McKenzie River Trail (MRT)

 99 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°)

Minor Issues

17 hours 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.

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.

Contacts

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4.6 from 99 votes


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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

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
May 28, 2017
Andy Houston
Not a downhill feeling ride
May 25, 2017
Brian Baugh
May 20, 2017
Kat Simpson
26.6mi
May 20, 2017
Adrian Gallo
200meters of snow (easily walkable) & ~4 puddles all within 2miles of Clear Lake. One more week of clear weather and it should all be dry. 26.4mi — 5h 50m

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 98 votes

#18

Overall
  4.6 from 98 votes
5 Star
78%
4 Star
13%
3 Star
6%
2 Star
2%
1 Star
1%
Rankings

#2

in Oregon

#18

Overall
3,600 Views Last Month
44,644 Since Jun 9, 2013
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Conditions


Minor Issues 17 hours ago
Dry, Some Mud - Below Carmen is a waist deep transition! Remainder is dry and powered.
Update ConditionsHistory

Getting forecast...

Photos

HUGE letdown for the bucketlist ride. Shuttle was fine, but first ten miles was nothing but miserable, jagged lava rocks, which feel really great when you land on them. Followed by ten miles of so-so ST and a somewhat smooth finish. The MRT is indeed DH as billed...but it's not a DH trail. Peddling almost 100% of the time. I'll take Marin, Fruita, Moab, Bend any day...VERY overrated. Mar 6, 2017


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


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