McKenzie River Reflections - Make the McKenzie Connection!



Off & On Road Cycling

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking trails abound on public lands in the McKenzie River Ranger District. Remember to call their office (541-822-3381) before heading out to make sure roads and trails are open and cleared.

Here are eight areas that offer a great experience: Blue River North Trail, Box Canyon Guard Station, Box Canyon Trail, Clear Lake, French Pete Trail, Ice Cap Creek CampgroundOlallie Trail, and the Upper McKenzie Trail.

Use caution on forest roads and plan your route ahead of time.

Not all forest roads are paved or have suitable shoulders for sharing the road with cars and trucks.

Please check for local conditions or with cycling clubs for recommended routes.

Blue River North Trail Area - Buck Mountain Trail #3304, Frissel Trail #3512, Tidbits Mountain Trail #3328 / #3398

Box Canyon Trail Area - Chucksney Mountain Trail #3306, Grasshopper Mountain Trail #3569, Roaring Ridge Trail #3312

French Pete Trail Area - Indian Ridge Trail #3315

Olallie Trail Area - Castle Rock Trail #3506, Echo Trail #3309, Horsepasture Mountain Trail #4347, King-Castle Trail #4326, OLeary Mountain Trail #3321, Olallie Trail #3529

Upper McKenzie Trail Area - Clear Lake Loop Trail #3507, McKenzie River National Rec Trail #3507, Water Falls Loop Trail #3503


Road Cycling

Both the Aufderheide Memorial Drive and the McKenzie Pass Scenic Bikeway are not to be missed.

Aufderheide Drive sign Aufderheide Memorial Drive

This route between the McKenzie River Valley and Oakridge/Westfir is part of the much larger West Cascades Scenic Byway. It is a bike-friendly road that provides up-close views of old-growth trees in the Willamette National Forest. A key feature is the Constitution Grove, where the trees bear plaques engraved with the Founding Fathers' names. The route (also known as Forest Service Road 19) is anchored at its southern end by a bike-friendly bed and breakfast.

The Byway travels past Cougar Reservoir and claims along the Roaring River to a 3,600-foot summit at the Box Canyon Camp. It ends in the small city of Westfir, near the original headquarters for a series of lumber companies, across the street from the Office Bridge, the longest covered bridge in Oregon.

The route is rated as difficult and takes about 6 hours to ride.


Scenic Bikeway signMcKenzie Pass Scenic Bikeway

The 38-mile McKenzie Pass/Santiam Pass ride covers some of the most spectacular scenery Oregon. About five miles east of McKenzie Bridge, the ride begins at the junction of Hwy. 126 and Hwy. 242 and generally follows a 1860’s era wagon road (The latter was selected to be on the U.S. Register of Historic Places, in March of 2011.)

The first 25 miles climbs through steep switchbacks, like Dead Horse Grade. Riders will encounter lush Douglas-fir and red cedar forests before ascending into higher elevations where lava field limit vegetation.

This Byway boasts the highest concentration of snowcapped volcanoes (and associated glaciers) in the lower 48 states. Broken Top Mountain, Mount Washington and The Three Sisters (among other peaks) tower above the Byway.

Most of Oregon Hwy. 242 is closed during winter months, but bicycles are usually allowed in the spring before it reopens to cars, providing miles of traffic-free road riding as the snow melts. Please check for current road closures or

Restrooms and potable water can be found at the McKenzie Bridge store  and the Village Green Park in Sisters. There are restrooms at the summit and various campgrounds throughout the climb.


Gravel & Paved Roads

Castle Rock Road offers a nine-mile ride over paved and gravel. Open year ‘round it gains 2,100 feet before its turn-around point.

The ride starts at the Delta Old-Growth Grove parking in the Delta Campground on the north end of Aufderheide Dr. (USFS Road #19). The route goes south along Road 19 for approximately ½ mile and takes a left fork onto Road 410. After going another ½ mile take a left onto King Road (Road 2639). Go another mile to Road 480, (O'Leary Road), which travels 5.8 miles to the Castle Rock trailhead. The ride to the summit covers 1 ½ miles.

Technical Difficulty: More

Physical Difficulty: Most


Horse Creek Road offers a 14 mile, one-way ride over gravel and paved roads. It is rideable year ‘round.

From McKenzie Bridge, turn onto Horse Creek Road and park at the old McKenzie Ranger District Work Center parking lot, about ¼-mile from the Highway 126 intersection. Follow Horse Creek Road up a fairly gradual incline. At milepoint 4.5 the road turns to gravel and at 6 miles it starts to climb steeply for another 2.5 miles. At 9.2 miles, stay left at the intersection with USFS Road #356 and continue up Horse Creek for approximate 5 miles until it dead ends.

Technical Difficulty: Easy

Physical Difficulty: Easy


McKenzie River Drive travels 14 miles (sometimes alongside its namesake – connecting the communities of Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge. The ride, over both pavement and gravel, starts at the Delta Campground on Aufderheide Drive (USFS Road #19). This route can be ridden year ‘round.

From the campground, travel south on Road 19 for approximately 1/2-mile and turn left onto Road 410. Travel 1/5 mile and bear left again at King Road. After passing the Belknap covered bridge go about four miles. Then take a left onto Horse Creek Road. From there travel 1 1/2 miles to Highway 126 and turn left. Just over a mile, turn left onto McKenzie River Drive. About two miles down the road turn left onto the Belknap covered bridge and take a right to return to the Delta Campground.

Technical Difficulty: Easy

Physical Difficulty: Easy


Olallie Trail offers either a nine-mile, one-way route, or a 27 mile loop over both paved and single track surfaces. It is best suited to the dry season.

From McKenzie Bridge, turn right onto Horse Creek Road, travel two miles and turn right onto USFS Road #1993 (Wapiti Road). Follow Road 1993 about three miles to the lower trailhead. 6.5 miles up Road 1993 is the next trailhead. An 18.3-mile, figure 8 loop starts here. Take the road to the middle trailhead at Horsepasture Saddle, and ride southeast to where it meets Road 1993. From there, turn left, and follow the road approximately 11 miles back to the middle trailhead. Riders can then descend the lower, steep portion of the trail to the parking area.

Technical Difficulty: Difficult

Physical Difficulty: Difficult


Old Foley Road offers an easy 10 ½ mile loop ride over gravel and paved roads.

Start the ride at the McKenzie Ranger Stations' wellness trail (behind the bunkhouses on the east side) and travel 0.7 mile to Foley Rd. #2643. Turn right and travel to the intersection with Rd. #410 and turn right on the Rd. #410. Travel five miles to Rd. #347 and go right. After about 14 miles, take a right at Horse Creek and travel to Highway 126. Make another right turn and ride 1.5 miles to reach the McKenzie River National Recreation Trail, which leads back to the Ranger Station.

Technical Difficulty: Easy

Physical Difficulty: Easy


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