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blueBlack McKenzie River Trail (MRT)

  4.6 ( 141 ) Favorite

Trail

25.4 mile 41.0 kilometer point to point
100% Singletrack
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 488' 149 m
Descent: -2,197' -670 m
High: 3,147' 959 m
Low: 1,430' 436 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 16% (9°)

Dogs

Off-leash
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Trail shared by Katy Ryan

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

Katy Ryan

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

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.

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Check-Ins

May 26, 2019
Chris Stack
26mi — 6h 30m
May 18, 2019
Katie Purdy
May 18, 2019
Rich Purdy
Nov 15, 2018
Peter Rudolph
Too cold to finish. Amazing trail 15mi
Oct 19, 2018
Troy Mandery
Oct 19, 2018
Cdilis Melis
Sswc bend
Oct 7, 2018
Colleen Lyon
Sep 22, 2018
Chris Sarot

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 141 votes

#14

Overall
  4.6 from 141 votes
5 Star
75%
4 Star
16%
3 Star
6%
2 Star
1%
1 Star
1%
Rankings

#1

in Oregon

#14

Overall
1,808 Views Last Month
95,596 Since Jun 9, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

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