McKenzie River

Lane County, OR US

one of the primary tributaries of the Willamette River
Natural Feature Natural Feature

McKenzie River - The McKenzie River is a 90-mile (145 km) tributary of the Willamette River in western Oregon in the United States. It drains part of the Cascade Range east of Eugene and flows into the southernmost end of the Willamette Valley. It is named for Donald Mackenzie, a Scottish Canadian fur trader who explored parts of the Pacific Northwest for the Pacific Fur Company. In the 21st century, there are six large dams on the McKenzie and its tributaries.

The McKenzie River originates as the outflow of Clear Lake in the high Cascades of eastern Linn County in the Willamette National Forest. Clear Lake is fed by Ikenick Creek and Fish Lake Creek, the latter of which flows from Fish Lake (a few miles north of Clear Lake, in Marion County). Fish Lake's main tributary is Hackieman Creek, which drains the north side of Browder Ridge east of Tombstone Pass. U.S. Route 20 crosses the pass and follows Hackieman Creek. The McKenzie River flows south from Clear Lake, paralleled by Oregon Route 126, and goes over Sahalie and Koosah falls. It enters Lane County and flows west past the community of McKenzie Bridge. It receives the South Fork McKenzie River about 3 miles (5 km) east of Blue River. The South Fork rises near the Pacific Crest Trail in the Three Sisters Wilderness and flows north-northwest for about 30 miles (48 km) through Cougar Reservoir and Cougar Dam.

Read more at Travel Oregon

McKenzie River


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