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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,237

    McKenzie River Trail

    Planning on hitting up the McKenzie River Trail in late July/early August. Planning on shuttling w my wife and two boys but have the following questions

    Younger son is 11 and will most likely not be up for a 25 mile ride even if there isn't much up. Are there any options to bail out early or get dropped of part way up?

    Where is the best spot to rent bike and get a shuttle in the area as we'll be flying in and don't want to deal w bringing bikes for 2 days of riding?

    If I was to hit up another trail around Bend what is the recommended ride.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    676
    Quote Originally Posted by rudy View Post
    Planning on hitting up the McKenzie River Trail in late July/early August. Planning on shuttling w my wife and two boys but have the following questions

    Younger son is 11 and will most likely not be up for a 25 mile ride even if there isn't much up. Are there any options to bail out early or get dropped of part way up?

    Where is the best spot to rent bike and get a shuttle in the area as we'll be flying in and don't want to deal w bringing bikes for 2 days of riding?

    If I was to hit up another trail around Bend what is the recommended ride.

    Thanks in advance
    Yes, lower McKenzie pretty closely follows the highway/river and checks in to various campgrounds periodically. It's very mellow but lots of hikers.

    Phill's in Bend, hard to go wrong .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Alta
    Posts
    1,386
    I would recommend avoiding Bend at all cost. That town is the epitome of lame white washed mountain town. Phil’s is fun if you ride a rigid bike and enjoy pedaling downhill. Go to Oakridge instead. Might be a better option to have the little guy join you on the flatter section of the McKenzie that parallels the road.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    bestcoast
    Posts
    1,793
    Quote Originally Posted by altacoup View Post
    I would recommend avoiding Bend at all cost. That town is the epitome of lame white washed mountain town. Phil’s is fun if you ride a rigid bike and enjoy pedaling downhill. Go to Oakridge instead. Might be a better option to have the little guy join you on the flatter section of the McKenzie that parallels the road.
    This is what my wife and I thought after going to Bend. We loved Oakridge, and also enjoyed MRT.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Vacationland
    Posts
    4,223
    Never been to OR, GF and I are thinking about renting a van in Portland for a couple weeks. Sounds like Bend may be with a look but not spend a lot of time there.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    676
    Quote Originally Posted by altacoup View Post
    I would recommend avoiding Bend at all cost. That town is the epitome of lame white washed mountain town. Phil’s is fun if you ride a rigid bike and enjoy pedaling downhill. Go to Oakridge instead. Might be a better option to have the little guy join you on the flatter section of the McKenzie that parallels the road.
    Oh quit the crusty shit. OP looking for places to ride with his young family not find unspoiled singletrack and gnar. Oakridge cranks the difficulty and strenuous factor. Also, has few places to rent bikes. Bend has plenty.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    inpdx
    Posts
    15,121
    Bend shops can arrange shuttling too

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    676
    Quote Originally Posted by ticketchecker View Post
    Never been to OR, GF and I are thinking about renting a van in Portland for a couple weeks. Sounds like Bend may be with a look but not spend a lot of time there.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Yeah, vandago or outdoorsy would be good bets. Heck, you could take mine out if you want (for a price) long as I'm not using it.

    I think Bend is good for 2 days max, maybe three if you're riding sisters on the way out. If you're coming with bikes, I'd explore more on the west side of the Cascades. Oakridge, black rock, Rogue River and Ashland depending on your timeframe.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Posts
    211
    Rogue River? Tell me more

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Alta
    Posts
    1,386
    North umpqua tail is awesome to.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    2,470
    Quote Originally Posted by altacoup View Post
    North umpqua tail is awesome to.
    hasn't quite a bit of it burned recently?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Vacationland
    Posts
    4,223

    McKenzie River Trail

    Quote Originally Posted by Huskydoc View Post
    Yeah, vandago or outdoorsy would be good bets. Heck, you could take mine out if you want (for a price) long as I'm not using it.

    I think Bend is good for 2 days max, maybe three if you're riding sisters on the way out. If you're coming with bikes, I'd explore more on the west side of the Cascades. Oakridge, black rock, Rogue River and Ashland depending on your timeframe.
    We’ll have bikes with us.

    l’ll look at those rental companies, we rented from Wandervans out of Boise before and it was a decent deal. Their van builds are nothing special but work fine, cost is like $2k for two weeks and they have vans in Portland now.

    Doesn’t make sense to drive ours out from Maine for that short of a trip.

    We want a mix of coastal cruising and trail riding.

    Better to come in June or late Sept?


    Sent from the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    50 miles E of Paradise
    Posts
    11,053
    MRT from Clear Lake to Carmen Reservoir is pretty technical (rocky). The section around the lake is a continuous rock garden. There’s only three places to exit on this section - where the trail crosses the highway just below the lake, a footbridge above Sahalie Falls, and at Carmen.

    From Carmen to Trail Bridge Reservoir the river goes underground down to The Blue Pool. Still a plethora of rock gardens. IMO the views in this section aren’t worth the effort. There’s no decent exit between these two points.

    From Trail Bridge to Bigelow Hot Springs the trail becomes more loamy with fewer rock gardens. The first 2-3 miles out of Trail Bridge has a bunch of up-down along the side of a hill, and a few places with some exposure. There’s no exit between these points.

    From Bigelow Hot Springs to terminus @ Paradise Campground is loamy, fast and fun. The trail crosses to the road side of the river just above Belknap Hot Springs near Boulder Creek. Plenty of spots to bail from there.

    Horse Creek Lodge in McKenzie Bridge provides shuttle service.

    If you are flying into Redmond, rent bikes at Blazin’ Saddles in Sisters.

    From end of west end of MRT, drive 15 or so miles west on hwy 126 and turn left toward Cougar Reservoir and Aufderheide Road. Follow that over the hill to Oakridge. I haven’t been over that route since it burned in 2017 and again last fall, so it may be a little desolate. Terwilliger Hot Springs is on the way

    Note that if you drive up from Eugene you will likely experience road delays and devastation from the Holiday Farms fire last September. The towns of Blue River and Finn Rock are pretty much gone and all of the old cabins along that part of the river are nothing but river rock chimneys.

    If you want to ride in Bend I might suggest a shuttle from Swampy Lakes to town. From Paradise go east on hwy126 and turn on off on hwy 242 to Sisters. Watch for bicycles.
    Check Out Ullr's Mobile Avalanche Safety Tools for iOS and Android
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,237
    Thanks to all that replied with useful information and a special gold star to TBS. Greatly appreciated.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    50 miles E of Paradise
    Posts
    11,053
    Oh yea,
    the Blue Pool at Tamolich Falls has that color because the water is
    1. so fucking cold (37-38F) that no organism can survive in it, and
    2. cleansed by percolation through volcanic rock where it goes underground.
    It’s way deeper than it looks
    It is not a swimming hole. People have died after jumping in.
    Check Out Ullr's Mobile Avalanche Safety Tools for iOS and Android
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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Sikskiyou's
    Posts
    1,436
    Toss up on the timing in S. Oregon. June will be dry, but temps shouldn't be too hot yet. September will be dry, temps could be hot, wildfire smoke could still be an issue. Then again, we could see rain by late September...hard to say these days.

    Check out Whiskey Run - small trail system near S. Oregon coast. Worth a stop if you're nearby. Mountain of the Rogue in Rogue River if you're driving the I-5. Ashland watershed is worth a day or two - shuttling and pedaling opportunities. Could probably help out with a shuttle or two if I'm around. Oakridge, of course, is a must. There's other stuff around depending on what you're looking for.

    Quote Originally Posted by ticketchecker View Post
    We’ll have bikes with us.

    We want a mix of coastal cruising and trail riding.

    Better to come in June or late Sept?

    Sent from the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    No longer Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    2,101
    Quote Originally Posted by TBS View Post
    If you want to ride in Bend I might suggest a shuttle from Swampy Lakes to town.
    +1. This is for sure a crowd pleaser ride that everybody can enjoy

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Vacationland
    Posts
    4,223
    Quote Originally Posted by donutlynx View Post
    Toss up on the timing in S. Oregon. June will be dry, but temps shouldn't be too hot yet. September will be dry, temps could be hot, wildfire smoke could still be an issue. Then again, we could see rain by late September...hard to say these days.

    Check out Whiskey Run - small trail system near S. Oregon coast. Worth a stop if you're nearby. Mountain of the Rogue in Rogue River if you're driving the I-5. Ashland watershed is worth a day or two - shuttling and pedaling opportunities. Could probably help out with a shuttle or two if I'm around. Oakridge, of course, is a must. There's other stuff around depending on what you're looking for.
    Thanks, trip planning in early stages since we just started talking about it this week. We usually like to spend more time in fewer cool areas instead of trying to 'see it all'.

    What's the outlook for boondock camping along the coast?

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