Monday, June 17, 2013

Sisters-Old Santiam Wagon Road- McKenzie River

4-day solo bikepacking trip from Sisters, Oregon, across the Old Santiam Wagon Road, to the McKenzie River trail and back. Perfect weather, one cold spring, one hot spring, 6 pinch flats, a bunch of broken equipment and lots of grinning. It was the best bikepacking trip I've ever done.

Partial GPS tracks here

 Leaving Sisters

 The gravel turns red

 The route ran through a section of burned forest...

... and downed trees. Ugh, hike-a-bike

 Mt. Washington through the burn

 Clear Lake- it's actually that blue

 Lava country

 Crazy ass bug

 McKenzie River- one of many crossings like this

Sahalie Falls

One of many technical lava sections

 Look closely on the right, there is a hot springs cave
 Another view from Clear Lake

 This section was so cool. Just follow an old trail, nothing packed down and obvious, all old growth trees, lots of lava and nobody in sight

 Shot taken of bug chomped leg the night before the mosquitoes got bad

 High country mountain flowers

 Moonscape- volcanic debris from extinct volcano Sand Mountain

 Last night campsite near Sand Mt

 Old fire lookout tower on top of Sand Mt

 Looking south from Sand Mt looking at Mt Washington and the Three Sisters Mts

 Looking north at Three Fingered Jack and Mt Jefferson

 Looking west, you can see the McKenzie river valley

Good old Karate Monkey!


  1. Nice! Looks like you had considerably less snow than us AND got to ride the Mckenzie trails! Why didn't you stay up on Sand Mtn? Didn't realize there was a lookout up there!

  2. Looks to be a Salmon Fly. Grab one and throw it onto the river surface where you think there may be some Trout. Many times a fish will surface and snatch the bug with a big rolling splash.

    Brian E

  3. Could you do the Sisters to Fish Lake route in a day?I am planning to do this route this summer and trying to figure how much time to reserve. Would I have to bikepack it? I have mapped out all the historic segments on USGS maps from 1929. It looks like a fantastic route.