Upper Mckenzie River

On the way home from Smith Rock and Camp Sherman, a stop for a Mckenzie River ramble was perfectly set up. I arrived at the upper TH around 6:00 with perfectly clear skies and an empty TH parking lot. The intent was to go downstream to catch both the Clear Lake and Waterfalls Loops.

The lake and waterfalls

Clear Lake like several recent trips surprised me with its calmness and beauty. A lone bald eagle watched for an opportunity perched above the lake. The eagle later tried, unsuccessfully, to take a fish from an osprey. The kayak folks were out on the way back and silently cut over the water.

Sunrise over the ridge caught me above the falls. On the downriver side, complete solitude around the falls.

The Route

Started at Upper TH and downriver on McKenzie River Trail past the waterfalls. Upriver on the Waterfalls loop and Clear Lake Loop. For the 4.5 hour hike, very few humans were on the trail, and those who were, were around the falls. 3 MTB riders were on the trail as well. There were several blowdowns on the River loop sections that would make MTB riding challenging. There were a couple of small snow sections, but nothing to worry about.

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