The McKenzie River region is a surprisingly robust mountain biking destination — and especially stunning in the fall when the autumn leaves are changing. While nearby Oakridge often gets the glory for their miles of maintained mountain biking trails, the McKenzie River's reputation is built on waterfalls, whitewater rafting and fishing — but mountain biking insiders know there are collection of trails that offer epic mountain biking. 

Some of these ideal biking trails are beloved hiking trails, so please practice trail etiquette so that mountain bikes will continue to be welcomed along the McKenzie River trails. Bikes yield to pedestrians and mountain bikers should give a verbal warning before passing. Please walk your bike in congested areas (typically near waterfalls).

Please note: Wildfires of summer 2023 may have impacted some areas and trails. Confirm trail status before departing.

Mountain Biking McKenzie River Trail

McKenzie River Trail

How to Get to the Trailheads

Horse Creek Lodge & Outfitters

This family-owned and operated outfitters provides five different shuttling options for mountain bikers. Well-versed on local mountain biking, they can help you select the right trail for you. Additionally, Horse Creek Lodge & Outfitters rents mountain bikes (just in case you didn't bring your own this time!) and provides lodging so you can ride more trails over multiple days.

McKenzie River Mountain Biking Trails 

McKenzie River Trail (MRT)

One of the region's most outstanding shared-use trails, the McKenzie River Trail (MRT) parallels the McKenzie River through lush forests along a maintained singletrack. This stunning trail snakes across flat or mildly sloping terrain but is more likely to be congested with hikers and trail runners, particularly in the summer months — so fall and spring are great times to bike here. When passing through the waterfalls area, please walk your bikes, as these sections are prone to high foot traffic. Expect to encounter a few wooden bridges, rocks, tree roots and steps along the way. Be cautious of sharp lava rock. And pause to soak up the beauty and take photos — it's lovely!

The trail covers 26 miles and can be considered two rides — the lower and upper segments. Over the whole length, the trail only drops around 1300 feet of elevation and takes approximately five hours to ride. The upper segment is the most technical. Beginners and intermediate riders are encouraged to start at Deer Creek or lower. The lower segment also has a longer seasonal accessibility in fall and spring. Coordinate with a shuttle service for the distance desired, as any number of miles may be arranged via multiple trailheads and road junctions. Pack along plenty of water and food to sustain you during this adventure. 

For mountain bikers interested mostly in the technical aspects of the trail, concluding your ride at Belknap Hot Springs is ideal. Not only does Horse Creek Lodge shuttle riders from here to the top of the trail (so your car is here awaiting your return), the hot spring-fed pool is a relaxing way to relax sore muscles. Day-use passes are available for purchase, or stay overnight at a campsite, cabin or lodge room.

Mountain biker walking bike across bridge.

McKenzie River Trail bridges over the river

O'Leary Trail Complex

The O'Leary Trail Complex is an IMBA designated "Epic Ride" with 22 miles of single track all linked together. Incorporating Forest Service roads creates a long loop — or arrange for shuttle service at one end, like Horse Creek Lodge. Most riders opt to start riding at Horsepasture Mountain Trailhead, and Horse Creek Lodge can give trail tips.

If you choose to do the long loop, be prepared to climb over 4,000 feet more than the almost 2,000 feet surmounted by starting at Horsepasture Mountain Trailhead. The loop also includes paved roads to connect to Forest Service Rd #1993 to access the bottom of Olallie Trail.

O'Leary Trail

The O'Leary Trail itself is nine miles long and is accessed via the Olallie Trail near Horsepasture Mountain Trailhead. It finishes at the Echo trail, which is a remote fire road. You will need to ride an additional seven miles along Echo Trail to connect to King Castle, and/or to get back to your vehicle or shuttle.

The O'Leary Trail is a ride for the experienced mountain biker with a steep climb, plenty of switchbacks, narrow trail and rock walls. It crests two mountains, McLennan and Macduff, and showcases spectacular views. There is no cell phone reception here.

Olallie Trail

 The Olallie Trail has two accessible trailheads. This trail is the most remote length in the Ollalie Trail Complex. Much of it is through forest, both coniferous and madrone, and skirts the Three Sisters Wilderness. Some views are achieved along the cresting ridge lines. This is not a popular trail as it is extremely steep and narrow. The top trailhead is not regularly maintained, and the last south section of the trail is not maintained at all.

Castle Rock Trail

Castle Rock Trail is a short but steep ride up to the summit of Castle Rock along a steep terrain of single track switchbacks and ridgeline trail. The views from the top of Castle Rock are breathtaking. 

King-Castle Trail

King-Castle Trail is linked to Castle Rock Trail offering shady forests and several stream crossings. The parking at King Castle Trailhead is unpaved and limited.

King-Castle Trail
: Joey Hamilton

Aufderheide Rides

The Aufderheide is a seasonal road that connects the McKenzie River region with Oakridge. Along its route there is a delightful natural hot springs with multiple pools (please walk your bike on the trail). This road is popular for graveling and is not maintained during winter, so plan accordingly. The following mountain biking trails are on the McKenzie River side of the Aufderheide, originating from Box Canyon, but local shuttles don't normally operate to these trailheads.

Grasshopper Mountain Trail

Grasshopper Mountain Trail traverses 11 difficult miles through remote backcountry. Steep climbs and sweeping views make it a challenging but rewarding trail. Be prepared that the trail may be overgrown in areas as it is sparsely used. Pack in your own water and supplies. A section of the trail combined with the Chucksney Mountain trail creates a loop.

Chucksney Mountain Trail

The Chucksney Mountain Trail, also starts at the Box Canyon on the Aufderheide. It provides a 6 mile looping extension to Grasshopper and crests a mountain ridge after meandering through forests and meadows. Lightly used by hikers as well.

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