McKenzie River Trail conditions in mid-march?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    McKenzie River Trail conditions in mid-march?

    Am I out of my mind to hope to be able to ride McKenzie River trail on my way from Chicago to Seattle in 2 weeks? Not being from the area, I'm unfamiliar with the climate. If I am out of my mind, does anyone have any other suggestion of a place to ride between(ish) Chicago and Seattle?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by A-Town212
    Am I out of my mind to hope to be able to ride McKenzie River trail on my way from Chicago to Seattle in 2 weeks? Not being from the area, I'm unfamiliar with the climate. If I am out of my mind, does anyone have any other suggestion of a place to ride between(ish) Chicago and Seattle?
    I've ridden MRT every month of the year. Also seen it under snow and totally impassable as late as April. Just depends on the year. Uppermost section (near Clear Lk) is about 3000' elevation and this almost certainly won't be accessible in mid-March (although I rode all the way around Clear Lake on Feb. 21st last year, so anything's possible).

    The lower trailhead near the town of McKenzie Bridge is closer to 1600' elevation. You ~might~ be able to ride up as far as Tamolich Falls (aka Blue Pool) but it's a total crap shoot.

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  3. #3
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    AND if the trail is clear in March, chances are the snow melt would be off the hook and the hikers will be out in mass to see the beautiful waterfalls. I'd suggest a weekday ride.

    For other options in the area there is Bend/Sisters and Oakridge.

    Caz
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  4. #4
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    It will almost certainly be under snow in at least sections (I've hit snow on Memorial Day weekend on that trail)

  5. #5
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    Before our last mega snowfall and when we have a super dry month I called the Forest Service to see if the trail was open. Even in those conditions I was told the bottom half was open but not the top. Now we have gotten a few feet of snow my guess without calling is that in a few weeks you could start from the Forest Service building at the bottom of the trail and get about ten miles up, near the reservoir. Then you can turn around and ride down. So you won't get the entire trail, but at least a good portion of it and together a decent ride.
    Yes, last year we have a dry winter up until the very end and were able to ride in February, but mainly the entire trail does not open to cyclists not wanting to walk through snow or carry their bikes over trees in mid-May.
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  6. #6
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    imho, if you can't ride the upper section from the lake down past the blue pool, you miss the best part of MRT.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mightymouse
    imho, if you can't ride the upper section from the lake down past the blue pool, you miss the best part of MRT.
    +1

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mightymouse
    imho, if you can't ride the upper section from the lake down past the blue pool, you miss the best part of MRT.
    +2

    But you would still enjoy the lower part if it is clear. Big if.
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  9. #9
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    Okay, okay... +3.

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  10. #10
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    Sounds like I should let it go this time... I guess I have to plan a trip to Bend, then. Thanks for the input, everybody!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by A-Town212
    Sounds like I should let it go this time... I guess I have to plan a trip to Bend, then. Thanks for the input, everybody!
    Ummm...Bend gets MORE snow than the MRT.

    Have a Plan C?
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Ummm...Bend gets MORE snow than the MRT.

    Have a Plan C?

    No, not this time. I meant another trip. Like later in the summer.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by A-Town212
    No, not this time. I meant another trip. Like later in the summer.
    MRT is also a westside trail, closer to Eugene in distance and terrain than Bend, despite many mags insisting on including it in Bend articles.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mightymouse
    imho, if you can't ride the upper section from the lake down past the blue pool, you miss the best part of MRT.
    I know you wanted to say " If you can't ride the entire trail from the bottom to the top, around the lake and then back down, then you miss the best part of MRT".

    Caz
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cazloco
    I know you wanted to say " If you can't ride the entire trail from the bottom to the top, around the lake and then back down, then you miss the best part of MRT".

    Caz
    Well, that is the proper route.I don't ride it any other way.
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