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McKenzie River Trail (MRT)

 4.6 (127)

25.4 Miles 41.0 Kilometers


100%

Singletrack

488' 149 m

Ascent

-2,197' -670 m

Descent

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

16%

Max Grade (9°)

3,147' 959 m

High

1,430' 436 m

Low

Shared By Katy Ryan

Conditions


All Clear 52 days ago
Lower 2/3 is flowy! History

Getting forecast...

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

Katy Ryan

Dogs Off-leash

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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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Jul 6, 2018
Edward Ziter
Jul 3, 2018
Chuck McQuade
Jul 3, 2018
Seth Escobedo
Jun 25, 2018
Karen Ikins
Jun 23, 2018
John Mtb
Great ride and perfect weather 26.1mi
Jun 23, 2018
Ted Siefkes
Spectacular! We took many stops for photos. Great trails, well marked. Incredible trail. Bring food, it does take time to complete! Shuttle!!! 23mi — 5h 00m
Jun 21, 2018
molly lancaster
27.2 miles with Jeff. EPIC ride through old growth rain forest along McKenzie River. 27.2mi
Jun 18, 2018
Dan Dickinson
Conditions are great, little wet in spots, and lots of tacky dirt & massive trees! 28mi — 5h 00m

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 127 votes

#14

Overall
  4.6 from 127 votes
5 Star
76%
4 Star
14%
3 Star
7%
2 Star
2%
1 Star
2%
Rankings

#2

in Oregon

#14

Overall
4,369 Views Last Month
80,273 Since Jun 9, 2013
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Photos

Brian Naylor
Eugene MF Oregon
Brian Naylor   Eugene MF Oregon
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
Dan Dickinson
Bellingham
Dan Dickinson   Bellingham
Amazing as advertised. Lots of pedaling, but once you get into the flow of the trail, along with the river and the ancient trees, it can be a truly transcendent experience! Thanks to Horse Creek Lodge it was all a down-river trip, and the stay there was absolutely peaceful. Great food & beer nearby at McKenzie General Store as well! Jun 21, 2018

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