McKenzie River

Feel the exhilarating tingle of fresh air and rushing water as you journey into the Cascade Mountains along the McKenzie River. Revel in the solitude among sun-soaked old-growth forests, then find camaraderie in the half-dozen riverside communities.

The Wild & Scenic McKenzie River is known for its world-class white water rafting, fishing and waterfall hikes. The McKenzie River Trail (MRT) edges the banks of the river for outstanding hiking, trail running and mountain biking. With many trail segments leading to shady fishing holes, sparkling pools and lush campgrounds, this pristine recreational trail system is a gem!

Artisan enclaves host festivals, markets and cultural experiences in this natural wonderland. Tour historic covered bridges, golf with snowcapped mountain views, soak in hot springs, admire local art and explore miles of obsidian lava flows. 

Top Attractions

Road Trip: Cascade Mountains
: Melanie Ryan Griffin
Nov 08

Road Trip: Cascade Mountains

Drive up into the Cascade Mountains on this beautiful and leisurely road trip. Want to breathe fresh…

Fall Foliage Road Trips
: Turell Group
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Fall Foliage Road Trips

Autumn is a wonderful season for road trips—scenic views are swathed in golden hues, colorful…

Ride in McKenzie River
: Jody Trendler
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Ride in McKenzie River

The McKenzie River region is a surprisingly robust mountain biking destination — and…

McKenzie River Lodging & Campgrounds

Caddisfly Resort LLC

The Caddisfly Resort offers three warm, cozy, fully equipped cottages on the McKenzie River at the entrance to the…

Eagle Rock Lodge

This unique lodge has 400 feet of McKenzie River frontage and over four acres of gardens. Nine rooms — all with a private…

Harbick's Country Inn

Harbick's Country Inn is a beautiful McKenzie River hotel accommodation that is undeniably charming. Relax in…

Loloma Lodge

Nestled in the woods along the McKenzie River, Loloma Lodge provides breathtaking lodging options. Built in 1932, the…

McKenzie River Resort

While you’re adventuring along the McKenzie River, stay at the McKenzie River Resort to rest or to extend the fun. This…

Wayfarer Resort

The Wayfarer Resort offers a relaxing setting with a private lake, amenities and cabins nestled on the beautiful McKenzie…

French Pete Campground

Seventeen tent and RV campsites are shaded by native Douglas firs and vine maple. Access French Pete Creek and the South…

Limberlost Campground

Secluded, 12-site campground with vaulted toilets, garbage service, fire rings and picnic tables for tent and RV campers…

Lookout Campground

Lookout Campground is located on the northeast shore of Blue River Reservoir. This campground includes an inviting open…

Mona Campground

Mona campground lies on the northwest shore of Blue River Reservoir, making it an excellent place to play in the water…

Paradise Campground

A camper’s paradise right on the banks of the McKenzie River. Listen to the whitewater of the river flow by as you fall…

Slide Creek Campground

Camp on the east bank of Cougar Reservoir in a wooded setting. Both the campground and day-use area have drinking water…

Sunnyside Campground

Sunnyside Campground is located along the southeast side of Cougar Reservoir at 1,700 feet in elevation. The campground…

Cozy Fall Lodges & Cabins
: Wallis Levin
Sep 11

Cozy Fall Lodges & Cabins

When it's chilly outside, cozy quarters make the best retreat. Rain on the windowpanes, a…

Where to Eat

McKenzie River Events

The McKenzie River communities host some very special events every spring and summer. In the summer, smell the sweet scents of the Lavender Festival at the McKenzie River Lavender farm. The Wooden Boat Festival takes place in the spring at Eagle Rock Lodge on the banks of the McKenzie River. The festival also includes the Wooden Drift Boat Parade on the "wild and scenic" designated river. 

The region is also host to the McKenzie River Arts Festival where wood carvers create intricate masterpieces using chainsaws. In the winter, the scenic covered bridges glow with holiday light displays.

About McKenzie River

The famous Wild & Scenic McKenzie River is named for Scottish explorer Donald Mackenzie who enthusiastically traversed this watershed in the early 1800s. The Oregon Trail brought settlers to the region starting in 1843. Gold was found, but lumber and livestock later became the primary industries. 

In the 1870s the McKenzie River's hot springs and fishing lodges started to draw tourists, and this increased when the road was paved in the 1900s. Cruising the scenic routes became a popular pastime, and in the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps built the Dee Wright Observatory along a former 1860 wagon route over the lava beds (Hwy 242).

McKenzie River

Known for its cold, crystal clear waters the Class II-III McKenzie River hosts whitewater thrill seekers…

McKenzie River Drift Boat

This highly maneuverable boat was crafted specifically for navigating the McKenzie River in the 20s. For an authentic Northwest boating experience, several river guides offer fishing excursions using the McKenzie River drift boat.

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