Hiking Spotlight: McKenzie River Trail

This trail was rated the No. 1 trail in the Willamette National Forest in Oregon.

Me and my friends beginning the trail

The trail is 3.7 miles (one way) and is located near McKenzie Bridge, a city in central Oregon.

I led the way on the icy trail

We were captivated by the beauty of the trail.

C’mon, Dad, this way!

The Mckenzie river was racing next to us as we walked along the trail.

Mom took this picture of a boring old log

I took a drink of the water when it wasn’t too rough (because Mom would say no).

Me drinking the delicious fresh river water

My friend Brian was allowed to walk on a log right next to the racing river.

Brian being wild

Brian brought his pup named Pluto to hike the trail with me — I didn’t think he liked me.

Pluto enjoying the snow

So I tried to look super charming …

Me looking pretty

And beautiful …

Me looking pretty

C’mon, Pluto, don’t you think I’m lovely?

Me sad that Pluto isn’t into me

After humping me for a minute, Pluto decided that I was a worthy hiking companion.

This picture reminds of us of the movie Homeward Bound

Did you know that the movie Homeward Bound was shot nearby in central Oregon?

Me and Dad enjoying the view

My dad thinks the river and mossy trees also look like a scene from The Jungle Book.

Beautiful mossy trees over the river

Me and Pluto kept getting bored waiting for our parents to take a million pictures.

OK, we are ready to explore more!

Pluto started patiently waiting and let my mom take his picture.

Adorable little Pluto

So we explored around on our own for a bit.

Pluto exploring

The trees were misty in the distance,

Misty trees

I kept noticing Mom following me with the camera.

Me exploring
Me exploring
Me exploring

Mom and Dad don’t have claws like me, so they had to take the trail really slow.

Looking like a champion

Dad was looking rugged on this cliff.

Dad looking rugged

I wasn’t allowed at the edge of the cliffs.

Dad still looking rugged

When the sun peeked through the trees, the forest looked magical.

The magical misty forest

Dad let me sit with him to look out at the river.

Me and Dad being lovey

I snuck Dad a kiss.

Kissing Dad

The forest became brighter and sunnier as we reached the end of the trail.

The clear blue skies behind the fir trees

We did it! We reached the Tamolitch Blue Pool, the most beautiful, scenic point of the trail.

The Tamolitch Blue Pool

You can jump from this point into the chilly pool for a swim.

The Tamolitch Blue Pool

However, we did not jump because the water is a frigid 37 degrees Fahrenheit year round.

The Tamolitch Blue Pool

Mom and Dad looking out at the beautiful blue pool — Mom really was there!

Brian took this beautiful pic of Mom and Dad

I hope you enjoyed my first photoblog. I am planning to do a hiking spotlight every month. Please let me know if you enjoyed this in the comments. 🙂

Rating for McKenzie River Trail 


I gave this hike two paws up because it was magical, rejuvenating, and scenic. The trail is rated moderate, and unfortunately, dogs need to be leashed throughout the trail (oops, we found that out later when we looked it up). I recommend assessing your pup’s health before the hike, making sure to bring plenty of water, and staying close to your pup throughout the trail in case any stinky wild animals visit you.

Pin this, pups:

Hiking with your dog (1)


Stay tuned for my next blog post where I discuss our exciting day trip from the Willamette National Forest back home to Portland, Oregon!


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46 thoughts on “Hiking Spotlight: McKenzie River Trail

  1. I love seeing doggies in the snow, and these two look as though they have a proper smile on their faces with their little jackets on, bless. Love the pic of Scarlett sneaking a kiss on Daddy 🙂 #feetdotravel

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! Scarlett and Brian roam the Oregon Trail. Loved it! I especially loved the views from your point ofviw dear Scarlett. One day it would be fun to hike with mom & dad with you to guide us all. Love you pretty girl. Homeward bound was one of my favorite movies too. It reminds me of you because you and Chance look like twins. I give this blog two hands up because it was amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved your first photo blog, and check you out flirting with Pluto!! Looked a cold but lovely trek and don’t blame you not jumping in the pool you would freeze to death! Great post. #feetdotravel.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your first photo blog, you did had a great time hiking with Pluto in this place. Gorgeous pictures, especially the one where you kiss your dad. Good job not jumping into the pool as the water is so cold you could freeze in a few minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great hike, and what pretty views. We don’t blame you for not celebrating the end of the trail with a dip. That’s just a little too chilly for us! 😉 We like your idea about posting a hike every month, and are looking forward to the next one!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I will be adding Willamette National Forest in Oregon to my to do list when I visit Oregon it looks absolutely stunning there! I’ve been debating on whether to venture out to Oregon or Colorado and I think you just made my mind up! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. These mossy trees over the river and the blue waters… I´ve never heard of Willamette National Forest, added to my bucket list – this trail looks amazing! Thanks for sharing 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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