McKenzie River Area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Image of the McKenzie River

The upper portion of the McKenzie River is popular for fishing, rafting, drift-boating, and kayaking.

Fish in the river include bull trout, spring Chinook, rainbow trout and mountain whitefish.

Watch for bald eagles, osprey, mergansers, dippers and a variety of ducks along the river corridor.

At a Glance

Rentals & Guides: See list of Permitted Outfitters / Guides for the upper McKenzie River
Usage: Heavy
  • Only Permitted Outfitters / Guides are authorized to operate commercially on the upper McKenzie River, under special use permit with the Willamette National Forest. Professional guides will provide the equipment, experience, knowledge and skills necessary to safely and enjoyably navigate the river.
  • Camping restricted to developed campgrounds for a section along lower McKenzie River Trail
Closest Towns:  McKenzie Bridge
Restroom: Located at all boat launches.
Information Center: McKenzie River Ranger District

General Information


 See video for accessibility information about the river valley.


The navigable reach of the river begins at Olallie Boat Launch, located 11 miles east of McKenzie Bridge, OR,  at Olallie Campground.

There are seven public boat launches located between Olallie Creek and Blue River. The Forest Service manages Olallie, Frissell, Paradise, McKenzie Bridge and Bruckart launches. No fees are required to use these launches.

Launch sites on the Upper McKenzie River are generally primitive. They are at Ollalie Campground (milepost 13), Frissell Carpenter (milepost 16), Paradise Campground (milepost 54), McKenzie Trailhead (milepost 52), McKenzie Bridge Campground (milepost 49), and Bruckart (milepost 45). The first two are east of the Highway 242 cutoff..

General Notes:

McKenzie River Map

Several campgrounds that also include day use picnic areas are located along the river corridor.

The 26.5-mile long McKenzie River National Recreation Trail closely follows the river.

Sanitation facilities are located at all boat launches; however, river users are asked to pack out all trash.


Camping & Cabins

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Nature Viewing

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Water Activities

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Areas & Activities



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