Stay right on the river in a well-situated McKenzie River lodge or cabin. Throughout the autumn into winter months, the forests are thick with bright fall leaves set against the dark evergreens, the air is crisp and the charming accommodations are cozy. If you need a riverfront getaway to soothe your soul, these idyllic spots are just right for fishing, rafting, hiking or simply curling up by the window or on the porch and gazing out at the crystal clear ripples of one of the region's most pristine rivers.
As the locals know, this season is an optimal time to visit the beauty of the Cascade Mountains. Many visitors have returned home, missing the seasonal treasures of wildlife movement, changing leaves, harvest abundance, warm hearth fires and clear, cool nights ablaze with stars.
For you, this means more available lodging, warm engagement with the residents, exhilarating hikes; late season rafting, mountain biking and fishing. If you are lucky enough to be here when the first frosty flakes start to fall (typically late November), take a dip in the hot springs, or drive further up into the mountains to the ski resorts for robust snow play.
Eagle Rock Lodge
Eagle Rock Lodge is an estate-like bed and breakfast with four acres of gardens along 400 feet of McKenzie riverfront. Catering to adult guests (no children under the age of 13 years please), this serene property features northwestern lodge with five bedrooms and a detached "Forest House" with four bedrooms. Gather at the fire pits, cast a line from riverfront lawn, or launch a kayak into the shallows... this manicured but woodsy property is also a popular spot for small weddings and business meetings.
The Wayfarer Resort's collection of waterfront cabins (accommodating two to eight guests) is at the confluence of the McKenzie River and Marten's Creek with the majority of cabins (most with private porches) along the sparkling creek front. The Octagon House is a three bedroom home with a spacious deck overlooking the McKenzie River and features an eight-sided stone fireplace at its center, warm knotty pine paneling, large kitchen and gorgeous river views. There is a shared beach area on the McKenzie River and the grounds include a tennis court, basketball court, croquet lawn, horseshoes, volleyball, swings and a small pond. While this resort is a popular site for small weddings and meetings, each unit's charm and self-sufficiency provides a serene water-front experience.
Belknap Hot Springs Resort
The lodge and several RV campsites are right on the McKenzie River, while several cabins and additional camping sites are tucked into the wooded areas. Come here for soaking in the hot spring-fed swimming pools, hiking the riverfront paths and enjoying picnic lunches on the patio overlooking the roaring water. A footbridge across the McKenzie River connects guests to more trails and a beautiful "secret garden".
The lodge itself offers 18 overnight rooms, community spaces and the pool locker rooms. Lodge rooms 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 11, 12, 15 and 17 overlook the river, with room 3 offering a small deck.
Belknap Hot Springs Resort is a unique destination, just right for rest and rejuvenation after an active day mountain biking, cycling, hiking, paddling, rafting or, when the snow is on the ground — snowshoeing!
Nestle up in this cozy, rustic lodge and cabins on the banks of the McKenzie River. The historic Loloma Lodge was constructed in the 1930s, set back in the woods, and features a massive stone fireplace and hand-hewn beams. The lodge sleeps ten people and is rented as one unit, so bring the family!
Four riverfront cabins built in the 1960s capitalize on the river views with floor to ceiling windows and private decks just steps from the water's edge. So if your party is 2 to 4 guests, the cabins are the place to maximize your river experience. Plus these smaller spaces still offer full kitchens, wood burning fireplaces, and — luxurious for colder seasons — radiant heated stone floors!
Three 1950s redwood cabins face the McKenzie River and sleep a range of two to seven people. Fish from the riverbank or book a guided fishing trip. The cabins feature full kitchens, fireplaces, large river view windows and back decks overlooking the water. So pull your chair up to the porch railing with a good book, a craft beer, or your fly tying kit. Along with catering to anglers, the Caddisfly Resort is a mountain bikers destination with easy access to great trails.
McKenzie Riverside Cottages
Historic cottages, each privately owned, and a riverfront lodge with suites, are clustered along the bank of the McKenzie River. Year-round relax on their decks and porches overlooking the river. The McKenzie Riverside Cottage's collection of seventeen homes offers a variety of sizes, styles and amenities. Most have beautiful decks above the water, fireplaces and kitchens. One of these beauties can be the riverfront retreat just right for your mountain adventure.
Things to Do in the Season
Autumn on the McKenzie River is a serene escape into nature while the weather is still mild. It is also abundant in fall activities offered by local guides, or independent ventures easily coordinated with local outfitters and shuttle services. Hike or bike the McKenzie River Trail (MRT) and visit the area's majestic waterfalls, soak in the hot springs, watch wildlife, swing a golf club or cast out a line and book late season rafting trips. Horse Creek Lodge & Outfitters is your best bet for mountain biking and hiking shuttle services (plus they offer lodging too!). And all lodging proprietors can connect you with their favorite local guides. Below are some top attractions in the McKenzie River region October through December.