Rogue River in Oregon is a place where outdoor adventure and beautiful scenery go hand in hand. Located in southern Oregon within the Siskiyou Mountain range, the Rogue River traverses more than 200 miles across the lower portion of Oregon from Boundary Springs all the way to Crater Lake National Park, where it ends shortly after it enters park boundaries. The river empties out at the point where it meets the Pacific Ocean, which also happens to be the location of popular seaside town of Gold Beach, a popular tourist stop for its rugged mountain backdrop, bounty of hiking trails, quiet beaches, and beautiful forests.
Rogue River hiking is highlighted by magnificent scenery as the river winds its way across Oregon's pine forests, vast orchards, plunging gorges, pumice flats, and farmlands in the surrounding land. Hikers are privy to wildlife sightings such as ospreys, black bears, blue herons, river otters, and bald eagles as they hike the main route, the Rogue River National Recreation Trail, which begins at Grave Creek and ends at Foster Bar over a 40-mile stretch. This particular Rogue River hiking trail happens to be inside the Rogue River Canyon which is part of the 82-mile stretch designated a National Wild and Scenic area. Day hikes are popular yet hiking the main route for four to five days is the top choice.
Rogue River hiking can be a self-guided experience, but for those who prefer a guide, hiking tours are readily available. They offer tours as well as Rogue River rentals of hiking poles and other equipment and can be arranged in town. The best time for hiking the Rogue River in either May or June and with ideal conditions, one of the best in the state. The best starting point is west of Grants Pass, three hours from Bend Oregon. The highest elevations along Rogue River hiking routes are between 470 and 690 feet with much of the trail along the canyon heading downward. The trip is roughly a four-day venture in which nights can be spent either camping or at a variety of wildness lodges along the route.
Fishing inside the designated Wild and Scenic area of the river is another excellent way to enjoy the river and tremendous backdrop. Anglers traveling long distances to fish the wild waters, most popular for salmon runs and steelhead fishing, can easily access Rogue River rentals from any nearby outfitter for all angling needs, from rods and reels to bait and tackle. Fishing tours are also available for both day trips and multi-day trips. You can also find Rogue River rentals if you don't have your own gear.
Rogue River rafting is another of the popular things to do on or along the Wild and Scenic part of the Rogue River running from Grave Creek down to Foster Bar. The rapids are classed as III and III+ (with Class V Rapids at Rainie Falls only), and a thirteen-mile strip used for day rafting called the Recreation Section. These types of white-water adventure tours can be booked from May through October with multiple options, including camping or lodge accommodation, a lodge and camping combination, or even rafting trips with your beloved canine.
Aside from all the adventurous pursuits on and by the river, there is one must-see attraction when visiting Rogue River, and that’s the lava tube stretching up and across the river within the Upper Rogue waterway. This especially scenic area is laden with a stunning volcanic panorama, a bi-product of the Mount Mazama eruption more than 7,000 years ago. Natural Bridge is the point for viewing the lava tube, beautiful pumice cliffs and canyons, the almost vertical cliffs, and piercing ridges.