Fish the McKenzie

The McKenzie is a beautiful river, and is best fished from the McKenzie River boats for which it is famous. The McKenzie has a native population of redside rainbow trout to 20″, salmon, and a growing run of summer steelhead. The river is also stocked regularly throughout the fishing season.

Known for its cold, crystal clear waters the Class II-III McKenzie River hosts whitewater thrill seekers, world class anglers and nature lovers. The McKenzie River is 90 miles (145 km) long and includes a South Fork. More than 12 miles of the upper McKenzie are designated as “Wild and Scenic.”

Fishing Gallery

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Guides who use the Wayfarer Resort

McKenzie River Guides Association
A. Helfrich Outfitters
Helfrich River Adventures
Caster’s Guide Service
Ken Helfrich Outfitter
Spenser Outfitter & Guides

Hiking in the Cascades

Hiking in the Cascade Mountains is a trip through 600 year old forest, along side roaring waterfalls, and finding spectacular mountain views.  The Sahalie and Koosah Falls hike starts at road side and can be done in tennis shoes in the summer, or for the more adventurous there are many mountain trials with spectacular spring flowers and colorful fall views.  Here are a few of our favorites:


Waterfall Gallery

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Hiking the McKenzie Area

Breathtaking Waterfalls

A short drive up the river are two spectacular waterfalls with easy access and a fantastic hike along the McKenzie River trail between the two. Don’t miss these icons of the river.

Sahalie and Koosah Falls are located along the McKenzie River in the Cascade Mountain wilderness only a 45 mile drive from our resort.

  • Sahalie Falls is a mass of foaming white water plunging 100 feet (30 m) over a natural lava dam. This famous falls can be spotted in Disney’s movie Homeward Bound.
  • The viewing platform is less then 100 feet (30 m) from the parking lot. Making for a quick and very rewarding stop.
  • An easy family-friendly 2.6 mile (4.1843 km) loop trail starts at Sahalie Falls and connects to Koosah Falls. It is not wheelchair accessible due to stairs. The trail borders the McKenzie River through towering forest.
  • Koosah Falls drops approximately 70 feet (21 m) into a deep pool.

Waterfall Gallery

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Mountain Biking

The McKenzie River Trail is often described as the #1 mountain biking trail in the US. It is a stunningly beautiful, mostly downhill trail (if you start at the top), but it is an all day ride, even if you are fit. Generally ridden as a shuttle trip rather than going both ways.

The technical sections are not concentrated in one area, which makes those areas hard to bypass. Most everyone will walk some of the sections. If you aren’t willing to walk, at least scout some of them out, before you need to walk out with a broken arm. There are three main areas of technical in the upper third section of the McKenzie River Trail: east side of Clear Lake, after Sahalie Falls, and after Tamolitch Falls.

For families with children there is a great ride around Clear Lake near the crest of the Cascade Mountains.  This is a well maintained trail that is mostly flat and has a few bridges or tight spots that children might want to walk but this trail is very family friendly.

Mountain Biking Gallery

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Mountain Biking on the McKenzie River Trail

White Water Rafting

White water rafting is a favorite for our guests.  The upper river offers a constant splashy class II ride.  The middle river is a classic pool and drop that gives you time for water fights in between spectacular sections of white water capped off by the famous Class III Marten Rapids. The McKenzie is a true jewel.  The majestic blue water of this beautiful river flows through lush green forests of Douglas Firs, Maples, Western Red Cedars, Alders and the mossy thick forests of the western Cascade Mountains.  One of the largest spring-fed rivers in the world, the McKenzie receives a continuous summer flow from underground aquifers.  As you float down this magnificent river you will experience views of historical covered bridges, abundant bird life and beautiful waterfalls.

White Water Gallery

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Andy rafting marten