Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
490.00 ft (149.35 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
27.00 mi (43.45 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The McKenzie River National Recreation Trail (No. 3507) is a 27-mile, heavily trafficked, single-track trail that follows the McKenzie River. It is located in central Oregon within the Willamette National Forest, about an hour's drive from either Eugene or Bend, Oregon. The trail is well maintained, scenic, and popular amongst trail runners, hikers, backpackers, and mountain bikers, and features old growth Douglas Firs, wildflowers, waterfalls, and the stunning blue pools of Tamolitch Falls (the trail near Tamolitch Falls is often the most crowded section). 

While the trail is best completed in the spring or fall, it can also be accessed at other times of the year, depending on the weather. Although this trail is described as a point-to-point route, there are several campgrounds along the way, so it is possible to complete the trip as a multi-day adventure. In addition, the trail runs parallel to Highway 126 and crosses several fire roads, making it easy to access and easy to break up into shorter segments. 

In order to complete the point-to-point journey, you will either need two cars or pre-arranged shuttle service. Local outfitters and organizations in the area may be able to assist you in arranging a shuttle service. For more information visit: https://mckenzierivertrail.com/shuttle-service/

From the Upper McKenzie River Trailhead to the Lower McKenzie River Trailhead, the trail follows a gentle grade and is mostly downhill. While there are some campgrounds along the route that may have potable water, water from rivers and streams must be filtered before it can be used. 

The trail is managed by the forest service which provides information about camping, parking, trail conditions and closures. You can visit their site by clicking on this link: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/willamette/recarea/?recid=4479

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

River access. Waterfalls. Old growth forest.

Cons

Crowds.

Trailhead Elevation

3,141.00 ft (957.38 m)

Highest point

3,151.00 ft (960.42 m)

Features

Family friendly
Potable water
Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Waterfalls
Wildlife
Fishing
Big Game Watching
Wildflowers
Bird watching
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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