This Epic ride is the burly, back country brother to the nearby and more famous McKenzie River Trail. While the McKenzie River Trail offers easily accessible single track, the O’Leary Loop trail serves up endless back country adventure with narrow trail hurtling into tight switchbacks, rock walls built decades ago by the Civilian Conservation Corps, throttling climbs and a final decent that makes you forget the pain.
Hikers are afforded excellent views of the McKenzie Valley, Three Sisters peaks and Cougar Reservoir. The trail crosses McLennon, McDuff, and O’Leary Mountain. There are some unique rock formations (pinnacles) along the way.
Trail Description: 19 miles of single track. difficult. 4474′ Ascent. – 5,795 Descent. This ride requires fitness and skill.
Special Instructions: Hire a local shuttle to take you to the trail head. consider riding with a friend. Please DO NOT take beginners or anyone who is not a strong rider on the entire ride.
Season: Late Spring towards the end of Fall
Difficulty: More to Most Difficult
Water: None (you may find a creek or 2 but be sure to bring a filtration unit)
How to get there:
Full ride – Ollolie Trail Head – Take Horse Creek Road south and turn right on FS 1993. Follow a few miles to end of road. Parking is limited to 3 or 4 spots.
Horse Pasture Mountain – skip huge 3 mile climb at beginning. (Directions to be updated later.) Parking is limited to about 3 cars. Shuttle is best option for this ride. Drive takes about 45 min to an hour to trail head – yet has some amazing scenery of the Three Sisters Mountain peaks.
Short ride – King-Castle Trail Head – From Blue River travel east on Hwy 126 for 4 miles and turn south on Rd. 19 (Cougar Dam) then take 1900-410 for 2 miles to the powerhouse at Cougar Dam. Just before entering the Corps of Engineers enclosure turn east on 1900-411 and proceed 2.5 miles. The trailhead is common to the Castle Rock and Echo trailhead. Roadside parking.
End – King Castle – From Hwy 126 to Hwy 19 south in Blue River, Oregon, continue south towards the dam (not the lake) and take the next left on King Rd. Continue East passing Belknap Covered Bridge to the signed trail head on your right. Map link is to trail head at the end of the ride.
Shuttles are available from: Cascade Bike Tours by McKenzie River Mountain Resort
Shuttle Options start at $30 per rider:
Standard – Full Trail – Olollie Trail start 19 mi
Big climb for good riders – looking for the badge of honor that says “I’m better than you”.
Skip Big Portion of Beginning Climb – Horse Pasture Trail start 16 mi
Looking for a tough ride but 4500 foot of climb in 3 miles is a bit more than you want? This is the ride for you.
Skip the climb on Ollolie Trail and the ride along O’Leary Ridge – Start at King-Castle trailhead 7 mi
Shorter ride that skips the hard stuff and just give you that fun, fast and swoopy downhill.
*mileage #s are estimates
Horse Creek Lodge may also offer a shuttle
O’Leary is trail # 3321 on map below
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- CategoryMountain Biking
- LocationMcKenzie Bridge, McKenzie River
- By Chris LaVoie
- Phone: 541-822-6272
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org