Explore the most popular mountain biking trails near Blue River with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Lots of people at blue pool but it's gorgeous!

Great trail! We did it on a Monday so there weren't any crowds, though after sitting at the Blue Pool for about 20min the crowds started coming from the opposite direction. Like one of the other reviews said, not a hard hike, but it is 12mi round trip so be ready for that.
We put our feet in the water at Clear Lake when we got back, had a beer and then hit the road. A great day!

Was an amazing hike. Waterfalls, clear lake, and blue pool all in a day! What more can you ask for. All in all not very hard, but pretty long. Would recommend.

hiking
3 months ago

To get to the trail, instead of following the google directions, coming off the highway take a left at the fork. Just keep going straight and turn left up the hill at the closed gate. Follow the road straight and you will get to the trail head. This hike is completely worth it. I hope to go back when it is a bit clearer to get a better view of the mountains.

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail so long as you take it to the top. The total mileage with going to the peak is around 11.2 miles which means start early, especially this time of year. Beautiful views from the top. Not much snow except for the last mile or so but even then it's flattened out by hikers. If you don't want to do the entire hike, you can drive up the majority of the way, hike the last mile, and still see the view.

just me and my wife hiked the trail till dark and pulled off the trail and camped for the night awesome time

hiking
9 months ago

Just a heads up, the last mile or so of road is closed. I am not familiar with the area so maybe you can still get to the trail but I had to turn back. Road is closed through November.

hiking
10 months ago

The trail is degrading from mountain bikers. A lot of fine dirt on the trail. One down tree on the trail near the trailhead and another one by NF-482.

The short gravel road to the parking spot has about four big pot holes.

hiking
10 months ago

Nice rock formations near the top. Deers were by that area as well.

I was not able to see any of the views because of the smoke from the wildfires. Check the USDA Forest Service website for conditions.

I give this trail only four stars because of how crowded blue pool was. Even though it was beautiful there it made it seem as if you hadn't hiked all that way. Along the way though I saw no one not a soul !! It was beautiful and green and quite lush. The falls weren't as crowded as I had thought especially since it was a Saturday but I was there pretty early. I decided to make a camping trip out of it and it all worked out well. Oh and if you do go guard your stuff especially at blue pool I had my temper pad and my rain tarp stolen. Quite upset about that.

hiking
11 months ago

According to the two GPS units I had "on board", this trail is between 11 and 12 miles when going from the trailhead just off E King Road to the summit. The main track on Alltrails stops 1.25 miles short of the summit.
A few key observations:
This is a mixed use trail favored by mountain bikers; while every biker i met on the trail was was courteous and following trail etiquette, walking up or down when folks are zipping down the single track requires a bit of extra caution. Also, bike use makes for different erosion patterns that sometime calls for adjustments to walking patterns (i was reminded of that the hard way, sliding on a finely grounded dirt layer on top of hard-packed earth... elbow open to the joint and a few stitches :-) in the ER that evening).
The parking at the trailhead is convenient but not. overly spacious (about 8 or 10 cars)
There are several ways to get to the summit (if views are mostly what you are after). Starting on E King Road is not the easiest one. Instead you can get to about one mile of the summit by car on O'Leary (dirt) road. Or you can use the Castle Rock Trail #3506 off Cougar Creek Road (that seems to shave 3+ miles off the total out-and-back).
The E King Road version of the trip will appeal to you if you enjoy (changing) forest walks on a well cut trail and/or if you are looking for a good workout at 6 miles and 3K cumulated elevation gain.
The views from the summit are sweeping, overlooking the McKenzie Valley East to West with the added bonus of the 3 sisters in the background (best view of the sisters appears to be from the saddle just below the summit).
The map on Alltrails shows only 3 switchbacks just below the summit but it is closer to 10 to reach the very top.
The summit is relatively small and free of vegetation on the West side while a small copse of tree provided welcome shade on the 80+ degrees day i made the climb.
I only gave 3 stars because there are so many stunningly beautiful hikes around... but this is no trial to thumb one's nose at. Good place to go when snow is still obstructing hikes in higher altitudes.

Great trail! Best if you can hike it end to end. Unfortunately, the regional utility is doing needed improvements and has FLOODED a section of the trail below Carmen Diversion reservoir. The water is about 3 feet deep-for the next couple years

great day hike, might be busy with people hitting the blue pool and water falls along the way, I got out there early before every started showing up. would definitely do it again.

hiking
Monday, May 01, 2017

Coupled with Castle Rock trail, started at E. King Road trailhead and hiked under canopy to Castle Rock, great view, moderate-hard due to climb and switchbacks, watch out for single-track mtn bikers speeding down trail

hiking
Monday, May 01, 2017

Completed trail along with King Castle Trail, started at E. King Road trailhead and hiked under canopy and along switchbacks to a great view of valley, moderate-hard due to elevation climb, watch out for single-track mtn bikers speeding down trail

Monday, April 17, 2017

The trail winds through a beautiful dense forest and the summit offers stunning views of the Sisters to the east!

hiking
Monday, April 03, 2017

Not the worst hike to a view ever. But it's surrounded by clear-cuts and the view from up top is only so-so. Nearby Tidbits is a little more challenging, less crowded and has vastly better views.

backpacking
Friday, March 24, 2017

Did the whole thing, which should be 24 miles unless you get lost a lot like me, in which case it turns into 26. Nice campground about halfway, amazing views on the way. I did it in two days with late starts, but I would suggest taking three days to do it if you haven't seen the scenery. You'll want to stop and take pictures. There is a bus service that will take you to the trailhead and you can leave your car at the end. $30 from what I can remember.

Did part of this trail after hiking all day would like to go back and finish the whole thing.

This is my favorite day hike in Oregon.

Monday, September 19, 2016

I hiked the McKenzie River trail from the northern end to Tamolitch pool and back. Great backpacking trip, for sure! Hikers and bikers should keep an eye out for each other, especially on narrow parts of the trail and on slopes.

Sahalie and Koosah Falls are both gorgeous and there are trails on the opposite side of the river that are family friendly and easily accessed from the highway.

A perfect little hike--take the kids, take your parents who don't like hiking--they will after this one! Beautiful forest follows river then goes up above river on lave rock to the gorgeous Tamolitch Pool. Something special to see for sure.

bathrooms we're disgusting

I hiked the trail as an out-and-back, parking at Trail Bridge (trailhead for Tamolitch blue pool) walking up to Clear Lake before turning back.

It was a beautiful day in late May and it wasn't too hard for me to give the trail 5 stars. In eight miles (one way) the trails passes by 4 amazing sites: Tamolitch blue pool, Koosah falls, Sahalie Falls and Clear Lake. Not to mention the McKenzie river itself.

The relative short hike to the "main attractions" means, of course, that traffic is moderate to heavily depending on day of the week and time of day. I started early (7:45 am) to enjoy the "out" part of the hike almost all by myself.

At Trail Bridge (ample parking along the road), the trail starts with a short descent to the west bank of the McKenzie that it then follows closely over relatively flat ground for about half a mile. This section ends after crossing a side stream over a wooden bridge,

After that, the trail becomes a bit more "technical" as the following mile or so weaves through lava rocks and gains elevation over the McKenzie, offering some nice views of the river from a series of cliff-top overlooks. If you look upstream, you will start seeing the bend in the river that indicates the location of the blue pool. This section ends at the blue pool that obviously deserve a few minutes to take this unique feature in.

The next section goes from the Blue Pool to the Carmen reservoir and it is the only section were the river is "missing" (as it works its way underground via lava tubes). Towering cliffs to the East, across the dried up river bed trace the curved edge of the ancient river bend. The disappearance of the lava makes for easier footing and a thicker canopy with even some old growth as the trail gets closer to the reservoir. The trail goes over a few (4?) log bridges before reaching the edge of the Carmen Reservoir that it follows for a quarter mile.

Past the reservoir, the trail climbs more noticeably as it approaches first Koosah falls and then Sahalie. A side use trail drops to the edge of the McKenzie to provide frontal views of the Sahalie falls amphitheater. The view of the falls are not a "open" as from the East bank but they have the advantage of being a bit less crowded.

Past Sahalie, the trail levels to follow the side of the McKenzie before crossing the river over a large wooden bridge. A short distance after, the trail crosses OR126 and the turn-off to ColdWater Cove on NF770.

The last leg of the journey climbs to the edge of Clear Water Lake where it merges with the Clear Lake trail (4341) at an intersection. I took the right branch to the ColdWater Cove Camping and Boat Ramp (after crossing a last lava flow on a paved section). A few good spots along the lake for a bit of rest, lunch and a soak of sore feet in the startlingly cold water before the 8 miles journey back.

Three thousand year old trees stand preserved at the bottom of this lake. Melted snow from Mt. Jefferson takes twenty years to filter through lava beds as it makes its way to the lake. You can rent row boats and kayaks to go out on the water and for a full day of fun. Nice camps sites also.

hiking
Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Amazing views! The trail was well marked and groomed. It's quite a subtle climb, but only being a 1.25 mile trail there are no mile markers to let you know how much farther you have to go. But once you reach the top the view is completely worth it! The road getting up to the trail head is a dirt logging road with active logging equipment along the way, so please watch out for the workers. And the "parking lot" at the trail head is tiny, and requires you to do a 3 point turn around to get out. But overall an excellent well hidden hike!

The lake is so beautiful! The trail that goes around the lake gives you great views of the lake and you walk through some cool lava fields. The water in this lake looks like the tropics, as long as you do not touch it as it is freezing mountain water!

Nice place. The river has unbelievable naturally occurring shades of blue and green. I imagine heaven to look like this area; where are the unicorns? For certain, rainbows can be seen. We have only done ten miles of this trail, glad we have so much more to explore!

hiking
Sunday, November 22, 2015

We started this hike at the trailhead that's four miles up good-quality gravel Forest Road 480 (O'Leary Road) at its junction with FR 490. From that trailhead to the top is 2 mi, and about 1300 feet of elevation. If you continue to the end of O'Leary Road, there is another trailhead that is 1.25 mi to the top and about 600 feet of elevation. The trail is relentlessly upward at a steep but not terrible grade, and mostly very well marked. Starting at the upper trailhead you get little peeks of the Sisters through the continuous forest cover. About a half mile past the upper trailhead the rock formations that give the mountain its name begin, and follow you until you get near the summit, where they protect a little oak savannah area. And the summit is what you've been waiting for -- a nearly full-circle view of Cascades to the south and southwest, the McKenzie Valley to the north, and the Three Sisters to the East. As a bonus, Mt Washington is poking out from behind a ridge on the north side of the valley. A breathtaking view and a short, scenic hike that's easy for anyone who isn't too out of shape. Spectacular.

Enjoyed this trail a lot. Trails are well maintained, and well marked, making them easy to navigate. We found the waterfalls were crazy busy as was Tamolitch Pool, it's to be expected with easy access and a pretty easy hike to the pool. Looking forward to exploring more of the this beautiful trail.

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