McKenzie River Trail Redux

I previously hiked a portion of the McKenzie River Trail on June 1st. The trail is 26.5 miles long, but I only hiked a 6.7 mile segment near the middle of the trail and Tamolich Pool on that outing. On this hike I decided to start at the southernmost end of the trail and knock out some more of it. The temps were in the high 40s and low 50s and there was a steady drizzle all day, which is typical fall weather in Oregon.

The river was high and fast:


I think this video gives a better sense of how strong the river was:

Heading up the trail I was somewhat fatigued, which I chalked up to not having slept well the previous couple of nights. I also had a runny nose as soon as I started hiking, which is a common effect of being out on a cold, wet day. Other than that I felt good.

I had pulled out my Lowa Renegade GTX boots for this trip. I prefer my La Sportiva Wildcats, but the Wildcats are not even remotely water resistant, and I knew it was going to be too wet and cold for that. When I last used the Renegades the previous fall/winter/spring they were beating my feet to death on each outing and I was not happy with them. Since then I have done some investigation and concluded that the fault probably lies with the Superfeet insoles I was using. They are supposed to make the shoe more supportive, but in this case I don’t think they were working as expected. So I pulled those insoles out and put the stock ones back in. This hike was going to either prove or disprove my theory.

After hiking for a while, I found this island in the river. That’s the island on the left side of the picture:


You get a better sense of it in this video:

This section of the trail winds through 800 year old trees, and as long as the trail was on a slope it was a nice walk through a beautiful forest:



Unfortunately, anywhere that the trail was flat, it was full of water. Boy, was I glad I had those boots! :



Along the way I saw this little waterfall. It was right on the high side of the trail and when I first spotted it I had to convince myself it hadn’t been built. It just looked like a water feature someone had bought at Home Depot and set up out here. However, it is real and natural:


As the day wore on, I started to feel worse and worse. I began to think I might be getting sick.


  1. Beautiful pictures Tim. Thanks for taking me out there! That’s the Oregon I love with all the ferns, moss, trees and fresh air, albeit damp. Looking forward to being there.

  2. Hi Tim, The pictures (and your narrative) are wonderful, as usual, and the mushrooms are fabulous. Cori and I are looking forward so much to seeing you and Tina next month. Then you can walk in snow instead of mud and water. Yippee. Faith

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