The McKenzie is a classic mountain white water rafting river in Oregon. Beginning on the slopes of the western Cascades and flowing in crystal-clear, sparkling torrents through lush, green forests down into the pastoral McKenzie Valley, the McKenzie is possibly Oregon’s most popular river due to its beauty, proximity to Eugene and other Oregon cities, the variety of whitewater, and superb trout and salmon fishing. Also, the mountains around the river offer some of the most scenic and varied hiking in the Pacific Northwest.
The most popular section for whitewater boaters is the 36 miles from Ollalie Campground to just above Leaburg Dam. The upper stretch between Ollalie and Blue River is a favorite for kayakers as it offers almost nonstop rapids. The river downstream of Blue River takes on more of a pool and drop character.