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With its lush and picturesque canyon, abundant wildlife, warm water, numerous side creeks, and exciting rapids, the Rogue River in Oregon is a wonderful place to enjoy life on the river. It was one of the original rivers to be protected as a National Wild and Scenic River in 1968 and continues to provide one of the most beloved river trips in the world.
The river is born on the slopes of the Cascade Mountains surrounding Crater Lake, and flows west past the towns of Medford and Grants Pass before carving a wild and remote canyon through the coastal range of the Siskiyous. Because of its proximity to the ocean and temperate climate, the Rogue canyon has an abundance of wildlife. We commonly see deer, otter, osprey, bald eagles, and black bears on our trips and, depending on the season, we often see salmon migrating upstream to spawn. The canyon walls are blanketed with stands of Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, madrone, and numerous varieties of oak, while ferns, wildflowers, and blackberries grow up the numerous side streams.
The river itself follows a diverse course, alternatively crashing over abrupt ledges, flattening into shallow expanses, and squeezing between house-sized boulders or through narrow gorges. There are rapids every day with highlights at Mule Creek Canyon and Blossom Bar on Days 3 or 4.
Travel to Merlin:
We will meet at 6:00 PM the evening before the trip begins on the lawn overlooking the Rogue River at Morrison’s Lodge. We’ll give you your waterproof bags, go over final trip logistics, arrange shuttles and answer any last minute questions. Cars will be left at Morrison’s during the trip. If you are planning to tour the Oregon coastline after the trip, consider having your vehicle shuttled to our takeout point, which is 35 miles from Gold Beach and the Pacific Ocean. The cost is about $110 per vehicle and arrangements can be made at the pre-trip meeting.
Begin Your Adventure:
Launch at Argo Boat “Ramp” and head downriver. After a couple of warmup miles, we’ll pass under the Grave Creek Bridge and enter into the official “wild section” of the Wild and Scenic Rogue River, one of the original eight rivers to be protected under the landmark 1968 Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Morning rapids include Grave Creek Rapids and Grave Creek Falls and the legendary Rainey Falls, a Class V ledge that we’ll walk around while watching for salmon leaping upstream. Depending on our timing, afternoon rapids may include Tyee and Wildcat before we find a big beach to call home for the night.
Day 2 – Roll on the River:
We’ll enjoy a full day of fun Class II and III rapids including Upper and Lower Black Bar Falls and Kelsey Canyon. We’ll likely stop to hike up a side stream and to check out Winkle Bar (site of Zane Grey’s cabin) or Battle Bar (site of one of the more well-known battles during the Rogue River Indian Wars), or both. Or neither. We’re on the river!
Day 3 – Roar with the Rapids!
The morning will feature the Rogue’s two most iconic rapids: Mule Creek Canyon and Blossom Bar, arguably the two prettiest rapids in the west. The afternoon will feature lazy drifting and swimming and relaxing and getting deeper into the rhythm of the river.
Wrap up Your Journey:
We’ll be on the river until mid-afternoon, running a few small rapids and feeling the river begin to lose her spunk as she nears the ocean. We’ll take the hint and gently transition back into our former lives before taking a 2-hour Shuttle ride back over the hill to the meeting place. We should be finished and on to the next adventure by 5 PM on the last day.
Trip Start: September 2, 2020
Trip End: September 5, 2020
Trip Start/End Location: Grave Creek Bridge, Merlin, OR 97532 – Foster Bar Boat Launch, Agness, OR 97406
Trip Cost: $980/person*
*Sliding scale scholarships are available for people with special needs and their helper. Please click here to complete a scholarship application.
Trip Includes: All rafting and camping equipment, professional guides, and delicious meals
Trip Does Not Include:
Travel arrangements to/from Morrisons Lodge, overnight accommodations the night before or after the trip, or gratuity
The nature of this trip allows us to accommodate a wide variety of special needs, and we encourage people that have not yet experienced this river yet to apply! For more information please contact the River Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-474-7662 ext. 15