Welcome Visitors!

The beautiful McKenzie River is the stuff of legends. This 90 mile long tributary of the mighty Willamette has generated many a tall fishing yarn, as well as spawning the development of the world famous McKenzie River Drift Boat. A favorite fly fishing spot of Presidents Hoover and Eisenhower, the McKenzie River Area is a recreational paradise dotted with charming small towns and unique shops.

For 8000 years prior to exploration by Europeans, this gorgeous area was home to the Kalapuya and Molalla peoples, who spent their summers in the high Cascades and their winters in the Willamette Valley. In fact, much of the river was largely unknown to western explorers until October 1853, when a group of Oregon Trail settlers became lost trying to cross the Cascades into the Willamette Valley via the Elliot Cutoff. Not long afterward they discovered the river named for an early fur trader, Donald McKenzie.

Thanks to the completion of the Santiam Pass in 1960, today's visitors will find it easy to explore the awesome majesty of the McKenzie River. While Highway 126 makes traveling much simpler than it was in pioneer days, the area remains 96% forested with Douglas fir, western hemlock, and western red cedar, so visitors enjoy an almost pristine outdoor experience. Anglers can catch spring Chinook salmon, mountain whitefish, as well as bull, red side and rainbow trout in the spring fed, icy waters of the river. Bird watchers will spot dippers, mergansers, bald eagles, ospreys, spotted owl and various species of water fowl as they feed on the fish. You'll also find covered bridges, hot springs, waterfalls and a variety of challenging road and mountain biking opportunities in the area. Come explore the closest thing to heaven, the beautiful McKenzie River.

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McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 297
Walterville, OR 97489


This site was created and is maintained by
McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce
with financial support from Lane County

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