You hear people quack on and on about the McKenzie River Trail and you begin to wonder whether any single trail can really be that great. Then you hike the McKenzie River Trail and you realize that, if anything, folks have been downplaying its greatness. This 26.5 mile trail in the Willamette National Forest, begins 1.2 miles east of McKenzie Bridge on Hwy 126. A shorter but harder trail along the McKenzie goes to Scott Mountain from an old quarry on the Scott Lake access road, 6.5 miles away.

McKenzie River Trail
McKenzie River Trail

The McKenzie River Trail is one of the beautiful trails in the northwest, winding along the McKenzie River through an old growth forest. The trail, accessible to hikers and mountain bikers, features stream crossings, bridges, waterfalls, and more. The trail closely follows the McKenzie River, a scenic whitewater river originating in the high Cascade Mountains. The trail crosses over several tributaries of the McKenzie River via log bridges. The lower sections of the trail pass through 600 year old Douglas-fir forests, while upper sections of the trail pass spectacular waterfalls and lava flows.

Potable water is located in campgrounds along the way. All other water must be treated. The water however is still rated some of the best water in the State.

This trail is also very popular with Mountain Bikers. In fact, this is trail is rated Top Ten best Bike Trails by The trail begins at 1450 ft. elevation and ends a 3200 ft. elevation.

The trail is easy enough for the most novice of backpackers and is spectacular enough for the most experienced. Highly recommended if you don’t mind running into a few dayhikers now and then.

This video description was shot by: chemicalcraig69
Added: May 27, 2008

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What can I say? I love being out in the Backcountry. I am the crazy guy that likes hiking and camping in bad weather. One of my all time favorite hikes is the Appalachian Trail. If you have an Article, Video or story you would like to share on send me an email at

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