitch Falls).
    MaxSteel

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jckid
    MaxSteel,

    Thanks for the info. I was thinking of doing the trail in July, but I kind of figured that part through the lava might be too challenging with panniers, and you confirmed that. It is possible to bypass that section and come back in lower down the trail?
    You can actually avoid the upper lava / paved lava part of the trail & not miss much. There is a 'Y' shortly after you start the trail, veer right & you ride single track around the lake & meet back trail in about a mile or so, I believe. We did it by accident last time, as we WANTED to ride the lava field but missed it

    & BTW, if you are in decent shape, you will end up riding the whole trail, even after stopping for pictures (which you will) in about 5-6 hours, 7 tops if you stop for long periods of time. Fastest we ever did it was 4 hours.

  6. #6
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    That makes me feel better about my 4.5-5 hour time on my full rigid (But I did walk some of the uphills since I was WAY out of shape and dehydrated).

  7. #7
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    The whole trail 4-5 hours out and back? I usually take 4 hours one way coming down. What are you guys doing racing? The MRT is such a beautiful trail it should be done at an relaxed pace, enjoy the scenery, dab your feet in the river, smell the flowers.

    Of course I'm getting old so maybe I'm just slower than a snail, and I admire you hammerheads who seem to have wings on your bikes, and I suppose that if you ride the MRT a dozen times every year the scenery might get tiresome. I'm lucky if I get to ride it once a year so I'll keep my SloBoyz pace and see something new and wonderful every time I pass that way.
    Happy Trails
    Jolly

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jollybeggar
    The whole trail 4-5 hours out and back? I usually take 4 hours one way coming down. What are you guys doing racing? The MRT is such a beautiful trail it should be done at an relaxed pace, enjoy the scenery, dab your feet in the river, smell the flowers.

    Of course I'm getting old so maybe I'm just slower than a snail, and I admire you hammerheads who seem to have wings on your bikes, and I suppose that if you ride the MRT a dozen times every year the scenery might get tiresome. I'm lucky if I get to ride it once a year so I'll keep my SloBoyz pace and see something new and wonderful every time I pass that way.
    I'm pretty sure he (& I) are referring to a one way trip. And you are correct, the scenery is worth taking your time & enjoying it

  9. #9
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    camp at Paradise

    I suggest setting up camp at Paradise CG near the lower end of the trail and then riding the trail without your camping gear. Maybe I am a wimp, but there are a lot of tight, rocky technical spots on the upper part of the trail that would be a real pain with panniers. Not so much below Trail Bridge, but more around the Blue Pool and the waterfalls. Some narrow bridges too. Or you could ride the trail or the road up to Trail Bridge CG and set up a base camp there, then ride up and/or down the trail the next day without panniers.

  10. #10
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    "I'm pretty sure he (& I) are referring to a one way trip. And you are correct, the scenery is worth taking your time & enjoying it"


    Yes, I was talking one way down from Cresent Lake.




    "I suggest setting up camp at Paradise CG near the lower end of the trail and then riding the trail without your camping gear. "

    x2

  11. #11
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    whatever you do...

    make sure you keep your load as "narrow" as possible. Lots of narrow bridges to cross.

    Have fun!
    Hey man, wanna go for a klunk?

  12. #12
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    Here's a shot of Sahalie falls from yesterday. There's still plenty of snow on the MRT. I doubt bikes can get above Deer Creek anytime soon.

    I love mankind - it's people I can't stand. ~Charles M. Schulz

  13. #13
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    I figured you might get up to just above Belknap, to the Fasal crossing zone. That's about 5-5 1/2 miles up, before becoming annoyed by the snow drifts...
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