McKenzie River Valley, Oregon
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The beautiful McKenzie River Valley is a 68 mile long corridor stretching between Sisters on the east and Springfield on the west. Renowned for fishing, the McKenzie River supports spring Chinook salmon, winter steelhead and summer steelhead as well as native rainbow, cutthroat and bull trout. The high lakes have been planted with brown and brook trout, making the McKenzie River Valley a sportsman's paradise.

Take the McKenzie River Highway (Ore. 126) for sightseeing along the valley. The first part of the valley has many nut and fruit orchards (mainly filberts, apples and cherries), berries (such as marionberry, blueberry and raspberry), mint farms and Christmas tree farms. The Leaburg Dam, in the middle part of the valley, is a good place to watch salmon and steelhead climbing a fish ladder. The Leaburg Trout Hatchery is at this location. The McKenzie Salmon Hatchery in Leaburg provides tours by appointment only. The historical Leaburg Fish Hatchery is home to the McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce and Information Center.

The middle McKenzie River is a favorite place for fishermen and drift boaters. Since mild whitewater rafting and driftboat fishing are favorite pastimes here, there are many outfitters and local guides to help visitors experience their own adventures. The Goodpasture Covered Bridge, 165 feet long, is the second longest covered bridge standing in Oregon. Near Vida, it's easy to get to and photograph. A second and equally scenic covered bridge is the Belknap Bridge, located in the community of Rainbow. Ben & Kay Dorris Park, also near Vida, has great picnic areas and fishing holes.

The Aufderheide Memorial Drive, part of the West Cascades National Scenic Byway, has some of the most spectacular scenery in Oregon, including the popular Terwilliger Hot Springs, the Delta Old Growth Nature Trail, the Willamette River Gorge and the Westfir covered bridge. The McKenzie Pass - Santiam Pass National Scenic Byway loop road is one of the most beautiful drives in Oregon. It winds through some of the most recent volcanic flows in the state past many waterfalls, and is home to the Dee Wright Observatory. This CCC project, built mostly out of lava rock in the 1930s, has breath-taking views of Mt. Washington, Mt. Jefferson, the Three Sisters, and, on clear days, Mt. Hood.

A hiker's paradise, the area features such trails as the 26 mile McKenzie River National Recreation Trail, which is also open to bicyclists, goes through many volcanic formations, the half mile loop Delta Old-Growth Nature trail built for exploring the old growth ecosystem, and the Robinson Lake Trail, which leads to a heart-shaped lake with fishing and swimming.

As if the many recreational opportunities weren't enough, the McKenzie River Area also has golfing, the U.S. Basketball Academy in Blue River, fine dining and quality accommodations for travelers. For a truly memorable vacation, visit the McKenzie River Valley area.


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    The Dee Wright Observatory is located in one of the Cascades' largest lava fields. Visitors can hike a half mile paved trail, from which you can see eleven mountain peaks.


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  • Area Map - Walterville
  • Attractions - Aufderheide Memorial Drive - GORP
  • Attractions - Belknap Bridge
  • Attractions - Covered Bridge - Goodpasture
  • Attractions - Covered Bridges Guide - Lane Co.
  • Attractions - Dee Wright Observatory
  • Fair - Lane County
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  • Information - Volcanoes - Belknap Shield Volcano
  • Information - Volcanoes - Central Oregon High Cascades
  • Links - McKenzie River Reflections
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  • Recreation - Biking - Lower River
  • Recreation - Biking - Upper River
  • Recreation - Camping - McKenzie Travel Corridor - by the US Forest Service, includes campgrounds, lookouts, hiking, points of interest and more
  • Recreation - Camping - South Santiam Travel Corridor - by the US Forest Service, includes campgrounds, lookouts, hiking, points of interest and more
  • Recreation - Camping - Scott Lake Campground
  • Recreation - Driving Tours - Clear Lake Loop - GORP
  • Recreation - Fishing - McKenzie River Guides
  • Recreation - Fishing - Stream Flow Conditions
  • Recreation - Fishing - The McKenzie Page
  • Recreation - Hiking - McKenzie Pass Trail Information
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