McKenzie River Trail, Oregon- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 48 of 48
  1. #1
    mtbr dismember
    Reputation: Wherewolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,988

    McKenzie River Trail, Oregon

    Many consider the 25 mile long McKenzie River Trail (MRT) in Oregon the most beautiful trail in the U. S. The trail meanders along the McKenzie River through thick conifer forests, and consists of buffed twisty singletrack, some fairly technical sections across lava fields, a few steep climbs and drops, and about 20 wooden bridges. From the top trailhead the trail almost immediately splits, with the right going to the east side of Clear Lake, and the left, the true MRT, going along the west side of the lake. The west side has some pretty technical lava fields, so many take the right fork along the east side of the lake. I wanted to experience the entire MRT so I stayed on it to the left. The lava fields weren't too bad and I just walked the most difficult parts. Near the end of the lake a sign had two arrows, one to Sahalie Falls, the other to the MRT. I chose the latter, which caused me to go clearly around the east side of the lake. Once I realized my mistake I went back and took the route to Sahalie Falls.

    Most photos from this trail show beautiful buffed singletrack meandering through dense conifer forests, and the elevation profile leads you to believe you just coast downhill the whole way. The trail is actually more difficult than depicted. About two miles (10 - 12 for me) consists of some pretty technical, narrow, twisty, lava rock strewn singletrack, with many short steep technical climbs and descents. Most people, including myself, walked quite a bit of it. The razor sharp lava rock was pretty tough on the ankles, whether walking or riding. At about mile 13 the trail became really nice, narrow, mildly rocky singletrack with many short ups and downs. The last few miles became that nice narrow buffed singletrack meandering through dense conifer forests, that you hear about most. I have terrible balance and I am terrified of heights. Nearly all of the 20 or so wooden bridges were pretty tough for me to cross. On the longest and highest bridge Matt from Bend sensed my fear and he offered to take my bike across for me. Thanks Matt!

    This is a great ride and I highly recommend it. The shuttle service, from McKenzie River Mountain Resorts, is the best way to go. You follow them for a few minutes to the bottom of the trail, leave your vehicle, have a relatively short drive to the top, and then ride the trail back to your vehicle. It was very difficult getting good photos in the dark forest. Below are a few, more on my bike site.




    Only bridge I wasn't afraid of.



    Matt showing me how to cross.


















































    Last edited by Wherewolf; 07-12-2011 at 12:08 PM.

  2. #2
    dead weight
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    731
    Awesome!
    A bunch of my ride pics: http://uberfarm.com/mnf

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Restricted's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    119
    Very cool! thanks for sharing

  4. #4
    Team Fearless Descender
    Reputation: El Salt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    1,975
    Great pix! Thanks for reminding me of it. Road MRT back in 2004 - wow that seems like a long time ago now!
    .
    "...when your ride is nearly over, it seems to have lasted but an instant..."


    Stuff

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,918
    darnit that looks and sounds like fun! were you riding in a group, did you have a guide, or were you just riding solo? how was the riding you did in bend? maybe august...

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    187
    Great shots. That one is defnitely on my bucket list. Me, I'd ride all those bridges for sure ... in my dreams.

  7. #7
    Dishwasher Safe
    Reputation: deadbolt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    1,253
    Thanks for the memories!

    For some reason I was under the impression it was a loop when I rode it so I ended up doing it as an out-and-back. Obviously I wasn't prepared for 50 miles and had just run out of water at the 25 mile mark. Fortunately I started at the bottom and there was a place to eat at the top. I grabbed a burger, fries and a coke, refilled my water, and started the long ride back to my trucků

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: robncircus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    464
    nice! How close is this to Portland? I will be visitng a friend up there next month.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    408
    Meh...........thought it was way overrated.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    457
    Beautiful.
    "Being smart and fit is expensive, but not as expensive as being fat and dumb" - 9.8m/s/s

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    135
    We camped at Paradise Campground, shuttled up stream with a nearby hot spring resort manager- Belnap Hot Spring Resort I believe. We showered, soaked there after the course down through there to Paradise.

    Thanks for the great pics. This is a great place on the planet.

  12. #12
    Tree Hugger
    Reputation: Sasquatch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    2,946
    Quote Originally Posted by robncircus View Post
    nice! How close is this to Portland? I will be visitng a friend up there next month.
    2.5 hours from Portland. Alot of PDX riders visit Mr T every summer.
    I love mankind - it's people I can't stand. ~Charles M. Schulz

  13. #13
    Moon Child
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    148
    great report

  14. #14
    High Desert MTBer
    Reputation: rockerc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    5,468
    Looks beautiful. Might have to try it if I am up that way...

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    282
    WOW!!!! that was awesome, thanks for sharing them

  16. #16
    CrgCrkRyder
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2,366
    Great pics and ride report. Thanks for posting. I have really been enjoying your ride reports. Keep up the good work. Its difficult for me to get to your part of the country so the photo tours are great.!

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    60
    incredible ride... makes me jealous to live on the opposite end of the country.

  18. #18
    I just wanna ride my bike
    Reputation: TheotherH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    845
    Great pics - thanks for sharing. The trail looks to be in prime condition - awesome, since I'll be riding it this coming Monday with a group of friends who have not yet had the pleasure of experiencing the MRT.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 2Marvel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    21
    I'm one of those friends! Stoked to be riding it Monday Great pics! Gives me an idea of what to look forward too.

  20. #20
    9 lives
    Reputation: cyclelicious's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    14,989
    Beautiful pics! I'll add this to my growing list of awesome places to ride

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: twd953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    966
    Excellent photos! More beautiful than I remember it, and I've ridden it a dozen times, including a trip about 10 days ago.

    I need you to teach the guys I ride with how to take proper photos. Somehow their shots make the trails look far easier than they are, while yours almost make the trail look harder than it really is.

    The shot of the downhill lava rock garden about 11 shots down just after the blue pool shots looks particularly gnarly. Makes me wonder how we rode down that on tandem (my 8 y.o. son and I) a couple years ago.

    Thanks for the report.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: twd953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    966
    Quote Originally Posted by deadbolt View Post
    Thanks for the memories!

    For some reason I was under the impression it was a loop when I rode it so I ended up doing it as an out-and-back. Obviously I wasn't prepared for 50 miles and had just run out of water at the 25 mile mark. Fortunately I started at the bottom and there was a place to eat at the top. I grabbed a burger, fries and a coke, refilled my water, and started the long ride back to my trucků
    Out and back is not a bad way to ride it so long as you're planning for 50 miles of singletrack. Trick is to start early in the morning if you're doing it on a weekend, so that you're to the top before all of the shuttlers get on the trail. Definetly not a one-way trail, but many folks ride it like it is.

    Riding it up-stream isn't as hard as many people think in terms of total effort since the elevation gain is mostly gradual (except for the bit next to Sahalie Falls), but all the lava rock sections that you can roll with momentum in the downstream direction have to be clawed up the other way.

    If you're more into the techie sections, start at trail bridge, and ride to the top and back down. About the same mileage as the whole trail 1-way, but more challenging.

    MRT as a night ride is also an unfogettable experience. Sahalie falls thundring next to the trail in the pitch dark, or blue pool under a starry sky on a warm summers night are both pretty surreal.

  23. #23
    Des(s)ert Rat
    Reputation: screampint's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    4,961
    Very nice! Thanks!

  24. #24
    boardguru
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    216
    Great pictures, thanks for rekindling memories.

    My wife and I rode it last August, and are planning on riding again at the end of August this year. It is definately a classic trail ride and I highly recommend contacting Chris at McKenzie River Mountain Resort for shuttle service unless you are doing an out and back.
    It's well worth the trip from Utah for us to ride this trail.

  25. #25
    Keep The Rubber Side Down
    Reputation: Mellow Yellow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    1,685
    Amazing!
    Some of my happiest memories in life took place on my bicycles. - Me

  26. #26
    No known cure
    Reputation: Vader's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    3,739
    Quote Originally Posted by deadbolt View Post
    Thanks for the memories!

    For some reason I was under the impression it was a loop when I rode it so I ended up doing it as an out-and-back. Obviously I wasn't prepared for 50 miles and had just run out of water at the 25 mile mark. Fortunately I started at the bottom and there was a place to eat at the top. I grabbed a burger, fries and a coke, refilled my water, and started the long ride back to my trucků
    When I lived in Oregon years ago, before shuttle service, and when I couldn't find a riding partner, I'd do this as an out and back. From either end. Once, while racing daylight, I rode the highway back to Clear Lake. One of the more stupid things I've done.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  27. #27
    Break it, Fix it, Ride it
    Reputation: Dag Nabbit's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,939
    Very, very nice. Sure is huge contrast from the Sonoran desert I always ride in. I get o fly through trees about 5 times a year. Thanks for sharing.
    Today's the day I eat bikes.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation: gmats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3,221
    Thanks for posting, great ride. I rode it back in 2010, drove out there from Bend. Was worth the day.

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,390
    Ridden this beauiful, fun trail twice and love it. Since then I've learned of the North Umpqua Trail farther south. All who have ridden both say it's even more beautiful and it's 79 miles long.
    agmtb

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jmountain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    317
    I'll be riding it for my first time in two weeks.

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation: gmats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3,221
    Quote Originally Posted by abegold View Post
    Ridden this beauiful, fun trail twice and love it. Since then I've learned of the North Umpqua Trail farther south. All who have ridden both say it's even more beautiful and it's 79 miles long.
    Aloha, yes, I have ridden that trail too. Woohoo!! Sweet singtrack for sure.

  32. #32
    mtbr dismember
    Reputation: Wherewolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,988

    Thanks everyone!

    Seems I got the original post in just before becoming quite sick. This is my first chance to respond. Thanks for your comments. I rode solo but ran into Matt's group quite a bit. I've also ridden the Dread and Terror, and Hot Springs sections of the North Umpqua Trail and I seem to recall that being much more of a dense rain forest type environment than the MRT. In my somewhat limited riding experiences I still have not seen a more beautiful trail than the Tahoe Rim Trail. Hopefully I'll have photos to post from there in about a week.

  33. #33
    Plays with tools
    Reputation: customfab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    4,642
    FYI Cog Wild bike tours based out of Bend will do shuttles to MRT as well. If the van is full it's actually cheaper than using the local shuttle guy. The other thing you can always do is start riding up the highway with a 6 pack on the end of your bar, somebody will pick you up before to long.

    Fun (unconfirmed) fact. Timolich (the blue green body of water in the pictures) pool at it's deepest point is 70 feet. For those of you that have seen it in person it looks like it's 10' tops.

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation: steadyflow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,123
    Amazing....looks like a must do. I have yet to ride up that way at all; need to make it happen.

  35. #35
    mtbr dismember
    Reputation: Wherewolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,988

    Shuttles

    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    FYI Cog Wild bike tours based out of Bend will do shuttles to MRT as well.
    "The trailhead of the McKenzie River Trail is a 1.5-hour drive NW from Bend,"... and they will meet you at 5 pm at the bottom of the trail and take you back to Bend. Fine if you are in Bend. But the way I did it involves much less shuttle time, and you end up at your own vehicle and on your own riding schedule.

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jollybeggar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    1,353
    Although I love the MRT as a whole, I hate the lava section. I wish they could go in a knock down all those jagged rock edges just to make it safer and fill in the deeply rutted parts, it's gotten pretty bad in places.

    Riding the eastern section of the NUT next weekend. Can't wait!
    Happy Trails
    Jolly

  37. #37
    Plays with tools
    Reputation: customfab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    4,642
    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf View Post
    "The trailhead of the McKenzie River Trail is a 1.5-hour drive NW from Bend,"... and they will meet you at 5 pm at the bottom of the trail and take you back to Bend. Fine if you are in Bend. But the way I did it involves much less shuttle time, and you end up at your own vehicle and on your own riding schedule.
    Yeah it certainly doesn't make sense to use Cog if your not already in BendOR. But if your in the area for a MTB trip why wouldn't you come to Bend?

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Howley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    634
    "all those jagged rock edges " make for a trail where a high level of skills are required. something to be desired...but not by all...Love those technical rides just the way they are...never the same each of the 4-5 times i've ridden it. Yes it is all ridable except for Some of the bridges.

    I am never ashamed if I feel like walking and would never recommend knocking down technical sections. IMHO

  39. #39
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    40
    Quote Originally Posted by jollybeggar View Post
    Although I love the MRT as a whole, I hate the lava section. I wish they could go in a knock down all those jagged rock edges just to make it safer and fill in the deeply rutted parts, it's gotten pretty bad in places.
    This is obscene.

    Advocating the sanitization of trails because you cannot cope sucks.

  40. #40
    mtbr dismember
    Reputation: Wherewolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,988

    Disagree

    Quote Originally Posted by jollybeggar View Post
    ... I wish they could go in a knock down all those jagged rock edges just to make it safer and fill in the deeply rutted parts, it's gotten pretty bad in places.
    I disagree. I'd never want to see any trail sanitized. I'm not too proud to walk something I don't feel safe riding. If they sanitize trails to the lowest common denominator they would all be very boring. Besides, trails I used to think were too difficult eventually became easier.

  41. #41
    More Torque
    Reputation: Diesel~'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    2,012
    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    FYI Cog Wild bike tours based out of Bend will do shuttles to MRT as well. If the van is full it's actually cheaper than using the local shuttle guy. The other thing you can always do is start riding up the highway with a 6 pack on the end of your bar, somebody will pick you up before to long.

    Fun (unconfirmed) fact. Timolich (the blue green body of water in the pictures) pool at it's deepest point is 70 feet. For those of you that have seen it in person it looks like it's 10' tops.
    I used Cog Wild's MRT shuttle last fall, and it worked great. Very cool folks and very reasonably priced. Highly recommended.

    That's interesting about the blue pool....you're right, it looked nowhere near that deep. Had lunch on the ledge overlooking the pool, which is a great spot.

    Quote Originally Posted by jollybeggar View Post
    Although I love the MRT as a whole, I hate the lava section. I wish they could go in a knock down all those jagged rock edges just to make it safer and fill in the deeply rutted parts, it's gotten pretty bad in places.
    I really enjoyed the jagged lava sections. It was great to have some techy, challenging sections to mix up faster, flowy portions. It would be a shame if it were sanitized.

    Nice photos, Wherewolf!

    -D

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    167

    An excellent way to spend the day

    It sure doesn't look that deep. I hear it's pretty cold!
    Out and back would be epic. No need to make the trail easier or shorter.
    Maybe not the best but it's a mighty fine ride. My wife and I are going back this fall and taking some friends along. Last year we used the Cog Wild shuttle. They drive you home while you sip on some beer and relax.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails McKenzie River Trail, Oregon-p1010830.jpg  


  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dp2315's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    271
    Awesome pics, thx for posting. I try to get up there every year from nor-cal, the scenery alone is worth the drive for me.

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jollybeggar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    1,353
    Quote Originally Posted by Cipher View Post
    This is obscene.

    Advocating the sanitization of trails because you cannot cope sucks.
    I can cope by walking anything I don't feel comfortable riding.

    Normally I don't advocate trail sanitization, however there are some deeply rutted sections of the MRT which need attention due to over use. Areas where walking or riding in a deep rut can lead to serious injury. The trail was not like this in the early years and has become more rutted in the last few. The deeply rutted areas happen to lie in the most popular hiking areas below and above the Tamolitch Pool. With very little work these areas could be made more ridable. If you've ever seen or felt the bloody carnage sharp lava can work on human flesh you might think it less obscene.

    Every area you and I ride has been sanitized to a certain extent, it's called a trail. They are put there for a wide variety of users of varying abilities, not just for the advanced riders. The MRT was built so that the people of Oregon and visitors to our beautiful state could see some of it's wonders. Finding a happy medium so that trail users can tread it in reasonable safety isn't sanitizing it just good maintenance.
    Last edited by jollybeggar; 07-19-2011 at 10:42 AM.
    Happy Trails
    Jolly

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bycyclist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    395
    I just rode MRT last Thursday. Truly a must-do ride for MTBers!

  46. #46
    mtbr member
    Reputation: gmats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3,221
    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    Yeah it certainly doesn't make sense to use Cog if your not already in BendOR. But if your in the area for a MTB trip why wouldn't you come to Bend?
    Aloha, I agree. MRT is one ride, great for sure. But there are TONS of excellent rides out in Bend. I can't wait for the day to return.

  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation: gmats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3,221
    Quote Originally Posted by jollybeggar View Post
    Although I love the MRT as a whole, I hate the lava section. I wish they could go in a knock down all those jagged rock edges just to make it safer and fill in the deeply rutted parts, it's gotten pretty bad in places.

    Riding the eastern section of the NUT next weekend. Can't wait!
    That's the great part of this trail, there are so many different sections. Like surfing or golf. Not always ideal but can all be fun.

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation: husonfirst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    85
    Beautiful pics and nice trail.

Similar Threads

  1. Bend Oregon, McKenzie River Trail and Coast
    By tommignon in forum Vacations & Destinations
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 06-28-2010, 05:01 PM
  2. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 06-16-2010, 02:23 PM
  3. mckenzie river oregon
    By metaldork in forum Riding Passion
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 01-12-2009, 01:22 PM
  4. McKenzie River Shuttle in Oregon, Oct. 10th
    By Cog Wild in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-05-2007, 11:30 AM
  5. lower McKenzie River trail, Oregon
    By lef-t in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-08-2004, 11:37 PM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.