McKenzie River Trail (MRT)

 104 votes

25.4 Miles 41.0 Kilometers


100%

Singletrack

488' 149 m

Ascent

-2,197' -670 m

Descent

3,147' 959 m

High

1,430' 436 m

Low

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

16%

Max Grade (9°)

All Clear

21 days agoUpdate

Rivers, bridges, lush terrain, waterfalls, blue pools, and technical riding.

Katy Ryan

Overview

The MRT is 20+ miles of flowing singletrack, ideally located among old growth forest, waterfalls,mosses, ferns and brilliant blue pools of water. It is a long, mostly downhill and a a super fun spin. Of course, it wouldn't be the perfect trail without the sharp volcanic rock technical sections. The upper MRT has most of the technical, while from Trail Bridge Campground it is fairly smooth.
Dogs: Off-leash

Need to Know

The McKenzie River is one of the coldest in the US. Don't jump in from any cliff, it is deadly. The volcanic rock is pretty slick when wet.

Horse Creek Lodge & Outfitters provides shuttles for hikers and bikers on the McKenzie River Trail and O'Leary Trail, and they rent and repair bikes. More information can be found on their website or by calling 541-822-3243.

Description

The MRT is often described as the #1 trail in the US. It is a stunningly beautiful, mostly downhill trail, but it is an all day ride, even if you are fit. Generally ridden as a shuttle, but the uber fit and motivated could ride it back (that's crazy though).

The technical is not concentrated in one area, which makes it hard to bypass. Most everyone will walk some of the sections. If you aren't willing to walk, at least scout some of them out, before you need to walk out with a broken arm. There are three main areas of technical in the upper third section of the MRT: east side of Clear Lake, after Sahalie Falls, and after Tamolitch Falls.

From the start, you'll ride a few miles of moderate singeltrack. At Clear Lake you can continue the easy-moderate trail on the westside, or opt for the highly technical section on the east side (a sunny, sweltering hot, sharp lava rock, tube eating option if you like that kind of adventure...credit to Mark for that). After the lake, it's back to nice flow.

Technical resumes after Sahalie Falls, and again below Tamolitch Falls. If you don't care to ride the volcanic rock, you need to walk it, there are no ride-arounds.
After you encounter Trail Bridge Campground, the riding is fairly smooth again.

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   Clear

4.6 from 104 votes


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Check-Ins

Jul 21, 2017
Eric B
Great trail. A few technical sections we had to walk the bike, but well worth it.One five mile section had a ton of hikers. Great endurance ride! 25.4mi
Jul 20, 2017
Eric B
Jul 3, 2017
Cody Grimm
Jul 1, 2017
Max Davidson
25.4mi
Jun 25, 2017
David Bierwirth
Very unridable trail...better off suited for hikers. Upper section very dangerous w lava rock which is extremely sharp. Lower full of hikers 18mi
Jun 23, 2017
Rafael Robles
Jun 11, 2017
Buick Wagner
Wet and wild! Great ride
Jun 6, 2017
Brandon Durgan

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 103 votes

#18

Overall
  4.6 from 103 votes
5 Star
78%
4 Star
13%
3 Star
7%
2 Star
2%
1 Star
1%
Rankings

#2

in Oregon

#18

Overall
3,788 Views Last Month
48,007 Since Jun 9, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
11%
62%
28%
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Conditions


All Clear 21 days ago
Dry - The flooding is gone since they let water out of the dam. Trail is in great condition, beyond the horde of hikers in the fun part.
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Getting forecast...

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Technically challenging & endurance begging cross country trail. If you can trackstand for 5secs you can complete the east side of clear lake with difficulty & walking sections. If you can EASILY trackstand for 10sec you will probably have a bunch of fun on the east side of clear lake & other lava sections. If you can't trackstand take west side option, know you'll walk the other 3lava sections May 20, 2017


Super awesome! all things a MTB trail should be. Ups-downs-and good stuff all around. Rain and cold but still a blast to ride. Lava rocks not a big deal. 4-5 hr riding casually the whole thing. A burrito stand after blue pool would be nice. Jun 11, 2017


Skip the lava to the left around clear lake! I have ridden this trail many times it is on of my absolute favorites. But keep in mind after clear lake it gets technical, advanced technical, not intermediate. It is a old school mtb trail, it's not one of these made for bikes free ride trails. That said it's wicked fun technical then fast and flowy with amazing scenery come to be challenged. Jul 2, 2017


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