Hiking the bridges along lower Mckenzie River trail

After the warm week, snow levels retreated back to higher elevations further. Earlier this week, the North Fork Middle Fork Willamette River trail proved that the snow was gone there. I watched the snow fade from the Mckenzie River trail – lower and middle – and decided to take on crossing all the bridges over raging tributaries along the lower Mckenzie River trail. While the upper section of McKenzie River trail is prettier, it was covered in snow … the lower section is a great early hike.

Trail remains closed between Deer Creek Rd and Trail Bridge Reservoir.

The Route

After a 1-hour drive, I parked at the Forest Service Ranger Station. There is a small trail leading to the river trail, and the lower ~1 mile from the ranger station is not interesting. From the trail / spur junction, I headed up river until the trail closure, as continuing would have required ‘road walks’.

Trail conditions were perfect – very little mud, no puddles and very soft on the feet. Over the miles, there were 2 blowdowns. 1 was a simple step over; the other required me to lift my foot to knee and step over. I did not see any humans on the trail until the return when there were 2 parties around Belknap Springs.

Damage from recent fire is evident in the section around Frissel Boat Landing makes one wonder how much worse it could have been.

The River

Water levels on tributaries and the main channel were high and raging with the snow melt.

The Plants

Only a couple of patches of snow remained in this section.

Even with some left over snow, the flowers were just popping out. Flowers on the trees will be out in days …

The Bridges

I started counting them, and the different types of bridges, but I lost track after 6. Most of these stream are small and inconsequential except during spring melt … but at least none had a rope to climb up the bank like North Fork.

Last year on the lower McKenzie.

One Response

  • Tired???? Guess you are, sometimes, like the rest of us! Thanks for taking me along on this hike (sort of).

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