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Difficulty II-III(IV)
Length 34 Miles
Gauge ROGUE RIVER NEAR AGNESS, OR
Flow Range 1200 - 25000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 40 minutes ago 5790 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 11/15/2018 11:03 pm

River Description


PERMITS: Applications for the annual permit lottery (for launch dates between May 15th and October 15th) are accepted between December 1st and January 31st. You can also pick up unconfirmed launch dates by phone. Most become available ten days in advance of a launch date. Weekend launches in summer can be tough to get, but if you're flexible you can usually get a permit. Off-season permits are available by request. Additional information on permits can be found on the Rogue National Wild and Scenic (NWS) River web site.

SEASON: All year possible. The peak season is May 15th to October 15th and there are wonderful opportunities for winter paddling.
 
LOGISTICS: The Grave Creek put-in is reached off I-5 exit 61 by heading west towards Galice. Overnight parking and camping are not allowed at the launch site. Camping and an alternative launch site can be found 4 miles upstream at Almeda Bar (campsite reservations for Almeda Bar are possible through Jackson County Parks). The preferred shuttle route is the Bear Camp Road (FR 23) to Foster Bar Landing. The 44 mile drive takes about two hours (one way). This option may be closed due to snow or debris slides. The long route is 193 miles and takes about five hours (one way) on Oregon Highway 199, but this is along paved roads and is open through the winter. The Rogue NWS River web site has shuttle maps and current conditions. Many take advantage of one of the local shuttle services or a Rogue River rafting outfitter.
 
DESCRIPTION: Trips on the Rogue typically last 3-4 days and you have the unique option of camping or staying at the wilderness lodges spaced along the course of the run. Most of the information you'll need to plan a trip can be found on the BLM's Rogue NWS River web site. They even offer a full floater's guide in pdf format.You can either take a guided trip (some outfitters are geared towards kayakers and provide raft support for those who want to enjoy the river and have someone else worry about all the logistics) or organize your own non-commercial trip. If you're interested in the later, you will need to obtain a float permit.
 
Although this is one of the nation's original Wild and Scenic Rivers that retains its ancient forests, the river has a long history of human impacts. Upstream dams decimated native salmon and steelhead runs that made this river famous, but recent efforts to remove Savage Rapids Dam, Gold Hill Dam, Gold Ray Dam, and breach Elk Creek Dam are a sign of hope.  On the run itself, extensive blasting during the 1930's and 1940's cleared boulders and "cleaned up" the rapids. Finally, jet boats zip up and down the last few miles of the run. Despite these impacts, the Rogue remains one of the Pacific Northwest's most popular multi-day whitewater trips. Warm water, great pool-drop rapids, and beautiful scenery make this a true classic.
 
Starting at the Grave Creek Boat Ramp (river mile 68.5, elevation 630') class III whitewater begins immediately with Grave Creek Falls.The first major rapid, Rainie Falls (class V), comes within two miles of the put-in at an obvious horizon line. If you're thinking about running the falls you'll want to get out and scout. The best vantage is on river left and this is also the best side to portage kayaks. A class III alternative is the "fish ladder" which is an artificial channel blasted out along river right. The "mid chute" is a Class IV chute down the middle that offers another option.
 
The river continues with more class II and III rapids before arriving at Rogue River Ranch. This is a good place to stop and prepare for Mule Creek Canyon at mile 21. This section offers the longest continuous whitewater on the run with good class III+ rapids through a narrow canyon that culminates in the Coffee Pot, an class IV- constriction where surging boils require a strong brace. Soon after leaving this canyon at mile 23 you'll arrive at Blossom Bar (class IV) which is the second major rapid on this run. Scout the drop from river right. Jet boats can travel upstream as far as Blossom Falls so you may encounter them on the remaining 12 miles of the run.
 
Most take out at Foster Bar Boat Ramp (river mile 33.7) which is 34 miles from the Grave Creek put-in. The river continues 33.7 miles to the Pacific Ocean at Gold Beach, but there are fewer rapids and a road along the river.

Rapid Descriptions

Grave Creek Riffle

Class - III Mile - 0.2

Just downstream of the Grave Creek boat ramp, the main channel flows down the left side of the river. Follow the main current down the tongue.

Grave Creek Falls

Class - III Mile - 0.4

A vertical drop formed by a ledge. Follow the main tongue left of center to avoid rocks on the right.

Rainie Falls

Class - IV+ Mile - 1.8

A wide bedrock ledge blocks the river creating a 10-12' drop. The main current flows steeply over the left side into powerful reversals (class V). Scattered boulders guard the middle and right side of the river at the top of the rapid, but a route exists through the rocks to a center chute (class IV+). A narrow and shallow fish ladder was blasted into the bedrock on the far river right side which serves as the most common route through the rapid (class III). On busy days, raft traffic can get backed up at the fish ladder. Be sure the route is clear before committing and pay careful attention to oar management to avoid breaking one. At lower flows both the center chute and fish ladder become tight for big rafts.

China Gulch Rapids

Class - II Mile - 2.2
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Named for Chinese miners who worked in the canyon, this rapid is a straightforward read and run.

Tyee Rapid

Class - III+ Mile - 4.3

A long and wide gravel bar on the left pushes the river against the right side. The channel curves back to the left, then splits around a large midstream boulder. Take care to avoid the ledge holes that form in this rapid.

Wildcat Rapids

Class - III Mile - 5.1

The river splits around a long island and picks up speed. The preferred line is generally down the right but the left line is possible. When the channels converge the river bends to the right through the main part of the rapid.

Russian Rapids

Class - II Mile - 5.2

Montgomery Rapids

Class - II Mile - 5.5

Howard Creek Chute

Class - II Mile - 6

Slim Pickins Rapid

Class - III Mile - 6.8

Washboard Rapids

Class - II Mile - 7.2

Plowshare

Class - II Mile - 7.6

Windy Creek Chute

Class - II Mile - 7.9
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Upper Blackbar Falls

Class - III+ Mile - 8.3

Upper Black Bar Falls is a steep drop into a big curling wave. It can be scouted from the right bank.

Lower Blackbar Falls

Class - III Mile - 8.5

Lower Black Bar Falls, follows the upper drop after a short distance of calm water. The lower drop is more straightforward down the main tongue to the right of center.

Little Windy Riffle

Class - II Mile - 9.3
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Horseshoe Bend

Class - III Mile - 10.5

The river curves to the right around a large gravel bar, then curves back to the left around a narrow gooseneck of hillside. The current pushes against the cliffs and boulders on the outside of each curve, creating waves and turbulence. Two constrictions create bigger drops.

Telephone Hole Riffle

Class - II Mile - 11.4
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Dulog Riffle

Class - II Mile - 12.1
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Kelsey Falls

Class - II+ Mile - 15.2

Battle Bar Riffle

Class - II Mile - 16.5
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Winkle Bar - Zane Grey Cabin

Class - N/A Mile - 17.4

This area is private property, but river runners are allowed to land and walk up to look at the log cabin. The property was owned in the 1920's by famous western novelist, Zane Grey.

Long Gulch Riffle

Class - II Mile - 19.7
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Big Boulder Rapids

Class - II Mile - 19.9
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Island Rapids

Class - II Mile - 20.2
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Johns Riffle

Class - II Mile - 20.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Maggies Riffle

Class - II Mile - 20.8
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China Bar Rapids

Class - II Mile - 21.2

Mule Creek Canyon - Narrows

Class - III+ Mile - 22.9

The river enters a very narrow and scenic inner canyon. Interesting and challenging hydraulics are created by the current bouncing off the walls in the narrow confines. 

Mule Creek Canyon - Coffee Pot

Class - IV Mile - 23.6

The crux move in Mule Creek Canyon is the Coffee Pot where the bedrock walls constrict the flow creating a series of boils and surging eddy lines.

Blossom Bar

Class - IV Mile - 24.8

Huge boulders block the center and right side at the top of this rapid. The main current flows down the left side, straight into a "picket fence" of boulders and sieves. You can eddy out on river right and scout from a high vantage point above the rapid. The standard move is to enter left and then cut back to the center to avoid the picket fence.

Devils Stairs

Class - III Mile - 25.2

The Devils Stairs comes up quick at the end of the pool below Blossom Bar. Follow the main tongue as the river bends to the right, taking care to avoid the wall on river right.

Tichenor Riffle

Class - II Mile - 28.2
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Solitude Riffle

Class - II Mile - 28.5
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Tacoma Rapids

Class - II Mile - 30.1

Clay Hill Rapids

Class - III Mile - 30.6

These are the last rapids on any significant size before Foster Bar. Clay Hill Creek comes in on the right before the rapid. The main line is down the right channel. Stay to the left side of this channel on the main tongue. Below this rapid the geology changes from volcanic to sedimentary.

Payton Riffle

Class - II Mile - 32.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Burnt Rapids

Class - II Mile - 33.3
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Watson Riffle

Class - II Mile - 34
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Foster Bar take out

Class - N/A Mile - 35.5

The take out is on river right just past the mouth of Foster Creek.  Derig on a big, wide and treeless gravel bar.  

Comments

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andy held
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12 years ago

The header info for this reach says Class II-III. The text describes Rainie as a V and Blossom Bar as a IV. I think Blossom is a III+ and Rainie is a IV+. Either way, the header info (II-III) is incorrect. -ah

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Nick Sinderson
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8 years ago

I'm lucky enough to live in S. Oregon so this run is in my extended backyard and I been down it around 20 times. Mostly as a spur of the moment mid week grab a couple of cancellation spots, book a room at the lodge two day kayak trip. If you can plan and act quick this is a great way to go, esp. for kayakers. I just throw in a pair of shorts, shirt, flip flops, wag bag and a lunch into the back of the boat and away we go. I've been down on many flow levels, But my favorite levels are between 3,200 to 4,000cfs on the Agness gauge. Between these parameters; the water moves thru the pools, the rapids have more push and this is to my mind the best level for playboating, you'll find some great waves scattered about down below Paradise at these flows. Below 3,000cfs, I'll bring a longer boat to ease the paddling effort thru the long slow pools. I highly recommend hiking up to the waterslide on Tate Ck....it's tons of fun! Blossom is a pretty easy move but don't underestimate it and get yourself in a class 4 frame of mind when running it .

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9 years ago

At 1500cfs The Fishladder sneak (Rainey Falls) is a boney but easy III. Big rafts will get stuck a lot, you can still line dories easily. Tyee is an easy III (not a IV), and Blossom is a III+ with a must make move to avoid the Picket Fence. We did it in 3 days, I would highly recommend 5 days unless you like to row flatwater a whole lot.

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10 years ago

Rainie can be run one of three ways. There are class III, IV, and V options.

Gage Descriptions

The flow is regulated somewhat by Lost Creek Reservoir upstream. High water occurs during winter rains when flows are typically 4000-8000 cfs. Summer flows are typically around 2000 cfs.  

Very high flows can occur and are run.  Neil Nikirk reports, "I ran it years ago on a self-bailer demo trip at around 20,000 and the Oregon Club (NWRA) used to run it at Thanksgiving up to around 30,000. To tell the truth, a lot of things wash out, but there are some big hydraulics, particularly left side at Rainie... Blossom is big, but wide open. The VW rock is a big compression wave..."

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Directions Description


The preferred shuttle route is the Bear Camp Road (FR 23) to Foster Bar Landing. The 44 mile drive takes about two hours (one way). This option may be closed due to snow or debris slides. The long route is 193 miles and takes about five hours (one way) on Oregon Highway 199, but this is along paved roads and is open through the winter. The Rogue NWS River web site has shuttle maps and current conditions. Many take advantage of one of the local shuttle services--some are listed in the Gear, Guides and Services tab above.

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Date Flow Result Factor  
2016-07-17 n/a Fatality Other Read More
2013-07-17 Low Fatality Other Read More
2013-07-14 Low Fatality Other Read More
2011-09-02 n/a Fatality Other Read More
2011-09-02 n/a Fatality Other Read More
2008-07-26 Medium Fatality Other Read More
2008-06-27 Medium Fatality Other Read More
2004-09-30 n/a Fatality Inadequate Equipment Read More
2002-10-03 n/a Fatality Failed Rescue Read More

Alerts

News

article main photo

Join American Whitewater On The Wild And Scenic Rogue River (OR) In 2018

2017-11-20 16:12:00-05
Mark Singleton

For the past few years, the staff of America Whitewater has joined with a number of our members to participate in a four-day float trip on the Rogue River in southern Oregon. This trip has been a great opportunity to connect with members in ways that build a lasting understanding of the role of recreation in fostering a stewardship ethic. As one of the original eight Wild and Scenic Rivers in the country, the Rogue is an outstanding classroom for American Whitewater’s river stewardship program.

article main photo

Join American Whitewater for a River Trip on the Wild and Scenic Rogue River

2015-10-28 11:07:00-04
Mark Singleton

Join American Whitewater staff and board members for an exclusive trip on Oregon’s Rogue River. Our June 2016 trip is approaching and space fills quickly. Learn more about our river stewardship program while enjoying the outstanding multi-day river trip.

article main photo

Join American Whitewater on a Trip on the Wild and Scenic Rogue River (OR)

2015-01-05 08:09:00-05
Mark Singleton

In June 2015, American Whitewater members will have an opportunity to join American Whitewater staff and board members for an exclusive trip on Oregon’s Rogue River. We invite you to come learn more about what we're up to while having a great time enjoying one of our nation’s first Wild and Scenic Rivers.

article main photo

Join American Whitewater for a River Trip on the Wild and Scenic Rogue River

2014-01-13 22:58:00-05
Thomas O'Keefe

This summer, American Whitewater members will have an opportunity to join American Whitewater staff and board members for an exclusive trip on Oregon’s Rogue River. We invite you to come learn more about what we're up to while having a great time enjoying one of our nation’s first Wild and Scenic Rivers. The trip will take place June 5-8.

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Wild and Scenic Rogue Closed in Response to Fires (OR)

2013-08-02 17:39:00-04
Thomas O'Keefe

The BLM has implemented a river closure for the Wild and Scenic Rogue River between Grave Creek and Mule Creek due to extreme fire conditions and public health and safety. In addition the Bear Camp shuttle road and Rogue River trail are closed.

article main photo

Oregon Wilderness and Wild Scenic Bills Re-Introduced

2013-02-14 18:00:00-05
Thomas O'Keefe

Earlier today, Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) re-introduced a set of wilderness bill including the Oregon Treasures Act, legislation that would protect the Chetco River, Molalla River, Rogue River, and Horse Heaven and Cathedral Rock sections along the John Day River.

article main photo

Conservation Vision for Wild Rogue Introduced (OR)

2012-01-12 15:54:00-05
Thomas O'Keefe

Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley along with Representatives Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, and Kurt Schrader have introduced legislation (S.2001/H.R.3436) to permanently protect portions of the Rogue River and its surrounding forests. The legislation would protect the quality of the world-class recreational experience this river provides.

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Join American Whitewater On The Wild And Scenic Rogue River (OR) In 2019

2018-12-02 20:03:00-05
Mark Singleton

For the past few years, the staff of America Whitewater has joined with a number of our members to participate in a four-day float trip on the Rogue River in southern Oregon. This trip has been a great opportunity to connect with members in ways that build a lasting understanding of the role of recreation in fostering a stewardship ethic. As one of the original eight Wild and Scenic Rivers in the country, the Rogue is an outstanding classroom for American Whitewater’s river stewardship program.

article main photo

ACTION ALERT: Protect the Wild Rogue

2009-08-28 00:00:00-04
Thomas O'Keefe

American Whitewater is asking our members, particularly those living in Oregon to take action to protect the Wild Rogue. The Rogue River Wilderness and Rogue River Wild and Scenic River represents one of Oregon's most treasured natural landscapes. Legislstion in Congress (H.R. 2890 and S. 1271) will provide more comprehensive protection for the river corridor for future generations.

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Thomas O'Keefe

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Paul Martzen

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Rob

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Zachary W Collier