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McKenzie River Trail (MRT)

 4.6 (118)
Trail Mapped Wrong?

Length

25.4 Miles 41.0 Kilometers


100%

Singletrack

Elevation

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

Conditions


Unknown

Getting forecast...

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

Katy Ryan

Overview [Suggest Changes]

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.
Features: -none- [Add/Remove]
Dogs: Off-leash

Need to Know [Suggest Changes]

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 [Suggest Changes]

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

Jun 13, 2018
David Corwin
26.4mi
Jun 9, 2018
Drew Gabler
Very wet ride, made it all the more memetable 25.4mi
May 22, 2018
Trent Clifford
May 16, 2018
Josh Krattiger
Mar 31, 2018
Michael DeHart
Oct 6, 2017
Francis Bouchard B
Sep 16, 2017
Eliad Goldwasser
Sep 3, 2017
James Bishop
Lava fields, waterfalls, and amazing scenery! 28.3mi

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 118 votes

#14

Overall
  4.6 from 118 votes
5 Star
77%
4 Star
14%
3 Star
7%
2 Star
2%
1 Star
1%
Rankings

#2

in Oregon

#14

Overall
4,466 Views Last Month
72,536 Since Jun 9, 2013
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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
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

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