7 Must Visit Spots on the McKenzie River, Oregon

Oregon is renowned for outdoor recreation and the wild and scenic McKenzie River, Oregon is a great place to experience so much the state has to offer. The McKenzie River is a tributary of the Willamette River that runs through this area and is a favorite spot for mountain bikers, hikers, and rafting and fishing enthusiasts alike

On our multi-family road trip to Oregon, we started our adventure on the the McKenzie River located in the lush green forests east of Eugene. This river is not only beautiful, it is special in that it is fed by a network of cold (ice cold!) springs located under lava flows in the Cascade Range. Some of this water has been underground for 7 years! Because of how the river is supplied, even with the epic drought in the West, the river never runs dry.  

From hiking on old lava flows to relaxing in ancient hot springs, the McKenzie River in Oregon is loaded with family friendly fun. The McKenzie River area is one of our favorite spots to visit in the Pacific Northwest. Read on for our recommendations on what to do, where to stay and what to eat while visiting this beautiful part of Oregon.

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Central and Southern Oregon Road Trip Itinerary

For our third annual multi-family summer vacation, we created an amazing Oregon road trip itinerary. We had initially hoped to start in Portland and work our way around the state, but quickly realized how much there is to do in the US’s 9th largest state. Instead, we opted for a loop, focusing on the central and southern parts of the state, starting and ending in Eugene, Oregon. Taking in 3 national park/monuments, numerous rivers, forests and the coast, it proved to be an ideal itinerary for our outdoor focused families.

However, if you have time or your flight takes you through Portland, there are a ton of great things to do there to begin or end your visit. 

Oregon really is a nature lovers dream come true. Snowy mountains, looming volcanoes surrounded by fields of lava rocks, fir forests, icy cold streams, lakes and let’s not forget the beautifully rugged coastline. Central and Southern Oregon’s diverse landscape is sure to please everyone.

We had an amazing time on our 10 day Oregon road trip that I thought I would share it here for anyone looking to do the same. Our itinerary was somewhat dictated by availability of accommodation, but overall I would do the same itinerary with only minor changes.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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