McKenzie River Trail - Trail, McKenzie Bridge, Oregon

McKenzie River Trail - Trail, McKenzie Bridge, Oregon

DESCRIPTION

A snaking rollercoaster of a trail that follows the McKenzie River through an ancient forest. It offers smooth singletrack, log bridges, hot springs, killer views, tight turns, steep drops, technical lava field traverses, and challenging climbs.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 85  
[Oct 01, 2013]
Chris
Cross Country Rider

I was a little worried with the lack of reviews on this trail, but went on the recommendation of a friend's friend in Portland. Stayed at the McKenzie River Mtn Resort and got the shuttle the following morning. There were only 3 other guys in the van and I was a little worried since I was the only one wearing lycra. At the time I wondered if I should have tried it as a loop, foregoing the shuttle, but in the end I'm glad I shuttled.

The upper sections of the trail is fairly technical and not for beginners. The shuttle driver warned us about the original east side trail around Clear Lake and said it was technical, inplying that maybe I ought to go on the less technical west side. When I asked "how technical" his response was "it's a b*tch" (but then he proceeded to tell me about how his 9 yo son managed it). So with my manhood in question, I proceeded on the technical side of the trail. Yes it was technical and through jagged lava fields, but have have medium good technical ability and handled it fine. Some of the sections were asphalt paved, which was kind of a bummer.

Once the trail crosses the highway, it changes dramatically. From lava to swoopy forest trail with rocky sections. Frankly some of the rocky sections in this "middle" portion of the trail are just as difficult as the upper section. There are many extensive rocky section along this stretch, and occasional shorter ones throughout the length of the trail. Nothing too technical and easy enough to dismount if you want to walk it, most are manageable by a guy like me.

The trail follows the river and elevation changes a little along the way.....and keep in mind that as you make your way up easy climbs and put some elevation between you and the river, you're about to be paid back double (1 for the climb and 1 for the fall of the river along the climb and descent). The downhills are fast, mostly smooth and flowing. Here's some bad video of part..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFynJYJDvqM (Sorry for the bumpyness, need a helmet mount).

Eventually that flowy trail drops you into river bottom-ish forest and eventually the trailhead. When I finally made it to my car, I had been on the trail for just under 4 hours (with no real stops) and was knackered. Glad I didn't have a 25 mile ride to the upper trailhead.

Customer Service

Shuttle, start at the top, ride the east side of Clear Lake. If this is too technical for you, it's going to be a long day. Ride the trail to the bottom. It's not all downhill, but it sure seems like it.

Our shuttle driver gave us good maps with mileage markers (those def helped).

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Nov 06, 2011]
sirons13
Weekend Warrior

I managed to squeeze in a ride of McKinsey just before a winter storm last week. As most recommend I hired a shuttle for a drop off near Clear Lake. Given I was riding alone and starting relatively late in the day I opted to take the easier of the two options around the lake to start the trail. Despite the elevation drop of nearly 2,000 ft over the 26 miles it has decent amount of climbing as well as technically challenging areas... especially when it is wet and slick which is probably the norm for this trail. But the highlight of this trail has to be scenery. Even when you aren't near the river or water falls you are in some of the most beautiful woods imaginable. Moreover, you can go miles and miles without seeing a single person.

Customer Service

Take the shuttle to the top. After descending past Clear Lake you'll cross over the highway, 126 I think. Once you do this you'll come across a bridge and it looks like you can ride on either side of the river. Go across the bridge to avoid riding on the side that is better suited for hikers (more stairs). Give yourself 5 hours as you'll want to stop many times to take in the scenery. Also, it is a long ride. Don't be fooled into thinking it is all downhill.

Similar Products Used:

Although I didn't do it this time I would think that the ride around Clear Lake (taking in the Lava Fields on the far side of the lake) would be a nice shorter ride. Also, enjoyed plenty of riding in Bend, OR which was my home base for the week. Phil's trails have some decent areas if you are wiling to put in some less technical miles.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jun 22, 2011]
David Wegman
Weekend Warrior

Flew across the country and drove almost three hours from Portland to ride this trail. I asked the locals (McKenzie Bridge) about renting a bike but they looked at me like I was speaking another language. Stuck w/o a bike, I had to turn around for a long drive home. I didn't even put a wheel on the trail. For being Oregon's most well known trail and one of the top trails in the nation, it's kinda surprising that it is so unsupported by local people/businesses. I guess I'll give up on the mcKenzie River Trail and spend money riding in Moab. At least in Moab, the locals will have heard of mountain biking!

Customer Service

I don't know and the locals don't either.

Similar Products Used:

Who knows?

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
[Apr 12, 2011]
DMBrooks
Weekend Warrior

Trail looks good. Still snow at some higher elevations. Another ride would be road 15 near blue river res, starting at wolf rock. Ride to road 2654(deer creek) and head downhill to the river trail and continue on to mckenzie bridge. About 26 miles. King-Castle is quite the uphill and back down again. The mckenziebridgeshuttle(.com)is still in operation and they can get you where you need to be. Max of 4 riders/bikes per trip. Looks real good this summer!

Customer Service

from bend/sisters west to santiam jct, left, to hwy 20, left on 126. top of trail is about two miles from there. Bottom end of trail is 26 miles down river at the east side of mckenzie bridge. shuttle service is 1 1/2 miles from there in town.

Similar Products Used:

Alpine near Oakridge

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Sep 01, 2010]
dave brooks
Downhiller

It is a great trail. Seems to be a little confusion about bike shuttle in the area. There is one shuttle service in McKenzie Bridge and one in Blue River. The one in McKenzie Bridge is approx. 1 1/2 miles west of bottom of trail. The one in Blue River is approx. 11 1/2 miles west of the bottom of the trai. People have asked why Blue River advertises as shuttle in Mckenzie Bridge. I do not really know. All I know is that the one in McKenzie Bridge is closer. Just pick the one that suites you best and have a good ride!

Customer Service

From Sisters about 24 miles west to hwy 20. Take left on 20 to hwy 126. Left and 2 miles to trailhead on left. From Eugene hwy 126 east to McKenzie Bridge, approx. 51 miles. Top of trail is 26.5 miles from bottom to top. You can park at the top, ride down and shuttle up, or, park in McKenzie Bridge and shuttle up and ride down to your vehicle.

Similar Products Used:

Hwy 19 for tour bikes. 60 slow miles from 126 to hwy 58. Castle rock trail in McKenzie Bridge off King Road. Easy slow uphill.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jul 21, 2010]
dcpowpow
Weekend Warrior

Rode this in mid July weekday and never saw another biker. That might be due to the fact I started at 3:00pm. Not a wise move, but I di finish by 7:00pm with some daylight left.
Great single track with minimal climbing. Not scary technical, but challenging in areas for sure. Keeps you on your game a bit.
Not sure if I was on the right trail, but right after the falls I rode down a ton of stairs and encountered a lot of people. I was polite to all of them and gave them the right of way.
Great trail for sure.

Customer Service

Start above the lake, go left over the bridge before the lake to get into a more tech way around the lake.
Go all te way to the ranger station. The bottom is faster section for sure.
Allow 4-5 hours ride time

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Jun 19, 2010]
McKenzie Bridge Bike Shut
Downhiller

Check it out! Four years ago someone in McKenzie Bridge, Oregon saw that the bike shuttle business was lacking. So, he has been shuttling mtn bikers since. He is independant and can set you up with info about McKenzie Bridge cabins to rent, and a place to shower, or camp. His shuttle rate is very good. No reservations needed. Just call him in advance or when you get to the General Store. His email is usfscontractor@q.com. Home phone # 541-822-9811. Cell# 541-505-0271. Good fun! Well known in the area! It's all good! Alot of bikers get his # from Hutch's bicycle in Bend. Lots of options for shuttle.

Customer Service

From Eugene, McKenzie River Hwy 126 east for 50 miles. From Bend it is 74 miles west. Santiam Jct take Hwy 126 towards Eugene. 30 miles from the Jct.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jun 07, 2010]
anthonygoryl
Weekend Warrior

Epic Trail! It offers some of the best scenery I have seen that is incorporated as part of a trail. It defiantly takes up the good part of the day but it is well worth it! I defiantly getting shuttled to the top, I used McKenzie River Area Shuttle: McKenzie River Mountain Resort 541-822-6272. The guy was super cool and very knowledgeable about the area.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jan 07, 2010]
schril
Cross Country Rider

Fairly flowing singletrack with some great views and stops along the way. I agree with the last post, rode the trail the end of September and the top 1/3 was confused with tourists and some poor signage. The bottom half of the trail was smokin and a highlight. After riding in the Oakridge area, I realized how over rated this trail is.

Customer Service

see other posts.

Similar Products Used:

Oakridge, Waldo Lake areas.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
[Sep 28, 2009]
NCRider
Cross Country Rider

Not sure why everyone says this is a must do....the trail was a lil' too buff for my taste. Being from NC (Asheville) and some of the best riding in the country...the Mackenzie Trail was boring. My friend said she felt like she was riding in a campground. Only the Lava section was challenging...but disappointing because you couldn't maintain a good flow. Of course, we were on heavier rental bikes and not our Titus Racer Xs so that could've had something to do with it. Although my other friend was on her Titus and she didn't enjoy the trail either. Not sure where all the hype comes from on this trail...unless you like buttery-smooth, flat single-track?

Customer Service

Take Cogwild Shuttle up to Mt. Batchelor and ride down to Phil's trail. The climbing at the beginning is pretty tough and you end up riding desert-like single track. Pretty fun...
But if you want some real riding, come to Asheville, NC. Doesn't get any better!

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
2
Showing 1-10 of 85  

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