McKenzie River: Trail Bridge CG to Clear Lake Tr3507

3D view of McKenzie River: Trail Bridge Campground to Clear Lake Trail #3507

Overall: 9

Aerobic: 6

Technical: 6

Steepness: 5

Flow: 7

Singletrack: 100%

The combination of twisty riverside singletrack and moderate climbing makes McKenzie River Tr3507 one of the best singletrack rides in the Cascade range.

Type

OAB

Length

Avg: 17mi

Ascent

Moderate

Elevation Change

TH:2200'
Avg Ascent:2200'

Ascent Incline

4%

Duration

Avg: 3hr

Weather
Forecast

NOAA

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Video

USFS

View of McKenzie River Old Growth section, south of the Camden Reservoir.

To extend the McKenzie River Tr3507 ride, start from the Paradise CG TH. XC riders may prefer to shuttle from the upper Trailbridge CG TH to Paradise CG, to avoid the more technical northern trail conditions and the relatively flat southern section (past the Paradise CG).

Topo Map of the entire McKenzie River Tr3507 ride.

The combination of lava fields, footbridge crossings and the Sahalie waterfall climb keep things interesting. The moss-lined trail passes through old growth douglas fir.

The lava fields are not as technical as they once were, but will still gleefully fillet pedals, deraileurs and skin if not respected. Not the best place to endo.

Heavy traffic appears to be making the trail between the lava section and the waterfalls more technical, as dirt and pumice packing reveals underlying rocks.

The trail has held up fairly well under heavy use and is best ridden during the week, to avoid collisions with hikers.

After the first few miles the hiker traffic thins out and there are long stretches of twisty singletrack which define the meaning of 'flow'.

View of McKenzie River Moss-Lined Trail

The ride around Clear lake is less interesting and may include a lot of hikers from the campsites, but still worth checking out and a good way to extend the ride.

Area Campgrounds (north to south): Fish Lake CG, Cold Water Cove CG, Ice Cap Creek CG, Trail Bridge CG, Olallie CG, Limberlost CG, Paradise CG, McKenzie Bridge CG, Horse Creek CG.

Directions: From I-5N take highway 126 east 50 miles to the town of McKenzie Bridge, or from I-5S go through Sweet Home (avoiding the radar traps) to 126S. Go to the Trail Bridge Campground exit and turn right after crossing the bridge. Go up the dirt road .5mi to the TH. View Larger Map. No Map?.

McKenzie River Trailbridge CG to Clear Lake Trail #3507 Topo Map

OAB Directions

do the twist

McKenzie River Area Topo Map

  • TH: The ride starts out fast and easy, winding alongside the McKenzie River and leading to the first of two lava sections. View of McKenzie River Lava Section
  • 1.75mi: Reach Tamolich Falls and enjoy the scenic Tamolich blue pond. Pedestrian traffic drops off from this point northward, up to the Sahalie Falls area. Cross several footbridges and wind through dense forest and treefall. View of McKenzie River Blue Tamolich Pool
  • 4.7mi: Pass Carmen Reservoir then reach the intersection with pedestrian Waterfalls Loop Tr3503. Remain on the east side of the river and after another forest section, begin the Koosah to Sahalie Falls ascent. View of McKenzie River Cliff Exposure
  • 6mi: After a series of ascents up to the top of Sahalie Falls, the trail descends to a footbridge and crosses to the west side of McKenzie River, then crosses SR126 and reaches Clear Lake and campground at 6.6mi. Go CW around the lake, with a few hike-a-bike lava sections and expect a lot of pedestrian traffic on the weekends.
  • 10.7mi: Having circumnavigated Clear Lake, begin the fast descent back to the Trail Bridge campground TH. The Falls and lava sections may be too steep/technical for some riders, so be careful not to get out of control.

 

 

Best Area Guide

Trail Index

This Ride

Clear Lake Loop Trail 3507.2, McKenzie River Trail 3507

Wilderness

Cedar Swamp Trail 3538, Gate Creek Trail 3412, Hackleman Old Growth Grove Trail 3411, Heart Lake Trail 3407, Horse Creek Trail 3514, Lowder Mountain Trail 3329, Olallie Park Trail 3530, Walker Creek Trail 3330, Waterfalls Loop Trail 3503

Campgrounds

Cold Water Cove Campground, Fish Lake Campground, Ice Cap Creek Campground, Lakes End Campground, Lost Prairie Campground, Olallie Campground, Trail Bridge Campground

 

Trail Rankings

Ranking consistently applied to all of the listed trails.

  • Overall Rating: Ride quality and challenge
  • Aerobic: Ascent challenge
  • Technical Difficulty: Terrain challenge
  • Steepness: Average incline
  • Flow: Uninterrupted riding
  • Elevation Change: Total elevation gain
  • Ride Difficulty: Terrain challenge

 

 

 

 

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