Winter on the McKenzie River Trail

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During a trip to check out Ski Hoodoo at Santiam Pass this winter, we spent an afternoon exploring the McKenzie River Trail. Last summer I mountain biked the trail and thought it was some of the best scenery Oregon has to offer. Seeing it covered in snow brought out a new dimension. I can’t say one season is better than the other – just that anyone who has the chance needs to come explore this amazing place.

We hiked just a short out and back section of the trail between Clear Lake and Carmen Reservoir. We only needed microspikes to do the hike. Right after a large snowfall, snowshoes would be really handy. At any rate, winter hikers should have something for traction; slipping off the side into the frigid, raging river with one waterfall after another would not end well.We hiked just a short out and back section of the trail between Clear Lake and Carmen Reservoir. We only needed microspikes to do the hike. Right after a large snowfall, snowshoes would be really handy. At any rate, winter hikers should have something for traction; slipping off the side into the frigid, raging river with one waterfall after another would not end well.

I had hoped to bring along my tripod and a neutral density filter to capture some really striking photographs. The weather didn’t exactly play along with my plans – it was just above freezing and raining on us during the entire hike. I still got a few shots off. Maybe next time I’ll get more time behind the lens.

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