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McKenzie River Trail Professional Review and Guide
"On the west side of the Cascade Range, midway between Bend and Eugene. A classic ride. This trail highlights the best of Oregon with mountain views, lush old-growth forest, and unbelievably clear river, and surprises around every corner."
--Scott Rapp, Mountain Biking Bend (Falcon Guides).
This belongs near the top of rides you must experience in Oregon. The trail apparently has three sections - the lowest goes through old growth forest and follows the stream part of the way. Though I didn't get to try on this trip., the middle section passes waterfalls and the top section runs through lava fields.
The temps were 105 degrees when I tried, so I stuck to the lower trails, which are shaded. The full trip is roughly 26 miles one way - next time I will likely do a shuttle (there are still plenty of opportunities to get uphill exercise even on the 'downhill'). I'd consider an ending point around Belknap Resort - the section from Belknap west to the trails end is a bit of an up-and-down slog, maybe not what you want at the end of your trip. But still fun if you have the energy.
And it is ALL single track.
This is a beautiful forested river ride which has some easy sections and some technically difficult sections over lava. It has a lot of wooden bridge crossings and passes by waterfalls. The trail begins at clear lake, the river's source.
Great trail, great views. From flowing singletrack to technical lava cap. Would cut the last 6-7 miles short at the end - great stuff but a lot of the same. Not a pushover section. Even though you are flowing with the river, it's a pedalfest the whole way - seems to be a quite a bit of false downhill to it.
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